Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Jane McGrath (Thanks, Magikquilter)

I just sighed with relief.

I am so tired of researching people who may or may not be terrorists. I know that's very callous of me.

I'm sorry.

I'm still reading Orpheus Lost by Janette Turner Hospital which deals with all the stuff I've been researching (terrorism, torture, wrongly accused, etc) It's somewhat eerie that I ended up reading that book at the same time I did research on Hicks and Habib. I put the books randomly on my shelf and then read them in the order from left to right . It just so happened that I ended up reading this book about terrorism just as I started doing research on terrorists. It's a beautiful and heartbreaking, book by the way. I highly recommend it.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure Jane McGrath was not a terrorist. Nor do I suspect that she was ever tortured by any military officials. From what I know of her though, it seems she was probably tortured in a way that too many women are tortured. Breast Cancer.

I don't think much about breast cancer. I should think about it more. I should pay attention. So, it's good that I'm doing this research today.

I'm an Ashkenazi Jew. Breast cancer tends to run in our genes. My grandfather had breast cancer. I'm not sure if that increases my chances of getting it or not.

I need to do more breast self-exams. I need to make sure I start getting mammograms when I'm forty. Maybe this research will give me the kick in the ass that I need.

I DID breastfeed Jack for a long time which is supposed to help lower the risk of breast cancer. I didn't breastfeed FOR this reason, but's nice to know I did SOMETHING good for my health.

Okay. Enough about me. It's time to talk about Jane McGrath.

McGrath was born on 4 May 1966.

Birthday website

She's a Taurus and a 4. I checked though with my own little calculator. She's not a 22. She's a 1+3=4.

She was born in England and was a flight attendant for Virgin Atlantic Airways. She met her cricketer husband in a Hong Kong nightclub. I guess that's one of the perks of being a flight attendant.  You get to travel a lot and meet interesting people.

McGrath married her husband in 1999 and became an Australian citizen on Australia Day in 2002.

She discovered she had breast cancer in 1997--before she got married. She was only 31.

Oh shit. Maybe studying terrorists was better than this. I'm starting to get a bit freaked out.

Anyway, McGrath had various fun treatments....mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. How the hell did she plan a wedding with all that going on?

In 1998, she got a clear bill of health. Well, that's good. She was cancer-free on her wedding...or so she thought.

She got a husband. She had two children. She breastfed them. I guess she had to feed them on one breast? Or maybe the mastectomy was done in a way that she could still breastfeed? Either way, I admire her for doing it. I can imagine it wasn't easy.

In 2003, McGrath had bone cancer. She recovered from that. Then in 2006 she had brain cancer. That was successfully removed.

In June 2008, she died. I'm guessing it was from breast cancer. Maybe?

I don't know. This woman had a lot of bad luck when it comes to cancer. I'm guessing that although it occurred in different parts of her body, the cancers were somehow related. It's not just some awful coincidence, right? Maybe it has something to do with her cells being faulty? Some kind of environmental issue?

In 2002 (while it was just breast cancer as her enemy)she started the McGrath Foundation. It's purpose was to raise more money for breast care nurses in rural Australia, and to educate oblivious women like me.

This cricked website has an obituary about McGrath. She died at home. I think that's good. I mean it would be better than dying in a hospital. Maybe? I don't know.

Her bereaved husband said, She would want them to draw strength from the fact that she didn't only 'survive' breast cancer for 11 years, but during that time she lived life to the fullest and found pleasure in the simple things so many people take for granted.

That's very beautiful.

To honor McGrath and her struggles, the Cricket team wore pink ribbons and had pink on their bats when they played against the West Indies.

I'm now going to look at the McGrath Foundation Website.

It says that Jane found it to be a huge help to have a breast care nurse. She didn't have one until 2003. I guess she got one when she was being treated for the bone cancer. Maybe they worried the breast cancer would come back. Or maybe it did come back. The issue is though she didn't have the breast care nurse in 1997 when she had the cancer and she found having one made her feel better.

