Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Patti D's open letter to all of us....

Patti wrote us an email the other day about gratitude.

I was so struck by her comment about the blood of others that now runs through her veins and sustains her.

Thank you Patti for your wise words.

In case you haven't read her email, I'm reprinting it with her permission.

Dearest Ladies I am sitting here on this beautiful winter day , thinking of how very blessed I am to have you all in my life . I was thinking how we are from different back grounds and cultures and still understand each other. What a wonderful world it would be if we stopped and thought how much we are alike . It doesn't matter whether we are  christians , Jewish , Muslin, believe in Mother Earth or Universal peace . We are all one . This year I have been thru a lot so as I reflect I realize I have had 13 blood or platlet transfusions . I'm grateful for all the people who's blood runs thru my veins without them I would not be here. Am I not blessed. I know nothing about these wonderful people no matter what there heritage.  So at this wonderful time of year I wish each of you a Happy and healthy what ever you celebrate. I think the most important thing is we Celebrate each day like it's a holiday . I love you all in a very special way the same way you love me and I feel it . With much love in my heart and gratitude . Patti

Monday, December 12, 2016

Ovarian Cancer Screening

Betsy Neisner sent me some links to interesting articles from a  continuing education webpage.

Here's one of the articles I read and I thought I'd share with you.

There are several more I will be posting.

If you are interested the website is called "MyCME". Just google it!

Ovarian Cancer Screening Study Falls Short
Significant mortality benefit only in subgroup analysis
Staff Writer, MedPage Today
December 17, 2015
The largest-ever screening study for ovarian cancer showed a modest reduction in the risk of dying of the cancer after more than a decade of follow-up, but failed to demonstrate a significant difference from no screening.

The primary analysis showed annual risk reductions of 15% and 11% with the two different methods of screening evaluated in the trial. Neither difference achieved statistical significance versus no screening. A prespecified analysis limited to patients screened with both a blood test and ultrasound (using different statistical methods) did yield a significant 20% annual reduction in ovarian cancer mortality risk.

Follow-up will continue in the trial to determine more precisely the magnitude of mortality reduction -- which could increase or decrease at this point -- and whether routine screening in the general population is cost effective, Ian Jacobs, MD, of University College London, and co-authors reported in The Lancet.

The preliminary results showed that 641 women would have to be screened with an assay for the cancer-related protein CA-125 plus transvaginal ultrasound to prevent one ovarian cancer death. The results also showed a small but clinically significant risk of harm, as 14 women with false-positive screening results had surgery that revealed no evidence of cancer. Complications occurred in 3.1% of the patients who underwent surgery.
The results will do little to inform the debate on screening average-risk women, said Don Dizon, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and a clinical expert for the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
"I'm underwhelmed by the results," Dizon told MedPage Today. "I think the summary of the study that was distributed in advance was a bit misleading. It's a hopeful study, regarding the benefits of screening, but the picture is still incomplete. If anything, it should spur on research, but it is by no means a green light to start screening the general population."
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommend against routine screening of women who have an average risk of ovarian cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also does not support ovarian cancer screening and declined to comment on the British study.

The authors of a commentary that accompanied the article by Jacobs, et al, said the focus should be on determining how to maximize the benefits of available screening tools.
"If only 59% of ovarian cancer cases are detected by screening plus ultrasound, we will need to focus on why and how screening ... still has a significant, but delayed survival effect," said Rene Verheijen, MD, and Ronald Zweemer, MD, of the Utrecht Medical Center in The Netherlands. "Trying to unravel the mechanism behind this effect so that it can be improved should have high priority."

