A Mother and her Two Daughters

25 January 2011

The Gallantry of Living in Cancerland

 Yippee!!  My UAMS cancer graduation is now online at the Rockefeller Cancer Institute’s Seed of Hope web site
You already know my story of battling cancer  – but there are so many more chronicles that can be found here on this site, many of them much more courageous than mine.  They are the stories of countless patients who have been plagued by cancer and found survivorship at the end of their long journey.  Colon cancer, breast cancer, tonsil cancer, Melanoma, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Multiple Myeloma, and Sarcoma – each story paints a picture of devastation at diagnosis and a celebration of ultimately being declared “cancer free.”  Each patient represents the perfect blend of idealism and pragmatism.  As the late Hamilton Jordan once said, “convinced that we could defeat the demon, but with the most logical and practical steps, with realistic strategies and tactics.”  Jordan, former Chief of Staff to former President Jimmy Carter, struggled with six different cancers in his life.  Some have called Jordan the most dogged cancer fighter on the planet.  In 2008, at the age of 63, Hamilton Jordan joined the Church Triumphant from mesothelioma.  

If cancer has invaded your life, personally or with someone you love, I encourage you to read these inspiring stories of spirit, hope and heroism from other UAMS cancer graduates. 

Congratulations to all of us who one day found ourselves living in Cancerland.  Whether we ultimately heard the words “cancer free” or fought to the bitter end, we can proudly wear cancer’s Medal of Valor, for we have all served with gallantry.

24 January 2011

The 99 Balloons of Eliot Mooney

Once in a while, a life story finds its way into your life; a story that moves your heart and soul in a way that cannot be described.  Such is the story of Eliot Mooney and his 99 days that he lived on this earth. 

One of my colleagues passed this story along today.  And now I am sure that will never be the same. 

Eliot was born with an underdeveloped lung, a heart with a hole in it, and Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder with a very low survival rate.  Diagnosed two months before his birth, doctors predicted that Eliot would not make it to birth.  Defying all the odds, this brave little boy not only survived his birth, he lived for another 99 days. 

Bravery, courage and grace against all odds can come in all shapes and sizes – even in a six-pound bundle of baby joy like baby Eliot.

Eliot’s touching yet short life was chronicled in a video that has been shared the world over.  As of today, more than 3 million people have watched it.  

Then there’s the tribute to his life and that of other special children like Eliot, a non-profit organization called 99 Balloons.  Started by his parents, it is a mission to support special needs children and their families in the Northwest Arkansas community, nationally and throughout the world. 
Eliot’s story is one of miracles, and a testament of what God can do when we put your faith in Him.  After Eliot’s passing, Matt & Ginny shared their emptiness, hurt and hope.  They were honest about their feelings of weakness and fear as they tried to put their lives back together.  Throughout this painful time, they relied on God to cast away their doubts and give them renewed strength to glorify God, and to remember Eliot.  

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."
II Timothy 4:7,8

Whether Trisomy 18, cancer or muscular dystrophy, or even a lost job, miscarriage or divorce, God can save us from suffering and heal our broken hearts.  He can give us love and resilience for each new day.

Trust in Him ... and with open arms and tears of joy He will be there to welcome us into His Kingdom

21 January 2011

“BREAST” is not a Dirty Word

Several weeks ago, my friend Pat and I talked by phone.  Pat is my friend, PR mentor, and my occasional spiritual advisor  I reached out to her when I was asked to make my very first speech about cancer.  Pat shared with me an NPR story from November, trying to help me put into perspective how far we’ve come in terms of talking about cancer, especially breast cancer.  The story goes like this

In the early 1950s, a socially prominent New Yorker, Fanny Rosenow, and her friend Teresa Lasser, both had radical mastectomies for breast cancer around the same time.  They were close friends, and talked often, sharing their fears and feelings, and recognizing that most women had no one with whom to talk about this physically devastating surgery, no place to find support. Sitting at Fanny's kitchen table, the women decided they would try to reach out to other women to create a support group where women could feel free to talk about having breast cancer. – to give women a safe haven for discussion.

Ms. Rosenow decided that a notice in the New York Times was the best way to announce such a support group.  Her request to place an ad to announce the first breast cancer support group meeting was followed by a long pause. "I'm sorry, Ms. Rosenow, but the Times cannot publish the word ‘breast’ or the word ‘cancer.’  Perhaps you could say there will be a meeting about women with chest diseases."

