Posts from September, 2011

Ann’s Diary: Use the FORCE

2011ReNewNo this wasn’t a Star Wars event, but if Luke and Leia carried the BRCA 1 or 2 gene they would undoubtedly have come to ReNew Denim in Davis, CA today for the FORCE (Facing Our Risk Empowered) FIX OUR GENES event.  I got some great new jeans, supported cancer awareness, and did a book signing of ‘pink tips’.  Great day!

Posted September 29th, 2011 by
Ann's Diary: Use the FORCE
Posted in: Ann's Diary

Like Steve McQueen

When I went through my first round with breast cancer this song was popular, and it hit home for me.

Screaming down the highway on the long road to chemotherapy at Boston’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute, I’d be shouting “LIKE STEVE MCQUEEEEN, YOU’LL NEVER CATCH ME TONIIIIGHT!” Of course Sheryl Crow’s talking about a man–I was talking about breast cancer. But either way, we weren’t going to be anybody’s -itch.  I still feel that way, even as I fight round two with metastatic disease.

I have a new friend who’s just about to begin her battle.  To say she’s beautiful is an understatement:  she’s a light. Her smile warms up a room. I had coffee with her a few weeks ago, before her double mastectomy and before yesterday, when she got the news that the breast cancer has gone into her system and she’ll need chemotherapy to fight it. I imagine she’s not smiling right now.  And I can’t blame her.

I am not going to shout out the “it’s going to be fine” and “things happen for a reason” diatribe, because to be honest I don’t think things happen for a reason.  I think some things happen completely off guard and make no f-ing sense whatsoever.  What I DO think is that with courage, strength, determination and support we can get through what happens and find good things in the bad.

So Ant–which is what I’m going to call my friend to protect her indentity–this song’s for you.

And remember, just because I got it again doesn’t mean you will. I represent not what didn’t work but what did work, and very well. Remember, 7 years ago this same disease that’s at your back tried to take me down. But I didn’t let it. Because, as I still like to belt out in my car at volume 10 when the kids aren’t with me, singing at the top of my lungs and dedicating it all to breast cancer,

like Steve McQueen, underneath your radar screen, you’ll never catch me tonight.

Or tomorrow, either.

Posted September 29th, 2011 by
Like Steve McQueen
Posted in: Ann's Diary

Ann’s Diary: FORCE to the left

Thanks to Samantha at ReNew Denim in Davis, CA and Raychel of FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered) for a great book selling/signing event in connection with FORCE and ReNew’s Fix Our Genes event. I have no idea why this photo uploaded sideways, but until I can figure it out, everybody dip to your left…


Posted September 28th, 2011 by
Ann's Diary: FORCE to the left
Posted in: Ann's Diary

Ann’s Diary: FORCE yourself!

I love my jeans. They fit right, they’re not baggy, not too tight, faded but still have color–they’re perfect for me. I love my genes, too–the ones that gave me blonde hair and blue eyes, my father’s humor and my mother’s thighs–which never fit into my jeans, but I digress.

Some people’s genes, however, are not so great. They pass on risks for things, like breast cancer–and while that’s not necessarily a death sentence, it can be. And that’s scary.

Yet pretending everything’s fine when you have genes like that is more scary. I mean, avoiding your reality could make your reality end before it has to. Facing up to it is what gets you through. And that’s just what FORCE is all about.

Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered is a national group that’s saying no to the fear of genetic cancer. Instead of hiding its collective head in the sand, FORCE is out there in full FORCE to let people know they do not and should not be afraid of their own DNA. The message is clear: be aware, be mindful and do all you can to prevent cancer from taking lives too soon.

To that end, FORCE and Davis, California’s ReNew Denim are holding a 2 day event this week–from 11 am to 7 pm on Wednesday and Thursday, September 28 and 29. If you bring your old jeans down and swap up for some new ones, a proceed of the sale goes to FORCE. You get a good pair of well-fitting jeans and FORCE gets help in making sure other people’s genes don’t cloak them in fear. It’s a win-win.

‘Fix Our Genes’ will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at Renew Denim, 222 D St., Suite 9A. FORCE volunteers will have a table at the store with more information about genetic cancers. I’ll be there too–supporting my pals at FORCE. Come on down and say hello!

Posted September 27th, 2011 by
Ann's Diary: FORCE yourself!
Posted in: Ann's Diary

Ann’s Diary: VOTE

Here’s where social media marketing meets good old fashion begging:

I need your vote.

Here’s the deal: Puma, the great sports gear company, holds a charity “auction” of sorts this time of year. If you get enough votes they award your non-profit up to $125,000 dollars to spend on getting your mission out to the world.

Project Pink, my non-profit, was accepted into the potential pool of award recipients, and what I need in order to win is votes on the website. That’s it. Just a vote a day between today and October 7.

Here’s the reality: there are some big dogs in the “gallery”–like Komen for the Cure. If you think I think I’m going to win against their marketing and social media power you’re nuts–but then again, I don’t really think like that. I mean, if Komen wins because they’ve got more tweeters and followers then so be it….we’re all in this gallery together. And I know her sister would give all her monster marketing power back just to have one more day with Susan G. Komen, whose premature death at the hands of this insidious disease prompted her sister to fight back–and man is she winning.

Now back to winning–maybe Project Pink, or as we’re called in this contest “The Breast Cancer Diaries” (the tiny pink square icon) so as not to confuse ourselves with Puma’s contest, also called Project Pink, won’t win. Then again, maybe we will. But the point is that we’re in the game–and win or lose, we are playing to succeed.

If you can give us a vote each day between now and October 7–that’s every day for the next two weeks–I’d appreciate it. Here’s the link.

And thank you.

Posted September 26th, 2011 by
Ann's Diary: VOTE
Posted in: Ann's Diary