She and her husband wrote a book for Random House. Originally, the idea was that they'd donate the proceeds to charity. But then they decided to start their own foundation.

Okay, this page has an explanation of what a breast care nurse does. They are are specially trained nurses who act as patient advocates, coordinating care for women with breast cancer, their families and carers.

This page talks about how to check your breasts. It tries to be reassuring. If you find a change in your breast go to your doctor, but don't worry. It will probably be nothing. And breast cancer has an 85% survival rate. Okay, but it's hard to feel reassured when the page has a photo of a beautiful smiling young woman who died of breast cancer. I'd have a lot more hope and peace of mind if she was still alive!

I am feeling my breasts right now. As far as I can tell they're okay. My baby toe seems to be the one with the problem. But still. My breasts are going to be getting a LOT more attention from me for now on.

Oh good. Here's even more information about the nurses. It costs $100,000 per year per nurse. Wow! Really? Is that how much money nurses get in Australia? This website says they get between $40-60 thousand. So, what is with the $100,000? Maybe some of the money goes to training? Or maybe breast nurses get more money?

Now I'm going to read the transcript of Andrew Denton's interview with Jane and her husband Glenn.

The Hong Kong bar they met at was called Joe Bananas. In the interview, Glenn talks about going back there. I wonder if they ever did. That would be very romantic. When I was a preschool teacher, there was a family that returned to their honeymoon destination every year. They took their two kids with them.

This is a fun interview. Jane and Glenn talk about how they first met. Jane says the thing she first noticed about her future husband was that he was tall. And he was the only guy who didn't say hello. She took that as a challenge. I'd probably do the same thing. Maybe. I'd probably go on and on in my head about how this guy is so rude, but then secretly have a crush on him.

It seems she didn't know/understand that Glenn was a big time cricket player. She was dating this guy and didn't know he was famous. People kept coming up to him and saying hello. She thought he was just very popular.

Okay. Now I'm at the part where she finds out she has cancer. She got out of the shower, was combing her hair, and noticed her left breast didn't look right. I usually comb my hair while I'm naked. Maybe I should make sure to look at my breasts while doing that.

McGrath says her breast looked flattened instead of curving underneath. I don't quite get that. She touched it though and it hurt. She thought the pain meant it couldn't be breast cancer. Cancer doesn't hurt. I would probably rationalize it away just like she did. She asked her husband what he thought and he said it looked okay. No worries.

But she did worry. She asked a nursing friend about it and the nursing friend said she had a lump. McGrath went to a doctor who also told her not to worry. But once he knew her family history of cancer (her mom had it) he decided to give her some further attention. She had a mammogram and a biopsy.

She had cancer.

I guess the lesson here is to get a second opinion--especially if the first opinion came from your husband.

I think the problem is most of us are so scared to be sick. So, when someone tells us we're fine, we WANT to believe them. Although, sometimes we also want someone to pay attention to our concerns and not so quickly dismiss them.

When I was in high school, the doctors found sugar in my urine. They set me up with an appointment to have the glucose tolerance test. I was terrified.   And in some ways, I think I felt ashamed. That sounds so stupid looking back as an adult. But I think in some ways, I felt I had done something wrong. It might have been the way the doctor told me...her tone of voice. You have sugar in your urine. It was almost accusatory, like they had found drugs.

Anyway, besides feeling shame, I also felt very scared and anxious. I tried talking to my parents and I remember them constantly reassuring me. I should say they TRIED to reassure me. I think their basic message was don't worry. You don't have it. I understand that they meant well. They wanted me to feel okay. They wanted me to not be scared. But I don't think that helped me. I think what I ended up feeling was very alone and very foolish. What I wanted and needed was someone to say Hey. You probably don't have Diabetes. But there's a chance you might have it and we understand why you're scared. It's okay to be afraid. Let's talk about this and figure out what we'll do if you actually have it.

I think we dismiss other people's health concerns because we're scared to face what's going on.

