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Alan Rickman, David Bowie, and a National Call to Cure Cancer

This morning, my Facebook page filled with news that Alan Rickman, or as many of us will always remember him, Professor Snape, had passed away from cancer.

Of course, this is not the only beloved artist to die of cancer this week. Just a few days ago the world learned David Bowie succumbed to cancer as well.

These are the kind of stories that reverberate throughout social media. But they are also, sadly, nothing new. And surely these celebrity cancer deaths won’t be the last. Bowie and Rickman are just the latest casualties of cancer, one of the great enemies of humanity.

…Continue Reading

CNN.com OPINION: What I share with Angelina Jolie

In 2007 I had my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to prevent my getting ovarian cancer.

It was a surgery of the kind that Angelina Jolie recently underwent, as she revealed Tuesday in a New York Times op-ed. Two years ago, Jolie divulged that she’d had a prophylactic double mastectomy — I had done this as well, in 2012.

Along with the effects of the surgeries themselves, we now also share a related fallout: surgical menopause. Continue Reading

CNN.com: Foods every breast cancer survivor should know about

Women checking in for appointments at the Comprehensive Breast Center at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York this month are being offered more than a pre-op or post-op surgical visit.

On the reception desk, inside a large plastic frame, is a colorful flyer decorated with pictures of luscious-looking fruits and vegetables. It’s an invitation to attend “Superfoods and Super Habits for Super Health,” a seminar that promises to teach patients the foods they should eat to boost their immunity and — not in so many words — reduce their chances of dying of breast cancer….Continue Reading

New York Times: Can the Human Blueprint Have Owners? BRCA Test, Vital for Me, Shouldn’t Be Limited

Myriad began offering BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing in 1996, the same year my mother died of ovarian cancer. Since then, Myriad reports to have screened more than one million patients. That includes Angelina Jolie, and me.

Jolie and I have a lot in common: Her mother died of ovarian cancer when she was 56; my mother died of ovarian cancer when she was 57. Angelina tested positive for BRCA1; so did I….Continue Reading

CNN.com Health: Why More Women are Choosing Double Mastectomies

Ten months ago, Vanessa Thiemann lay in bed unable to sleep.

The 42-year-old single mother of two had a sinus infection, and the pain was making her restless. She tried getting comfortable on her left side, then her right, but she ended up staring at the ceiling in complete darkness, her left hand coming to rest on her chest….Continue Reading

CNN.com Health: My Preventive Mastectomy – Staying Alive For My Kids

I’m not a helicopter parent and my children would tell you I don’t bake cupcakes for their birthday parties. But I’d readily cut off my breasts for them — and recently, I did.

Removing breast tissue uncompromised by cancer is relatively easy. It took the breast surgeon about two hours to slice through my chest and complete the double mastectomy seven weeks ago…Continue Reading

HuffPost: Parentless Parents – Best Tools for Remembering Our Parents

My dad would have been 73 in June. I often wonder what he would he look like if he were still alive. Would he still be working as an architect? Would he be traveling as much as he once did?

My father died just three days after September 11th — his body, as I’ve shared here in earlier posts, was hijacked by a different kind of terrorist: Lung Cancer….Continue Reading

HuffPost: Geraldine Ferraro: Personal Lessons from Another Parentless Parent

I had the great pleasure of knowing Geraldine Ferraro during the writing of my book “Always Too Soon.” She was exceptionally generous with me, and she never wavered in her enthusiasm for my project. In the most personal way imaginable, her outlook changed my life. This is my tribute to her….Continue Reading

CNN.com Politics: Geraldine Ferraro in Her Own Words

I had the great pleasure to know Geraldine Ferraro, the first female major party vice presidential nominee, who died Saturday.

We met during the writing of my 2006 book “Always Too Soon,” which chronicles the stories of prominent people who have lost both parents. Ferraro lost her father when she was 8 years old….Continue Reading

HuffPost: Being a Parentless Parent -The Effect on You, Your Children and Your Marriage

Both of my parents have passed away, and little has shaped the way I raise my children or affected the relationship I have with my husband and in-laws more than the fact that my mom and dad aren’t here to be grandparents to my children. I am a parentless parent.

Because women are having babies later and later, the number of parentless parents in America is skyrocketing….Continue Reading