A majority of women with ovarian cancer have advanced disease at diagnosis, and 5-year survival for advanced disease is 40% or less. Most women have no symptoms preceding diagnosis of ovarian cancer, fueling interest in methods of early diagnosis.
Jacobs and co-authors reported initial findings from the U.K. Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening involving more than 200,000 women ages 50 to 74. Investigators at 13 centers randomized 50,640 to annual multimodality screening, 50,639 to annual screening by ultrasound only, and 101,359 to no screening. The primary endpoint was ovarian cancer mortality.
Screening ended Dec. 31, 2011, and the trial had a median follow-up of 11.1 years (maximum of 14 years). Patients in the multimodality screening group underwent a cumulative total of 345,570 screens, and the ultrasound group accumulated 327,775 screens.

By individual screening methods, the analysis showed a 15% (95% CI -3% to +30%, P=0.10) reduction in the risk of ovarian cancer death in the multimodality arm versus no screening and 11% (95% CI -7% to +27%, P=0.21) in the ultrasound group. A prespecified alternative method of statistical analysis (Royston-Parmar flexible parametric model), limited to the multimodality group, did show a statistically significant 20% reduction in the risk of ovarian cancer death after excluded women who had ovarian cancer at enrollment(95% CI -2% to +40%, P=0.021).
Most of the mortality benefit occurred during the later years of follow-up: 8% during years 0 to 7 versus 23% during years 7 to 14 in the multimodality group and 2% versus 21% in the ultrasound group.
"In retrospect, it would have been preferable to specify a primary analysis that was weighted to reflect the predictable delay in mortality reduction in a screening trial of this type," the authors said in their discussion.
"The main limitation of this trial was our failure to anticipate the late effect of screening in our statistical design," they added.

The late benefit perplexed Dizon.
"When you think about the benefit of screening, my understanding is that it should be realized earlier, rather than later,” he said. "When you stop screening [in a randomized trial], you're going to get cancers in both arms, and it may mask a survival advantage of screening, unless it's life long."

The basis for thinking the benefit might increase with longer follow-up is equally unclear, particularly if women decide to stop being screened, Dizon added.

A Beautiful Snowy Day

Today I woke up to about 5 inches of beautiful snow and taking our little mini-Schnauzer out with us, we snow-shoed all around the back fields and along the bike path.

One intrepid bicyclist had already cut a neat line in the snow on his way to college or work, and one X-country skier had been out earlier than us.

How wonderful to be alive, to be bundled up against the cold and with the people I love.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Wonderful time in Portsmouth, NH with some of our group!

Thanks go out to Diane for organizing our luncheon yesterday in Portsmouth, NH.

We had such a great time: Christine, Karen, Sue, Di, Kathy, Mary, Debra, Katie, Rhea, Peggy, Nola, Judith and Margaret all gathered for several hours and got a chance to catch up with each other.

I am going to try and post some photos from yesterday from yesterday.  Judith is enjoying pickles for dessert in case you're wondering why I took a photo of her eating them....

Monday, October 31, 2016

Cancer Immunotherapy

Came across this very interesting article published in the journal Nature.


Multi-pronged tumour attack

Published online
A cocktail of antibodies and proteins can wipe out large tumours in mice — even if the tumours are not particularly visible to the immune system.
Immunotherapies unleash immune-system responses against cancer, but generally fail against large, established tumours in mice. Dane Wittrup and Darrell Irvine at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and their colleagues cooked up an immunotherapy with four ingredients: a tumour-targeting antibody, the immune-stimulating protein interleukin-2, a vaccine containing fragments of tumour proteins, and an antibody that blocks an immunosuppressive protein called PD-1.
This unleashed antibodies and immune cells called T cells against the tumour; these even attacked tumour proteins that were not targeted directly by the cocktail. The treatment worked against both tumours transplanted into mice and large tumours grown in mice, which are typically less visible than transplanted tumours to the mouse immune system.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Beet, Greens and Cheddar Crumble

Thank you Marilyn for sending us this recipe! Perfect time of year to make this!

This recipe is from the NYTimes and can be found if you Google "Beet, Greens and Cheddar Crumble". I've copied the recipe below....