Once someone I know showed concern that their daughter might have leukemia. She had a few worrisome symptoms. The mother mentioned this to a doctor she knew. Did the doctor ask questions to further understand the mother's concerns? Nope. Did the doctor suggest the mother call the child's pediatrician? Nope. What did he do? He stated simply. She does not have Leukemia. Fortunately, she didn't have it. But how could he know that without giving her an examinati0n?

I think he just wanted to reassure the mother. Hey, don't worry. Your child is okay. I'm sure he meant no harm. But I think an attitude like that can cause harm. At the worst, a diagnosis might be missed. What if the child DID have Leukemia, but the child was never checked because this mother trusted this doctor too much? At the very least, I think it can make a person feel foolish. We shouldn't be made to feel foolish because we have concerns for our health or our children's health. Well, unless we're totally hypochondriacs. That's a WHOLE other story.

I am a hypocrite though, because the other day Jack threw up and Tim freaked out because he thought it was blood. I wasn't exactly understanding about his concerns. To me, the color wasn't alarming. I thought of blood in vomit as being black (or bright red). I should have explained this kindly to Tim. Instead, I think I kind of scoffed at his fears. Tim finally calmed down on his own though when he realized Jack had been eating a lot of red candies. Anyway. Sorry, Tim.

Okay. I'm going to continue with the interview.

She said she would have rather died than lost her breast. This makes sense for someone who doesn't have children yet. Once you have children, I think you'd be happy to give up your breasts, your hair, your eyeballs, vagina, a lung, kidney, etc. I think we'd give everything just to have more time with our children....well, unless we're suicidal. Then that's a whole other story.

McGrath did end up getting her breast removed and wasn't happy about it. She was ashamed for her husband to see it. But he did see it, and like a good boyfriend it mattered more to him that she was alive.

McGrath had a new breast built eventually, but she went five years without it. During that time, she had a prosthetic breast. It would fall out at times. Fun!

In the interview, Denton asks if Glenn did the typical male thing of complaining more than she did. She says yes. What is it with men? Am I being too sexist right now?

It seems the family was co-sleepers....or at least part time ones. Awesome. Denton seems to disapprove though. I think my opinion of him has lowered a few notches. Although he might have been joking, or I might be misunderstanding something.

Denton asks the McGraths if they talk about death. They say no. Jane says it's not an option for her. I don't think it's a good idea to dwell on death, but I also think it's wrong to completely deny it. If you have cancer, there is a chance you could die from it. It's as simple as that.

Death happens.

It's going to claim all of us at one time or another.

Yeah, so the McGrath's were right. Death is NOT an option. It's a requirement. It's just unfortunate when it happens too soon.

Anyway, that ended up being a rather rough topic too. Well, what can I say? We live in a tough world. Bad things happen sometimes. Sometimes, the only thing left to do is cry and hug each other.

I send virtual hugs out to all of you.

Note: I've been a bit scared and sad these past few days. Sometimes, we have those days where we realize that at any moment something bad can happen to us. I wondered how I could deal with such feelings without completely losing it. And then I remembered what my little spirit-guide fortune cards said two days in a row (while I was feeling bad). One of the cards said Enjoy Life. It's a simple message, but it makes perfect sense. Bad things do happen and they can jump into our life at anytime. But instead of worrying about that, we should just enjoy the times that are good.

As for New Years resolutions and plans. I'm not going to make any. Instead, I'm going to follow a quote from the movie Dan in Real Life:

Instead of telling our kids to plan ahead, we should tell them to plan to be surprised.

Some surprises will be good and some will be bad.

I hope all of you who are reading this have much more good surprises than bad.

I love you.


  1. What a beautiful message at the end, Dina. Thank you.

    Why oh why did you have to follow the terrorists with the breast cancer story?

    This one kills me.

    But I can, sadly, help explain a few things for you.

    Bone cancer and Brain cancer are metastis (secondary cancers) of the original Breast cancer. It is very rare for someone whose Breast Cancer has metastisised (spread) to their bone and their brain to live. That's because the cancer has spread through lymph nodes to leave the breast, and by the time it's discovered in bone (unless discovered very quickly) it's commonly spread to other places in the body too.