Ms. Rosenow hung up in disgust. However, both women persisted, and their commitment to the cause resulted in what is widely known as Reach to Recovery, a worldwide support program for women with breast cancer, administered today through the American Cancer Society. 


Shift to Mary Lasker – philanthropist, socialite and public health entrepreneur.  Lasker recalls how after World War II, “cancer was a word you simply could not say out load.”  Although 200,000 Americans were dying from cancer each year, the media didn’t discuss it, federal spending on cancer research was minimal, and scientists knew very little about the disease. 

Years later, Lasker's long-time housekeeper fell ill with cancer.  Lasker would recall that the attending physician sent her to a hospital "called something like the home for the incurable," Outraged by her housekeeper's silent fate, Lasker set out to raise cancer awareness and create an institutional base for cancer research. In her words, “If these diseases don't have political support we'll never conquer them.”  And she made cancer her special cause.

In 1969, Lasker went on to found The Citizens Committee for the Conquest of Cancer, helped rebuild and steer funds to the National Cancer Institute, persuaded President Richard Nixon to launch the so-called war on cancer, and built a powerful lobby to pass the National Cancer Act of 1971.  Lasker helped to demystify cancer and made it okay to use the word “cancer” in everyday discussion. 


Robert Siegel talks with Dr. Richard Wender, president of The American Cancer Society, about former First Lady Betty Ford's very public battle with breast cancer.  Ford's disclosure of her disease in 1974 led to a coming out of sorts for women— no longer was breast cancer a taboo subject.

According to news accounts at the time about Mrs. Ford talking publicly about her mastectomy, tens of thousands of women around the country went to their doctors for breast screenings.  Dr. Wender says that it was at this moment when not just breast cancer, but all cancers became less of a taboo to talk about.


Say it, ladies and gentleman . . . BREAST!


It’s not a dirty word.

19 January 2011

My Cancer Graduation – A Seed of Hope Celebration

Dr. Kent Westbrook, one of the two visionaries behind the Rockefeller Cancer Institute, has said, “There are significant moments in the lives of cancer patients.  These times are worth celebrating.”  So this past Friday was my UAMS-hosted Seed of Hope Celebration. 

This party-of-sorts is offered to all UAMS cancer patients at the time of final treatment.  And our own celebration was just that – a gathering of very special people who helped me celebrate my “seed of hope” toss. 

Let me tell you, this is one graduation I never aspired to, but I wouldn’t have missed it for all the treasures in the world.  I know, I know – it seems like I’ve been celebrating for days.  Justification – if you’ve been battling cancer for eleven months, it seems quite logical to celebrate the graduation for many days. 

The photos speak for themselves.  It was a personal moment being together with family, lifetime mentors, longtime friends, new friends and my diligent cancer caretakers.  It was an official commemoration of maybe my most demanding and significant victory in life – it was fun, emotional, meaningful and liberating too. 

Let me just say this.  I will forever be grateful to the UAMS Rockefeller Cancer Institute for all they did to eradicate this body – and the bodies of many others too – of the deadly disease we call cancer.  All along the way, my collaborative medical team cared for me with such a personal approach, continued to exude confidence in what they were doing, and carefully planned how they would hunt and kill this physical malady.  Drs. Suzanne Klimberg and Issam Makhoul, Drs. James Yuen and Kenneth Gardner, and Dr. Westbrook who served on my interdisciplinary medical team, and all the nurses and technicians too - they handled each step with skilled assurance, with me believing that they would never face anything that they hadn’t seen before.  It was their spirit and professional poise that gave me confidence, always feeling deep inside that there would be a light of life at the end of this tunnel.                 

And while my cancer treatment is complete, I will continue to stay in the good hands of UAMS.  There will be ontinued tests, follow-up visits, medical monitoring, Lymphedema checks, even a few more treatments to help my bones get stronger.  I'm reminded of what Joel Siegel wrote in Lessons for Dylan, a book he wrote to his son before he died of complications from colon cancer in 2007:  "I don't think anyone is ever cured of cancer.  The pain might stop, your life might no longer be threatened, but the scars never go away."                                                   

On Friday and yesterday, today and tomorrow, I will always celebrate this significant victory in my life story, another chapter closed.  And in my heart, I will forever honor those who have been diagnosed with cancer, and all who courageously fought the fight – those who conquered and those who were ultimately untreatable. 

I am thankful for this day . . .