  • 1 pound medium beets
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme branches plus 3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
  •  Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 ¼ pounds beet greens, Swiss chard or a mix of both
  • 11 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, more for greasing pan
  • 150 grams all-purpose flour (1 1/3 cups)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 9 ounces sharp Cheddar, grated (2 1/4 cups)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons English mustard powder, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce, more as needed
  • 25 grams rolled oats (1/4 cup)
  • 20 grams toasted hazelnuts, chopped (3 tablespoons)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • Nutritional Information


  1. Combine beets, thyme branches, garlic and peppercorns in a large pot. Cover with cold salted water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; cook until beets are tender, 15 to 30 minutes depending on size. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add greens and cook for 2 minutes (do this in batches if necessary); remove with tongs and transfer immediately to a bowl of ice water. Drain well.
  2. Once beets are cool enough to handle, peel them and slice crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Roughly chop greens’ leaves and stalks.
  3. Prepare the béchamel: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt 5 tablespoons butter. Stir in 75 grams flour ( 2/3 cup). Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes; roux should smell cooked but remain white. Slowly whisk in milk until mixture forms a thick, smooth sauce. Stir in 8 ounces Cheddar (2 cups) until melted. Stir in mustard powder, Worcestershire and Tabasco. Season with salt to taste.
  4. Make the crumble topping: In a small bowl, stir together remaining 2/3 cup flour, the oats and the hazelnuts. Use your fingers to work in 6 tablespoons butter, the remaining 1 ounce Cheddar ( 1/4 cup) and the Parmigiano-Reggiano. It should be a mixture of large and small pieces. Season with a pinch of salt, pepper and the nutmeg.
  5. When you are ready to assemble the dish, heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2-quart gratin or baking dish. Spread a layer of béchamel on the bottom. Top with a layer of beets, followed by a layer of greens and stalks. Season generously with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with thyme leaves. Spread another layer of béchamel on top and repeat process to fill dish (you will end up with 3 or 4 layers). Cover entire surface with crumble topping. Transfer dish to oven and bake until bubbling and golden brown in spots, 45 minutes to 1 hour.


  • Measurements for dry ingredients are given by weight for greater accuracy. The equivalent measurements by volume are approximate.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Here's the 2016 TTT Video that Anne Hepburn Worked On

This is the second video that Anne and I believe Eva worked on which is shorter and given to donors. It's on YouTube and if you click on this link you will be taken to it! It includes music and the sound of loons (thinking of you Batoul) and of course, her voiceover.

Thank you so much Anne for all your hard work. We are all so grateful to you....

Monday, October 10, 2016

Slideshow of our 2016 TTT Retreat

Ok folks, I'm attempting to upload the slideshow of our retreat in August. I have two goals: embed the slideshow in this post and embed the slideshow in the sidebar of this website. For those who would also like to view it on YouTube, you can access it through this link.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Help Us Support our TTT Retreat

Recently, Anne met Linda Waters, Founder of "Confidence Beads" and "Beads for a Cause". There are wonderful items for sale and any purchase that you make will result in 20% of your sale helping to fund the Turning-the-Tide Ovarian Cancer Retreat.

There are wonderful collections available and this week I'd like to highlight the "Tough as Teal" collection 'cause after all, we survivors are "tough as teal". To browse the collection, follow this link.  I hope you enjoy this wonderful collection....

Help Us Support our TTT Retreat

Recently, Anne met Linda Waters, Founder of "Confidence Beads" and "Beads for a Cause". There are wonderful items for sale and any purchase that you make will result in 20% of your sale helping to fund the Turning-the-Tide Ovarian Cancer Retreat.

There are wonderful collections available and this week I'd like to highlight the "Tough as Teal" collection 'cause after all, we survivors are "tough as teal". To browse the collection, follow this link.  I hope you enjoy this wonderful collection....

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sue's Chocolate Raspberry Dream Torte Recipe

Hi Everyone!
We had a great time meeting at Anne's the night before the Ovations Ovarian Cancer Symposium on Saturday.

Our group came from ME, VT and all parts of MA. We had a wonderful meal - everyone brought great food and we got to sample some fabulous dishes from Kuwait made by Batoul.