    I was a young mum when diagnosed with breast cancer. I was 32. I have lost too many friends to bone and brain metastis from the orginal breast cancer. I almost had blinkers on when it came to Jane McGrath because I don't need "supermarket magazine" faces to remind me of the havoc that this disease causes.

    She has, however, done fantastic and amazing things for the "care" available for women in this country who suffer from BC. I admire her greatly, and, with 1 cricket-MAD son, felt her loss (or her husbands' loss) quite keenly when she passed on.

    Just clarifying some things here....
    Breastfeeding for a long time doesn't really make a difference. I breastfed Toto for 1 year and still got it. Apparently it's now under "old wives' tale" but if it makes people breastfeed for longer... then it's a good thing.
    And the $100,000 a year for our usually underpaid nurses? That would be because they're PRIVATE nurses who come into your home through an agency. A nurse employed at a public (or private) hospital would probably be lucky to see $40,000 per annum, but add agency fees and the insurance etc required to have her/him work in your home and it's going to at least double. Sad but true. The health industry (at the private end) is a money-grabbing leech (in my humble opinion). This will, of course, ensure that these services are unavailable to most... unless you can access Foundation - style help. Go Jane McGrath's mission!

    I have no genetic history of Breast cancer in my family. None. And my only indicator was pain on the right side of my right breast when I brushed against something. Like Jane, I thought "If it's painful, it's not cancer".

    By the time I thought to bring it up with my doctor, it was a 5cm tumour... deep against the chest wall and not palpable (able to be felt) from the outside.

    I'm now 7 years "out". 5 years is considered the big mile stone. Any ache or pain or severe headache that I had in the first 5 years was cause for great stress.

    Now I think of it less. But I think of the wonderful friends that I made and lost through having this disease every single day.

    Last night... our New Years Eve.... I made a sad list of my lost friends. And then I woke to this post from you!!

    Let me suggest a cheerier subject.... what about Rolf Harris or Barry Humphries? Or Dame Joan Sutherland?


  2. Fe,

    I kind of just add people to the list as they come to me. Sorry.

    Thank you for explaining the bone cancer and breast cancer connections. How does it spread from the breasts to the hips? Does it travel through the body?

    I'm sorry about went you went through. I remember seeing a little bit about it on your blog. I can't imagine having a young child and going through that.

    Seven years out is good. Isn't it? I hope. I can totally imagine how worried you'd be in those years though.

    I'm sorry about all your friends as well.

    I found a webMD article about the breastfeeding. It says breastfeeding 6 months of longer lowers the rate. BUT it's only certain types of breast cancers. It's more the hormonal ones and not the faulty gene ones. The one I probably have to worry about most is the faulty gene one so the breastfeeding probably didn't help after all.

    How long did you wait before feeling the pain and going to the doctor?

    I'm sorry if my questions are personal. You don't have to answer them if you don't want to. Just ignore them.

    I'm going to add Rolf Harris to my list. Actually, I think he's going to be my last until I get back from Australia. The research takes up a huge chunk of my day. I'm going to need time to pack and stuff.

  3. That was lovely. I really enjoyed that Denton interview, I think theirs was a true love story, and I'm in tears all over again remembering how it ended.

    Look after yourself, of course, but always remember statistics are useful to predict populations, not people.

  4. Ariane:

    I don't think there are many true love stories. I'm thankful for the few I hear about...even if they have sad endings.

    I don't think I'll worry too much. I'll probably worry not enough. I'm one of those people who often ignores symptoms and avoids doctors. But I think maybe I'll think twice now. I hope. It reminds me of the bus when I was a kid. We were so rowdy. Every so often, the school would show us this graphic film of a bus accident. The few days after we'd see the movie, we all sat very still and quiet in our bus seats. But the fear would subside and we'd be obnoxious again.

    I don't want to do something like that when it comes to my health.

    I'm not going to become paranoid. But I also don't want to be lazy and foolish with my health.