17 January 2011

At Last (with apologies to Etta James)

To the tune of Etta James' classic song "At Last"

At last my cancer’s come and gone
My scary days are over
And life is like a song. 

WOW!  This morning was THE final treatment.  Anna-Lee and I pulled in the CARTI parking lot early this morning to finish the protocol.   

As we entered the building, the lovely Katherine and the dapper Dennis greeted us one last time.  We then moved back to the dressing area and I was then promptly called back to the radiation treatment room.  CARTI is one of the most efficient healthcare operations on the planet – no doubt. 

Unbeknownst to me, Anna-Lee took a photograph of me lying on the treatment table.  I wish you could see the ceiling - a beautifully lit photograph of serenity in a garden, something lovely to look at while you remain very still on the table.  

While lying on the table, I took this photograph of Greg, my mainstay radiation tech who has been with me since the beginning.  This is what Greg looks like from the table while he's looking down on me, getting my body into an exact position for radiation each morning.  I will miss his wicked sense of humor each morning. It is wicked, for sure.

Here’s a photo of a few members of my radiation team – Greg, Kelly, Jennifer and Ashley. 
For CARTI patients, the treatment team and the treatment room pretty much remain the same, leaving few surprises and giving a sense of comfort along the way.   

A little unknown secret about this place – they play good tunes while you’re receiving your treatment.  And if you don’t like their tunes, bring your own and they’ll play them.  I brought my team a CD of the Rat Pack singing Christmas songs, and they played it for me each morning.  How fun is that??!! 

With the final treatment complete, we were then greeted by nurse Ginny and Sue.  They’re the ones who closely monitor your appointments, progress, and make sure you get in for regular follow-ups with the radiologist, in my case Dr. Gardner. I now have a follow-up appointment in about a month to make sure all is well. 

And last but not least, CARTI sends patients home with party favors on their final day of treatment! Anna-Lee got a t-shirt and I got a diploma.  Yippee!  What more could a girl want?  I'm now a member of CARTI's Patient Club and "subject to all rights, honors and privileges."  Can't wait to find out what that means.  Is it a trip to Aruba?  Can I give everyone a pay increase?  I definitely want to find out what this means very soon.  

You know, I’ve heard so many different reports about radiation treatment – burning skin, nausea, appetite depletion, etc etc etc.  For me, this hasn’t been so bad.  Yes, I have some burning skin, but it could have been much worse.  My radiation team, and my body have managed this entire process very well.  

While I’m not going to miss treatment, I will have to say again that if you have to endure cancer, CARTI sure makes the ride a bit more fun.  “Lovely, friendly, caring and extremely exact healthcare providers” – that will be my forever memory of this place. 

Thank you CARTI for a terrific time under some not so terrific circumstances.  You took good care of me and I will never forget you – all of you.  With appreciation for your great care, always . . . 

16 January 2011

Readership Poll About This Blog

I started this blog primarily to manage my time, to stay off the phone, to keep from giving the same medical update too many times each day.  And it worked for me.  This blog has been a real time saver in terms of keeping family and friends up to date on my 11-month protocol.  However, this blog has grown into something I never planned for. 

It turned from a daily diatribe about my medical updates to a journal of sorts about the perils of this silent killer called Inflammatory Breast Cancer.  It became a way to share the physical and mental battles while enduring the harsh treatments required to eradicate aggressive cancers from the body. 

But through this blog, I have “electronically encountered” cancer patients from all over the world.  Many of them became readers of this blog because they were looking for some honesty about the emotional strain and physical challenges of cancer. 

As one woman said to me in an email, you have helped me gain confidence and a voice to tell my family that cancer is much more than what we expected, much worse.  Then there was another woman who said that she just needed to know that somebody else was feeling just like her as she continued her own battle.  And then there was the lady I met at the UAMS oncology clinic who said she felt as if I was her cheat sheet, that she could read this blog and know what was in her future. 

Then there were other readers who were looking for a way to get through cancer with a bit of humor.  And while cancer is about the most unfunny thing in the world, some of us make the conscious decision to still enjoy and laugh at life no matter the circumstances.  These were the blog readers who enjoyed the stories like getting kicked out of the wig store, confirmation that I’m a fall risk, meeting new people with the wig hanging off my head, going to my cancer glamour class, leaving CARTI in my hospital gown, and more. 
I’ve visited with several friends lately about what to do with this blog.  My tendency is to end it, to move on to the other matters of life and put all the cancer behind me.  But when I’ve mentioned this with friends and acquaintances, they have discouraged this.