And did you know that our Sue made a delicious Chocolate Raspberry DreamTorte that knocked our socks off. So if you're interested in trying your hand at baking this, Sue has graciously made the recipe available to us. By the way Sue, how did you make out the next day in your cooking challenge? I hope you won top award for this dessert!!!

Chocolate Raspberry Dream Torte
  • 1 pkg devil's food cake mix (plus ingredients to make cake)
  • 1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp  finely grated orange zest
  • 1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam, 
  • 1 cup raspberries 
  • Chocolate sauce (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and flour Torte Pans; set aside. Prepare cake mix according to package directions; divide batter equally between pans. Bake 18-22 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into centers comes out clean. Remove from oven to cooling rack; cool 5 minutes. Remove cakes from pans; cool completely.
  2. Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and orange zest; whisk until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Place one cake layer well-side up onto serving platter. Spread half of the filling over cake layer. Place raspberry jam in microwave safe bowl; microwave on HIGH 10-20 seconds or until warm; whisk until smooth. Drizzle/spread  1/2 the jam over filling. Stack remaining cake layer on top of first, well-side up; spread with remaining filling. arrange raspberries over filling; drizzle with remaining jam

Monday, September 12, 2016


Hi folks,
It was a great TTT retreat YET AGAIN! Thank you Anne & Sue for all the work that you put in to make this retreat happen. And thank you to all the folks who contributed in so many ways - every day we were showered with amazing gifts from donors who gave so generously.

I will be posting a video here of the retreat - many hands are involved in making this video so stay tuned - as soon as it's ready, I'll post it.

In addition, I will be uploading photos - amazingly that's a little tricky to do on Blogger.com. It's easy to upload say 1 or 2  photos but an album is a different story. I will keep scouring the web for instructions on how to do this. If anyone knows of a widget that Blogger uses, would you send me that info?

Hope to see many of you at the Ovarian Cancer Symposium this wkend - or on Friday at Anne's!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month: Wear Something Teal Every Day

Here's a suggested plan to raise awareness about ovarian cancer every day in the month of September. This was taken from the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance.

