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Making Meaning and Purpose Out of Tragedy

On 9/11, I was a television news producer for NBC New York. Dispatched to the World Trade Center, I was covered by debris when the second tower collapsed and taken to Bellevue Hospital. ER doctors cut off my clothes to assess my injuries and tubes were put down my throat to help me breathe. I thought I was pregnant. (To round out the week, my father died of cancer that Friday, September 14, 2001.)

Yet I was one of the lucky ones. I survived.

…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 OPINION: Journalist and survivor: The rules blurred on 9/11

A continuous shower of debris rained on my head, shoulders, and back. I couldn’t tell when it would end because I couldn’t even see my hands. Feeling around my surroundings with my fingers, I determined I wasn’t trapped. Within minutes, a triage tag was forced around my neck and I was taken by ambulance to the hospital. Doctors in the ER cut off my clothes and stuck a tube down my throat to see if my lungs were burned. They weren’t. I was mostly fine. One of the lucky ones. 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

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 Living: How to Raise a Winning Child

Authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman have made a habit of slaying the sacred cows of parenting in their writing on child development. The pair made headlines two years ago in “NurtureShock” — their first book together — in which they criticized the way many parents choose to raise their children. Authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman have made a habit of slaying the sacred cows of parenting in their writing on child development. The pair made headlines two years ago in “NurtureShock” — their first book together — in which they criticized the way many parents choose to raise their children…Continue Reading

CNN.com Travel: How to Give Back on Your Next Getaway

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is inspiring people across the country to volunteer this holiday weekend.

But if you’re itching to do more — perhaps turning your next family vacation into a series of teachable moments about the importance of giving back — there are plenty of opportunities to make that happen….Continue Reading

 

CNN.com Living: Alleged Nanny Killing Evokes Mother’s Greatest Fear

Months before my son was born, I began searching for a nanny. The prospect of leaving my first child home with a stranger while my husband and I worked wasn’t ideal, but the only day care center in our neighborhood had a year-long wait list and our families weren’t in a position to help. Entrusting Jake, now 12, to a babysitter seemed like our only option…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

CNN.com Living: Is Underage Drinking Ever OK?

Before dropping off his son at Colgate University a few days ago to begin his freshman year, New York advertising photographer Robert Tardio went on one last summer vacation with his family. While his wife and youngest son were out exploring the quaint streets of Montreal, Robert took his eldest, college-bound teen out for a beer…Continue Reading