So, my question to them is this: What would I write about?

The Rabbi was the first to suggest I continue to write about living a good life after cancer – what does it take to carry on, even though cancer is always looming in the back of your mind.  Another friend suggests writing about my continued encounters with others who are battling cancer and other life-challenging disease.   Then another friend said, “I know you.  You’re going to continue to read up and stay informed on cancer, breast cancers, and all things that go with the territory.  You need to keep us all informed.” 

I’m just not sure and would welcome any comments you might have.  Should I stop this blog writing and move forward?  Or, should this blog continue, and if so, what should I write about?   

Keep in mind, this blog can live as long as I want it to, as you don’t have to erase a blog from this site.  That’s to say that even if I never post another blog entry, others fighting the perils of this disease can still continue to read this blog and learn from my protocol experiences, cancer calamities and moments of hope. 

This blog writer welcomes your comments, your complete honesty about this dilemma.  If so inclined, send your thoughts to neverlosespirit@gmail.com. 

Blog Writer’s Note:  This will not be my last blog post.  Tomorrow is my final cancer protocol treatment, and then in a few weeks I'll have the Reclast treatment for the Osteoporosis I now have from the chemotherapy drugs.  But I’m just thinking about all of this, and need to make a decision soon. 

13 January 2011

An End-of-Cancer Celebration

Monday is going to be my final cancer treatment.  WOW!  It’s difficult to even describe how my heart feels being on the other side of cancer – me the victor, cancer put to shame.  I’ll write more about this later but I wanted to share with friends a significant moment in this long journey. 

I’ve written about the Seed of Hope ceremony twice on this blog – the first time after attending the grand opening of the UAMS Rockefeller Cancer Institute, and the second time when UAMS launched its Seed of Hope web site. 

If it had not snowed and I hadn’t missed my Monday appointment, tomorrow would have been my last treatment.  Instead it will be this coming Monday, the MLK holiday.  But Anna-Lee leaves that day to return to college, and she really wanted to be a part of this UAMS end-of-treatment celebration, to help me toss my token into the sculpture.   

So, tomorrow at 1:00 will be our significant moment to share with my UAMS healing team.  This is my big day to toss the token into the Seed of Hope, to celebrate the end of my treatment, to tell the world that I’ve been cured of cancer!  We’re looking forward to the celebration and if you have the time to celebrate with us, then come on by and we’ll laugh and cry and hug one another!  And then maybe we’ll go to Starbucks afterwards and enjoy a hot cup of coffee.  

I’m very excited about this celebration.  I feel among the fortunate to be called a cancer survivor, to have completed my treatment plan and to have ultimately kicked cancer's butt!    

P.S.  Woo Hoo!  Did I tell you how excited I am??  WooHoo!  

10 January 2011


Today is not just any Monday for me.  Since November, I’ve been working as co-chairman of Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe’s Inaugural festivities – a total of 8 events over a 28-hour period of time.  Thank goodness for outstanding colleagues.  Four years ago I served in the same capacity, with great colleagues then too.  But honestly, my teammates at CJRW have picked up so much more of the responsibility than four years ago, and I just couldn’t do all of this without them.  I’m so grateful. 

The only thing that might be more challenging than a worn out body from cancer treatment would be planning an event like this with six inches of snow on the ground.  The snow has blanketed most of the state, making it difficult for some to travel for the festivities.  When you’ve ordered the flowers, food, bands and the rest, there is no way you can postpone an event of this magnitude. 

So much for Plan A.  Today I’ve moved into Plan B and Plan C.  Sometimes I’m just making up new rules and plans along the way.  But it’s going to be great, no matter how many manage to be able to get out from under this snow.  For those of us there, it will be a great time, a wonderful celebration of making profound progress in Arkansas.  

While sitting at my desk this afternoon, fielding calls and reading countless emails, I opened my lap drawer and immediately put my hands on a card given to me many years ago by a friend from Tupelo, MS.  The card reads: 

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.  Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, and a home.  The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude ... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you ... we are in charge of our Attitudes.

This is a quote from Rev. Charles Swindoll, and I have no reason to believe that finding this card today was an accident.  I probably haven’t had my hands on this card for four or five years.  But today it finds me.  I needed to read this today. 

As a former boss used to say:  A healthy attitude is contagious but don't wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.