  5. Dina, by way of coincidence I have a letter sitting her (which I've been reluctant/scared) to read from the Kathleen Cunningham Foundation.

    It's inviting me to participate in a genetic study into familial breast cancer.

    I will agree to take part. It supposedly helps to identify the "cancer gene" in family groups.

    Jane McGrath raised awareness of breast cancer in Australia and that's a good thing.

  6. Michael,

    What you call coincidence, I call fate. But I believe in stuff like that ; )

  7. I wonder what happened to my comment? It seems to have disappeared into the took so long to write that I do not think I can repeat it my son keeps telling me to do them in blog desk so there is a record of them but I do not listen] so will just say thanks for doing this and the Denton video was really showed the very funny side to Jane and that explained her attitude a lot I think. Glen seems very lost now without her...Ariane was right...a true love story

  8. Don't be sorry, darling Dina!! It was just timely for me.

    Seven years out is very good. They do count survival rates in terms of how many are alive TEN years after their diagnosis, so I still have a while until I can scream "Yippeeee!" (although I did feel that at 5 years).

    Actually, I had a second primary cancer in 2004. Very unusual to have a secondary cancer in the OTHER breast that is also a primary. I was lucky. So, I guess in all honesty I'm only going to be 5 years out from that one this year. Still, that one was tiny and caught very early and had non-aggressive treatment so I try not to count it.

    The cancer spreads through the lymph nodes under the arms... which is why standard treatment after diagnosis is a biopsy of the lymph nodes. If they're clear, it's very good news (although not a definitive indicator of having no future secondary cancers). Mine were clear.

    I didn't wait that long to see my doctor. I just kept forgetting about it, but the cancer had been there for a long time before I even felt the pain. A 5cm tumour is extremely large. I was lucky that it had not spread, and that they got "clean margins" when they removed the breast.

    A lot of younger women (like I was) don't notice their cancer as they're not expecting it at such a young age. I was so busy with babies and living that I just didn't have time to think about myself. And with breastfeeding and pregnancies, my breasts had changed shape anyway so I simply didn't notice anything odd.

    There was a young Australian actress called "Belinda Emmett" who died tragically young from breast cancer. She was married to a very popular television late-show host called "Rove McManus". He would definitely be a great one to research.

    Can't wait to meet you here in Sydney. Don't forget to email me with contact details, dates etc.

  9. Magikquilter:

    I'm sorry about your comment : (

    Actually, I'm more sorry for me. You know what you wrote. I'm going to be left wondering.

    It's so sad to get emails and comments that say I wrote you a really long comment, but now it's lost.

    I've lost comments before. I lost one the other day. Fortunately for me, it wasn't long...easy to rewrite.

    Anyway...I love true love stories.

    Fe: I can see how young mothers wouldn't notice the symptoms. We're so busy and stressed at the time. And you're right. Our breasts change. And there can be pain anyway...just from breastfeeding stuff. There's new feelings/sensations...the whole "let down" thing. Or Mastitis. I'm not sure how anyone would suspect breast cancer. I'm glad you were smart enough to go to the doctor.

    I'm glad the cancer didn't go to your lymph notes. That's a relief.

    I can't wait to see you in Sydney too!

  10. I used to work as a cancer nurse, giving chemo, nursing people and thier families when they died. I met some wonderful people.

    What really frustrates me now is when I hear people who ignore a lump or wait weeks or months to get it looked at, or people who say they would rather die than lose a breast. I get really angry when they say the would rather have cancer than a mammogram because it's painful, I want to haul them off to a palliative card ward and make them see the things that I have seen.

    my answer, "not if you've watched people dying of cancer who ignored lumps you wouldn't" it's not pretty...

    I nursed people who ignored lumps and died of cancer, some young with families and some older. one I will never forget, she ignored it until it broke through the skin and ulcerated her chest. horrific..

    It's so important that lumps get checked out properly, particularly in young women, and get second opinions and use alternative treatments with chemotherapy, not instead of it, they help a lot.

    well thats enough, I'll get off my soapbox now

    dina, have a great time in Aus and all the best for 2009!