30 Days of Teal

Join us throughout September–National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month–as we work to tell every woman in America about this deadly disease. Each day we will post an activity and share it via our website and social media. Bookmark this page to follow along, or check Facebook and Twitter for daily updates. We will keep each day’s activity on this page.
Day 30— Tuesday, September 30, 2014: Thank you for helping us raise awareness of ovarian cancer every day this month. You—and your friends and family—helped us reach hundreds of thousands of people with information about ovarian cancer, as well as expanding our network throughout the world so we can be better advocates for our cause. Today’s action is proudly sponsored by Myriad.
Day 29— Monday, September 29, 2014: Have you created your Teal is Personal page yet? We are down to the wire and need your support this September! Create a page TODAY to share how ovarian cancer has impacted your life and help us bring an end to this terrible disease. Set your page up for free right here http://www.ovariancancer.org/tealispersonal. Today’s action is proudly sponsored by Myriad.
Day 28— Sunday, September 28, 2014: Today marks the start of National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Week. Did you know these two diseases are linked, especially for women with mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Not sure if you might have a mutation? The CDC offers a free tool through the Know:BRCA website, as well as resources an information on breast and ovarian cancer. https://www.knowbrca.org/ Today’s action is proudly sponsored by Myriad.
Day 27— Saturday, September 27, 2014: Would you like to help us advance the interests of women with ovarian cancer? We need volunteers throughout the United States to represent us at health fairs, help set up for events and more! Email ocna@ovariancancer.org to add your name to our volunteer roster. Today’s action is proudly sponsored by Myriad.
Day 26— Friday, September 26, 2014: We’ve completely revamped our online store this September! Stock up on teal awareness bracelets, polo shirts, cooling scarves and more. A portion of the proceeds from each sale comes back to the Alliance. Visit the store at http://www.ovariancancer.org/shop. Today’s action is proudly sponsored by Myriad.
Day 25— Thursday, September 25, 2014: Today we’re busy California dreaming. We are thrilled to announce the Ovarian Cancer National Conference will be July 24-26, 2015 in San Diego! Today only, get a special conference discount when you register using promo code: TODAY. Register at www.ovariancancer.org/nationalconference. Today’s action is proudly sponsored by Myriad.
Day 24— Wednesday, September 24, 2014: Clinical trials help pave the way for better treatments and diagnostic tests for ovarian cancer. By participating in a clinical trial, you can help transform ovarian cancer treatment. Learn more and connect with our free matching service at http://www.ovariancancer.org/resources/clinical-trials/. Today’s action is proudly sponsored by Myriad.
Day 23— Tuesday, September 23, 2014: Mark your calendar for the third annual World Ovarian Cancer Day: May 8, 2015. Want to get a jump start on the day? Share a fact from the World Ovarian Cancer Day website with your family and friends! http://ovariancancerday.org/ 
1in72Day 22— Monday, September 22, 2014: One in 72 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer during her lifetime. Spread awareness today by sharing the graphic at right.
Day 21— Sunday, September 21, 2014: Did you know you can support the Alliance by shopping or sharing your opinions? Sign up with Opinions for Good and Amazon Smiletoday to help us continue our work on behalf of all women with ovarian cancer. Already registered? Share the links with your friends and family.
Day 20— Saturday, September 20, 2014: As we advance our understanding of the genetics of ovarian cancer, new treatment options can emerge. However, researchers need access to genetic data to drive future discoveries. Join the #FreetheData movement and help spread the word about the need for open access to genetic data www.Free-the-Data.org/join
Day 19— Friday, September 19, 2014: Researchers can now apply to join the Ovarian Cancer Dream Team from Stand Up to Cancer. Help us recruit the best and brightest researchers to advance our cause. Share today’s research announcement on social media, email it to your doctor or skywrite the url above your city. http://www.ovariancancer.org/wp-content/uploads/Ovarian-Cancer-SU2C-DT.pdf
Day 18— Thursday, September 18, 2014: Our Partner Members support women with ovarian cancer, educate the public about this disease and help fund critical research. Use our locator to connect with the Partner Member nearest you!  http://www.ovariancancer.org/resources/partners-near-you/.
Day 17— Wednesday, September 17, 2014: Moved by his stepmother’s experience with ovarian cancer, photographer Howard Parr launched a project to document ovarian cancer survivors engaged in the activities they love. Howard’s unique black, white and teal photos are available for sale http://www.howardparr.com/teal/ and are on display this September at several Jaeger LeCoultre boutiques across the United States.
Day 16— Tuesday, September 16, 2014: Help us tell 100,000 women the symptoms of ovarian cancer. Share our graphic and a link to http://www.ovariancancer.org/about/symptoms-of-ovarian-cancer-detection/ on social media today.
Day 15— Monday, September 15, 2014: Today’s mission is to check out Teal is Personal! Many have joined and together raised almost $10,000 by sharing why Teal is Personal to them! Join the movement and make a gift to show that Teal is personal to you! Don’t have a page yet? Set one up at http://www.ovariancancer.org/tealispersonal.