08 January 2011

Different Strokes for Different Folks

A longtime acquaintance called this week to share a secret she has held inside for many years.  She too is a breast cancer survivor, but very few know about her personal journey of fear and physical confrontation.  At the time she was diagnosed, she had a lumpectomy, then a series of radiation treatments, and along the way she decided not to share her cancer with anyone except her husband and mother.  In her words, “I was beginning a new job, and didn’t want my new colleagues to think cancer would negatively impact my work.”  She went on to tell me how silly she feels now, and how angry she is that nobody knows she is a survivor. 

I heard from another woman recently that at first she didn’t share either.  She told me that she didn’t want cancer to be her identity, that she convinced herself that if nobody knew, she had more power over the disease.  That is until she was told that chemotherapy would be necessary.  It’s very difficult to hide a serious illness like cancer when you go bald, lose your eyelashes and eyebrows, and have to take days off from work for chemotherapy infusion, and possibly one or more surgeries. 

I can understand why some may want to maintain a sense of privacy about their diagnosis.  I really can.  But for me, I couldn’t do it.  The emotions of the diagnosis were too much for someone like me to handle alone.  A personality like mine requires love and strength from those I care about most. 

In addition, an unexpected twist from sharing my cancer has been the privilege of meeting new life friends – cancer graduates and champions who have inspired me along the way.  Their presence has kept my spirits high and my outlook optimistic.

As the late journalist Leroy Sievers said before his own death from cancer:  My cancer is a magnet that draws me to other people with cancer. We’re all in this together. We know what death looks like. It’s a club based on black humor, multiple shoulders to cry on, and the great and abiding strength of its members.”

I also don’t want cancer to identify me.  Instead, the identifiers that have carried me through life have been incredibly rewarding – mother and daughter, a native of Little Rock, Hendrix graduate, a lifelong United Methodist, public relations professional, passionate education reform advocate, a community volunteer, a friend to many but always in need of their friendship to me. 

And while I wish cancer had not invaded my body or my life, it did.  Many times this year my heart told me to shout out to the world, “This isn’t me!  This is not who I used to be!  My same self will return soon!” But the truth is, cancer is now about me, along with the other life happenings that make me Stacy Sells.  But after Cancer, I will never be the same again – for good or for ill.  I need to know that, to remember that, to understand that — even when others don't. 

The cancer ride is not easy.  But I’ve found the drive much smoother knowing there are others on my side, in my corner, ready to do battle with me, inspired by others who are accomplished cancer warriors. 

I can understand keeping cancer a secret.  Nobody should tell you what to do, how to manage it, who you should tell, or what emotions you should feel.  It’s our own disease, belonging to nobody else but you.  If it’s emotionally healthy, then handle it in the way that you manage other important matters in life.

As for me, I’ll never regret sharing my journey with others.  

05 January 2011

Getting Comfortable in my Cancer Clothes

Today was like any other day over the past few weeks.  At around 9:40, I head to CARTI to have my daily radiation treatment.  CARTI has made this one of the smoothest services on the planet – especially when you put it in context with health care services in general.  This is nothing short of an assembly line operation, but with very kind and gentle people taking care of you along the way. 

When you become a patient at CARTI, you immediately receive a key-card of sorts.  It has your name on it in the form of a bar code that you scan when you enter, letting the folks in the treatment area know you’ve arrived – a very simple checking-in process.  Then you proceed to the dressing area, one for men and one for women.  Small lockers are there for you to place your clothes inside and there’s a cabinet filled with a variety of dressing gowns to put on.  In my case, I only take off my clothes from the waist up, so I always have on my pants and shoes – then the stunning CARTI gown to complete the wardrobe during my time there. 

Every day, almost as soon as change into my gown, they call my name to come back to the treatment area.  I then lie down on the table, and two radiation techs spend a few minutes getting my body in position, lining the body marks up with laser lights.  This is obviously a very exact process as there are many tiny moves made to get my body in the just the perfect position.  It’s really quite impressive. 

The radiation itself takes only about four to five minutes, may less.  Then I’m out the door to change back into my clothes and head back home, the office or to my next appointment for the day. 

Today was like any other day.  I did all the above, including a skin check.  My skin area is getting quite red and is somewhat burning.  Ginny, my wonderful nurse, is very focused on this right now, wanting to make certain I remain comfortable with new ointments and other strategies to keep myself together.