  11. Louise,

    With your experiences, it would be hard not to be passionate about the issue...even angry.

    I do think most of the responsibility lies with the women themselves. But I speak for myself (and maybe others) in the fact that there's some embarrassment about coming forward with a medical concern.

    I often feel I'm being stupid for worrying. I feel foolish. And I think sometimes it's doctors and nurses who perpetuate these feelings. I'm sure most of them are NOT like that. But I do think sometimes there's this sense of annoyance and impatience.

    A few weeks ago, Jack had a fever and was pretty miserable. He complained about a stiff neck. That freaked me out because I thought of Meningitis. I did some Internet research that scared me more. So I call the pediatrician. Let me just say, I am NOT one of those parents who calls the doctor for every sniffle and fever. I'm a wait and see person...unless there's a symptom that REALLY scares me.

    The person on the phone wasn't nasty or anything. But she wasn't very reassuring. I got this sense that she found me to be silly and annoying. I don't know. Maybe I'm oversensitive.

    In comparison though. Our house alarm went off early one morning. I was scared and had the police came. He checked the whole house and then came back to tell us he couldn't find anything. He told us though to make sure not to avoid calling them in the future...just because this turned out to be a false-alarm. He was SO nice. I didn't feel stupid or foolish after that call.

    And I think as women...our health is often invalidated. "Are you sure it's not all in your head?" "She's just being lazy."

    You know....all that stuff.

    A little while back, I was really into reading autobiographies. A handful of them involved women with health issues. In almost each story, the woman ended up having some kind of disease. But it took time for her to be taken seriously...and to get a diagnosis.

    I don't know.

    I think we just need to take our health more seriously. But I think doctors and nurses have to work not to brush aside our matter how silly they secretly believe them to be.

    Really. How many people go to the emergency rooms thinking they're having a heart attack and it just turns out to be gas? If those people are made to feel like fools, are they going to return again when it really is a heart attack?

  12. Hi Dina..actually my experience with a mammogram which showed changes was really traumatic. It was not exactly a false positive but they really freaked me out....sent me a letter saying the mammogram and ultimately the ultrasound showed a huge mass in my right breast.... then when the biopsy result was in they said to check it in six months and if no changes to revert back to every two years for the mammogram.

    They never explained what the mass was and why my lymph node was showing up as a small pea sized lump. I do think that they scare one more with boobs and it is frightening but it struck me with other xrays that one waits for the results of those before freaking out.

    The other point i made was that two of my friends who are sixty have never had a mammogram and I do not know if it is cultural as both are from cultures where women are really feminine and very much into maintaining their appearance...although that would be the ultimate wouldn't not get ill?

    My other point was that breasts are for so many women such a huge part of their identity as women and when any of our female parts get operated on or go wrong there is a huge issue with self esteem...speaking from experience here.

    Recently on the news there has been some discussion of whether topless bathing should be allowed on all beaches...and a staggering 80% said yes. And a whole lot of them were men. So it is no wonder that some women are ashamed of losing their breasts.

    I saved this one in an email to myself Dina ....might be better after Louise's comment anyway....she is right about women who put things off when they do feel a lump..although not all lumps are one was weird though as it was not palpable even though it was a huge mass and very painful ...stabbing pains..and the GP did say it is unlikely to be cancer as it hurts...although when he got the results he was very upset as they wrote to him saying it was carcinoma or some strange kind of cyst which had become massively infected.... So while mine was not a false positive I have read about a lot of those and that probably puts a lot of women off mammograms

  13. Magikquilter,

    I never thought of the false positive issue. That's a good point. It can be very scary.

    I think the other thing (related to what you said) is the fear of finding out something is wrong.

    You can either

    A) have a weird lump in your breast that hurts


    B) go to the doctor and have breast cancer.

    Yeah, I know that's a TOTAL ridiculous way of thinking. But it's that idea...if I pretend nothing is wrong, then maybe nothing will be wrong.

