Jennifer Goodman Linn You Fearless

We’re in the National Enquirer!

In the spirit of "all press is good press", we were thrilled to find a great article on Cyle for Survival ( in the 11/29 issue of the National Enquirer. Lodged between stories such as "Who's the Real Mommy?Travolta Wife Egg Donor Shocker!" and "Madonna has Head Lice!" was a really nice, truthful story about the heart and history of Cycle for Survival.

Apparently one of the writers found the website and was very touched by the story. He decided to write the article and publish it over Thanksgiving weekend. We found it by chance (my nail salon found it :). Although the National Enquirer wouldn't naturally be our top place to be, apparently 10MM people read it and pass it along to others so we will take it! Great timing to get more excitement , exposure, involvement and funding!

Dave and I had a very quiet Thanksgiving weekend.  We celebrated the fact that my blood counts were a bit stronger this week and I didn't have to be admitted into the hospital ( a very good thing).  Unfortunately Thanksgiving fell during the "toughest part of my chemo (days 5-10) so we were very content watching movies, taking walks when I was up to it, going to Whole Foods and sleeping (lots of that, indeed!)

I have recently started working with a woman who calls herself a healer.  She is teaching me and guiding me about the powers that our mind/body have to heal us.  Her belief is that we have created ourselves so we are also able, with the right tools, to unravel or rid ourselves of anything that is detrimental to us.  I am really enjoying our time together.  One of the things that she has encouraged me to shine a light in is to realize how much time of our day we spend focusing on the negative...for instance, conversations that involve talking negatively about someone else or discussions that become heated.  I am starting to realize that by changing the focus of conversations to being more positive or "healing", I feel a lot better.

This is also true when it comes to my cancer and the medicine I am taking for it.  The medicine, although hard to manage, is helping me so I should be grateful for it rather than fear it. This is easier said than done but I am getting there.  I started to joke around with Dave that I have a lot to thank this latest chemo cocktail for...

Up until now, I have been on numerous chemo cocktails but I have always been able to say that "I did really well with chemo" or "I was fortunate that beyond a bit of nausea and fatigue, I didn't have many symptoms".  Well, thanks to this chemo, I think I can say that I am now a veteran of all of the symptoms that chemo provides.  Just this past week, I experienced wondrous hours of night sweats, fevers, hot flashes, diarrhea, neuropathy (lack of feeling in fingers and toes), nausea, vomiting, acid reflux, fatigue, pain etc.   Thank you chemo for making me an expert :)  

So, yes, it has been a tough few days but we expected it to be.  And, we are grateful that compared to last cycle, it has been much easier.  Now all of the water weight that my tumors retained is gone.  It is so great to be able to walk freely again!  However, I realized today that it is hard to sit on a hard surface because my butt is too bony now....WHEN IN MY LIFE HAVE I BEEN ABLE TO SAY THAT?!?

We are working hard trying to gain weight in the right places...I am eating but I rarely, if ever, have an appetite.  Hopefully this will change as I get stronger during the week.  

We hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Now it's time to get crackin' on Cycle for Survival!  Signing up teams and finding friends to donate to your team.  If you need any help whatsoever, please let us know!

Here is this week's beautiful Cycle for Survival Story.  My dear friend Marisa is the founder of a wonderful organization called Executive Moms that provides fabulous women who are both mothers and professionals with the peer support, networking opportunities, and unique resources to thrive in both roles.  Although I am not an executive mom, I have long been a subscriber to her wonderfully entertaining and insightful weekly "Momorandums" that sends out.  To my delight, this week's topic was about giving...and how the spirit of giving have benefitted her family.  Please read the beautiful blog entry below and see pictures of the lovely Hannah as well.


Blog Post: Giving, a Little (

With Thanksgiving approaching (my favorite holiday for its non-denominational nature and near-universal underlying sentiment) I've been wrestling with how having a genuine philanthropic spirit doesn't always line up with actually dedicating yourself philanthropically, at least as much as we might aspire. After all, with a plate that runneth over with responsibilities, where are we supposed to find the room to heap a big charitable commitment on top? I realized this is a theme that has recurred in the history of Executive Moms: how people who essentially have no time to give ... can still find ways to give back. 

And clearly this is a theme that resonates with many of you, given the response every time we raise it (further corroborating that there is an innate goodness to the members of Executive Moms)! 

We are, after all, women who tend to like to do things in the biggest and best ways, with total commitment. And yet as we take a day to convene around the basic ideas of "thanks" and "giving," is there any better time to remind ourselves that the little acts of giving can matter as much as the grand ones? Moreover, as parents, isn't it as important to find the ways to instill a sense of giving and gratitude as values in our children? 

With that in mind, a small but appropriate story: for several years now a dear friend of mine named Jennifer Goodman Linn has been in a valiant fight against cancer (little did cancer realize they picked on the wrong gal when it chose her). Impelled at first (as we often are) by her own situation, Jen channeled her boundless energy and determination into creating a larger cause that has become Cycle for Survival (, a fundraising event benefiting the rarer forms of cancer that do not get the same attention and funding as the "bigger" ones. In short order this cause has become one of the fastest-growing charitable initiatives in the U.S. As this year's event nears, my friend Jen is finding herself in the most serious fight yet for her life, and to the many concerned queries she has received (including mine) about how best to help her, her consistent answer is: "get involved in Cycle for Survival!" 

Ultimately, when you hear that from a friend who is literally fighting to survive, suddenly, trying to survive a brutal work week doesn't seem like such a pitched battle.

The reasons you might not (like hating to ask others for money - true in my case - or not having any time) manage to be supplanted by just one reason you can. Your plate finds the room. And even though taking part in something like this feels like a small act in the scheme of things... it's no less worthy. It is still a small act that matters.

In the meantime, my older daughter is about to turn 10 - the turning of her first decade - a milestone birthday that is as worthy as any of the excellent parties we have annually bestowed on her. My daughter Hannah has an uncommon level of kindness and empathy for someone her age. My daughter Hannah also has an entirely common level of interest in the fun of ripping open a lot of wrapping paper, and acquiring even more stuff than she already has. So when it occurred to me that there was an opportunity for her to use her birthday as an opportunity for her to give, versus get, I wasn't entirely sure which instinct would prevail. When, without pressure, I proposed that perhaps she would want to ask her friends to give a gift to our Cycle for Survival team this year instead of a gift of the typical "jewelry from Claire's" variety,  she considered it.

And within moments, her own perspective check kicked in as she realized that she might actually be able to do her part in something really important. Something that could help "Ice Cream Jen" (as she has affectionately called Jen every since she churned out an original flavor of "Hannahberry ice cream" several years ago). Or her indomitable Nana who has made it through four bouts of cancer and continues to believe that when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Or, lots of other people.

In fact, she has already inspired one of her best friends, whose mom is co-captaining our team with me, to do this same for her own 10th birthday.

As saccharine as it might sound, I am sensing in Hannah a little thrill from committing herself to this small - and yet also big - act. It just may be emanating in her like a gift that she has also already given to herself.