Day 14–Sunday, September 14, 2014: Why do you #giveteal? Our supporters value the work we do to connect survivors with one another and secure important federal funds for research and education—$166 million in the current fiscal year. Help support our work by sharing why you #giveteal and encourage your friends to give at ovariancancer.org/donate.
Day 13–Saturday, September 13, 2014: Help raise awareness of ovarian cancer by taking a photo of your favorite teal item and sharing it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #tealispersonal. Remind your friends that teal is the color of ovarian cancer awareness, and that they can learn more about this disease at http://www.ovariancancer.org/about/.
Day 12— Friday, September 12, 2014: We want to know all of your favorite things—whether that’s educating your community about ovarian cancer, learning about fun events or volunteering to advance our work on ovarian cancer! Click here to fill in your online profile so that we can update you about the issues and projects you care about most.
Day 11–Thursday, September 11, 2014: Our teal product partners support the Alliance throughout the year by donating a portion of their sales to our mission. Show your appreciation for Alber Rezko, Bravelets, Beads for a Cause and Tristar products by visiting their websites today and sharing them with your friends. Click here to view our teal products.
Day 10–Wednesday, September 10, 2014: Personal stories make our cause come to life. Share your ovarian cancer story—or that of someone you love—on social media today so your friends and connections know why teal is personal to you.
Day 9–Tuesday, September 9, 2014: Teal is taking action! Join us today and ask your members of Congress to support research and help raise awareness of ovarian cancer. Please contact your Senators and Representatives today and ask them to support research through the Ovarian Cancer Research Program at DoD and to co-sponsor H.Res. 697, a resolution designating September 2014 as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Click here to send a message about ovarian cancer to your elected officials.
Day 8–Monday, September 8, 2014: Renowned watch company Jaeger-LeCoultre is partnering with the Alliance this September to raise awareness of ovarian cancer. Jaeger-LeCoultre is hosting an exhibition of black, white and teal photos of ovarian cancer survivors at several boutiques, and will donate 10 percent of the sales of each of 10 limited edition teal crocodile watch straps to our cause. Click here to learn more about our partnership with Jaeger-LeCoultre.
Day 7–Sunday, September 7, 2014: Tell your community about ovarian cancer by sending a letter to the editor to your local newspaper. Not sure where to start? Click here for some sample text to get you started. If your letter is published, share it with us by emailing ocna@ovariancancer.org.
Day 6–Saturday, September 6, 2014: Teal is not only the color of ovarian cancer awareness—it is the standard we raise on behalf of all women with ovarian cancer. Create a free webpage today to show how Teal Is Personal to you, and use your unique talents to help raise funds that support the Alliance. http://p2p.charityengine.net/ovariancancer
Day 5–Friday, September 5, 2014: It’s Wear Teal Day! Get creative with teal—the awareness color for ovarian cancer—and tell everyone you see a fact about this disease. Share a photo on social media with the hashtag #wearteal to be included in our online roundup.
Day 4–Thursday, September 4, 2014: Our Survivors Teaching Students: Saving Women’s Lives® program has educated tens of thousands of future health professionals to recognize the signs of ovarian cancer. Now we need your help to expand this ground-breaking program in key areas of the country. If you know an ovarian cancer survivor in Alaska, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska or Wyoming please share this information with her! We’re also looking for survivors in the cities of Chicago, Cleveland, Houston and San Francisco. Click here to learn more about the Survivors Teaching Students program.
Day 3–Wednesday, September 3, 2014: We want YOU! to tell us about your experience with ovarian cancer treatment. The Alliance is partnering with researchers around the world on a survey of ovarian cancer survivors. If you were diagnosed at least six months ago, please click here to complete a survey about your experiences with ovarian cancer treatment. Your responses will help us better understand ovarian cancer survivors’ needs and the impact treatment has on your daily life.
Day 2–Tuesday, September 2, 2014: Show your love for teal with a unique T-shirt designed just for the Alliance by the Worthy Collection. With slogans like “Hope,” “Love is Teal” and “Teal is Real,” there is sure to be a shirt that suits you to a “T”! T-shirt not your thing? The Worthy Collection also offers coffee mugs, tote bags and posters with all four ovarian cancer designs. A portion of the proceeds from each item sold will come back to the Alliance to support our work on behalf of all women with ovarian cancer. Click here to browse the collection and order your ovarian cancer T-shirt.
Day 1–Monday, September 1, 2014: September is dedicated to raising awareness of ovarian cancer–the deadliest gynecologic cancer. All women are at risk of developing this disease, but some have an increased risk due to genetics, family history or their own medical history. Share the facts with your friends and encourage them to learn about ovarian cancer.