    Speaking of bad news. I'm wondering if you guys have weird medical privacy laws like we do.

    It's changed and it's gotten really weird. I think in the past they called you only if it was bad news. It was like that awful thing...the phone call from the doctor.

    Now they call you with any test result--negative or positive.

    Jack had the strep test. We did the rapid one and it came out negative. He was fine within the next few days. About a week later, I heard my cell phone ring. I rarely hear that thing or answer it. I went to check and there were multiple messages from the pediatrician. I was SO nervous. I was thinking maybe they had found out something else in some lab test I didn't know they had done. I told myself to calm might be a billing issue. My heart was pounding as I called them. Guess what they said. "we just wanted to tell you the strep test was negative."

    I can MAYBE imagine them having to call to give that info. But they can't even leave a message on your answering machine. I think that's so weird.

    And I thought it was weird that they kept calling. It's like the information HAD to be given. Why do I need to know the test is negative? I could probably tell that by the fact that he seemed healthy. And if he hadn't seemed healthy and I was worried about the results, couldn't I have just called?

    Anyway, I'm sorry you had a false positive...although I'm glad it ultimately WAS false. But still I'm sure that was scary.

    I agree about breasts being important to women's sense of worth. And I do think men play a part in that. I'm sure most husbands would say it doesn't matter to them. But I think for a lot of those men, it would be a lie. Or maybe I'm cynical.

    Women in America don't go topless on the least not in mainstream culture. And I don't think we're any less breast obsessed than Australia. Although I guess if there's no pressure to go topless, you can more easily get away with using a prosthesis.

    But most women feel self-conscious on the beach anyway. Stomach too big. Big Butt. Arms too flabby. Wrinkles. Scars. stretch marks. Breasts too small, one breast not there.....

  14. Wow Dina you are onto something with the test results over the phone ....we never get anything by phone..we have to phone them and some people have actually had cancer issues which worsened as they did not check is more our responsibility here..which was why I was freaked out by the attention!

    I agree the thing with Jack's test was just ridiculous ...some of the women whose children I looked after as a childcare nurse would have had a nervous breakdown of sorts over that. Maybe they are trying to reassure but it comes across as something else.

    Back to Jane...I think what Jane and Belinda have ultimately done is highlight to women who are young and not in the age range of mammograms to be breast aware.

  15. Magikquilter,

    I'm not sure I'd like that way either--having to call for positive results. How would you know when to call???

    I like how it used to be here. They'd call if the test was positive. But if you were worried and hadn't heard back could call.

    I agree about Jane. It's good to make people aware of young woman getting breast cancer.

  16. Hi Dina.

    I'm back from holidays....and catching up on what you've been researching in my absence!

    Where I work is where the Australian cricket team is playing a test match against South Africa -and today has officially been designated "Jane McGrath day".

    The entire five days of the test will involve all sorts of fundraising (with the aim of providing specialised breast cancer nurses to rural communities) and events to raise awareness of breast cancer research.... and one of the things spectators were asked to do was to wear pink in memory of Jane.

    Arriving at work today was like walking into some sort of Barbie-doll accessory. So much pink. And with such good reason. It was very moving.

  17. Gina,

    That is so awesome! I think all the pink will look beautiful--especially if you think of the meaning behind it.

    I'm so glad you're back. Although I am sorry your holiday has ended.

  18. I'm glad I'm back too.

    The holiday was nice, but coming back to work isn't so bad - I guess I'm lucky to have a job I enjoy.

    Although I would be much happier if the air conditioning here was working...hang on, maybe that's a good excuse to leave really early!!

  19. Gina,

    It's so great that you love your job. It's nice when you like what you're doing. I love my work--even though I don't get paid for it. I love being a mom and I love doing all this research. It's funny. I look forward to breaks, but when I get them I feel a bit empty.

    I took Christmas Eve and Christmas off (no blog research). I thought it would feel great, but I couldn't wait to get back to it.'re hot. I'm freezing! We're having a COLD day here today!!!