After my skin exam with Ginny, I head out the door to my car, leave the parking lot and I’m on the way to the gas station.  I desperately need gas before my next meeting at the United Methodist Foundation. 

I’m almost there, ready to get out and start pumping gas.  And then my phone rings.  It’s Catherine, the nice lady at the front desk at CARTI.  She kindly explains to me that I’ve left CARTI in my gown, without putting my clothes back on. 

WHAT?  OH MY GOSH!  She’s right.  I’m driving around in my car wearing my lovely blue gown, my clothes still back at CARTI.  Embarrassing or what?  Especially when I quickly return and the fun front office staff I’ve grown to care for much are there, waiting to laugh with me.  They are so kind, and tell me that I’m not the first nor will I be the last patient to make this silly mistake. 

What can I say?  I guess I’m getting comfortable in my CARTI cancer clothes. 

My friend Cyd laughs with me, tells me I’ve had way too much fun with cancer.   Maybe so, but we both agree – it’s much better to laugh about the lighter moments of this adventure than cry about the heartache.  As they say, laughter is the best medicine for your heart – and I think for your cancer too. 

03 January 2011

Monday Ramblings

The fatigue from radiation has been better since moving my appointments from 7 am to 10 am. In fact, I’m convinced that any fatigue I’m now battling is more about my Arimidex medication and less about radiation therapy.  However, this weekend, changes began to rapidly take place to the skin area being treated, especially under my right arm. 

My treatment targets three areas – one big zap at the breast, and another two good zaps at the lymphatic system near the chest/neck area and under the arm.  The underarm area is beginning to look worse than the rest, like a very bad sunburn.  And you know what that means – pain and itching.  But today the good folks at CARTI introduced me to a new ointment to put on the treated areas several times each day.  As the radiologist, this isn’t going to get any better, only worse between now and the end of my treatments.  Today marked #16.  I’m over the hump!  That’s the good news. 


I heard from my college friend Kim today.  She now has a dear friend here in Arkansas who was diagnosed only two weeks ago with Inflammatory Breast Cancer.  Being such a rare cancer with a small circle for support, I decided to reach out to her.  I remember my own time of diagnosis – not only had I never heard of IBC, I was certain I knew nobody who had experienced it.  Then I met Ellen, who became the woman I want to grow up and be.  She’s been my new and rock steady friend all of these many months.  So, I just picked up the phone and called Lisa, and we had a lovely visit.  She said the same – I don’t know anyone who has had IBC.  Well now you do.   You hang in there, Lisa.  IBC can be beat.  I did it, Ellen did it and you’re going to do it too.


The last few days I’ve had a real increase in traffic to this blog.  And now I know why.  Central Arkansas is lucky to have a wonderful magazine called AY – About You.  My childhood schoolmate Vicki Vowell is the Publisher and she has done an outstanding job of growing this magazine to what it is today – a premier lifestyle publication for intelligent, accomplished people who are enjoying the finest years of our lives.  It’s about entertainment, restaurants, Arkansas culture, home and garden and so much more.  Regular contributors include my Hendrix friend and colleague P. Allen Smith, the New York Times-dubbed “Martha Stewart of the South”; Tobi Fairley, nationally sought-after interior designer; and Jill Connor Browne, the world-famous Sweet Potato Queen.

Well lucky me – AY has decided to post my blog as a link to their Health & Beauty section, I’m sure more about health and less about beauty.  Another marvelous thing about the good folks at AY – for the past ten years AY hosts Runway for a Cause, a high-energy luncheon and fashion show featuring breast cancer survivors as runway models wearing beautiful clothing from local boutiques.  The event has raised more than $1 million for local breast cancer programs in Central Arkansas, including the UAMS Rockefeller Cancer Institute.  I was a model this last year and it was an experience I will always remember – much fun and somewhat emotional too. 

If you want to visit the AY web site, click here.  Like I said, my blog is featured in the Health & Beauty section.  Thank you AY.  I’m honored to be a part of your good work. 


Tomorrow is a big day here in Arkansas – the big Sugar Bowl game in New Orleans.  After running around today taking care of a few errands, it honestly seems as if only about 50 of us stayed home to watch it on TV.  I hope all my friends are having a blast, eating delectable Cajun food, and ready to root the hogs on to victory.  We were invited to attend, tickets and all.  But radiation treatment is the priority.  Maybe another trip to New Orleans another day will be my destiny. 

Woo Pig Sooie!  Razorbacks! 

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