Hi Everyone!
Fun news: I am starting to blog for

I’m super excited about it. is a wonderfully Silver Lined source of vital information…as evidenced by over 12 million visitors a year.

My first post is the beginning of my story. It is entitled: A Breast Cancer Beginning…Nurse Turned Patient. Here is the direct link:

I’ll be writing on a myriad of different topics and will, as always, keep you posted! I sure would appreciate it if you would share this.

I’d love to know: Are there any topics that you would like for me to discuss?  Anything you are curious about?

As always, thank you for reading The Silver Pen. It means the absolute world to me. I hope that you know that. Truly.

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  1. Teresa Idle says

    Hi Linda. My name is Teresa. I just found out I had breast cancer on April26 2012. I am scheduled for breast removal on May 9. A lot is happening very fast.

    • says

      Dear Teresa,
      Thank you for your note. I'm so sorry to hear that you have joined the club to which no one applies for membership. I've done a lot of writing that includes suggestions for getting through it all, beginning with surgery:
      Please know that you are NOT alone and that there is a community of people here to help.
      Take good care and please let me know if there is anything that I can do to help you!
      All my best,

  2. Linda J. says

    I saw the note on about your new blog, and have read your Silver Pen over the last week. I am on a similar journey as you.. 43 yrs, stage II, double mastectomy, TC for 1LN involved, and radiation to kick this FBC to the curb (9 days of 30 down). I appreciate your honest writings about all of your treatments, your doubts and struggles, but more importantly, your inspirations and SL's … seeking my own SL's is what has kept this most insane of journeys from completely going off the tracks.
    My team of physicians has been outstanding. We sought the best here in Denver, and while all know each other, I'm outside of one particular hospital system or physicians group. The one thing I have found is that outside of the highest level tx (surgery, chemo, rad, final reconstruct), there is no-one besides myself that is the keeper of my individual plan, and I'm an engineer, not a medical professional. I discussed this with my surgeon, Dr. Jane Kercher, and she shared with me that at Littleton Hospital, they are reaching a point where they've figured out how to have the breast cancer care coordinator become less anchored to facilitating care amongst that hospital's services, and more able to work with someone like me who has "cobbled" care from various places. What did you find with your experience in California? Perhaps this might be a topic for your blog.
    Because I'm an engineer, and like to put together a "trade space", I spend alot of time reading research reports, both on and the medical journals, and consequently bring my questions looking for pros and cons to the physicians. Of course, some of the decisions come to gut feel. I had differing opinions on radiation, but ultimately, I felt it made sense to do all I can now, and have no regrets later. Chemo didn't exactly put me into menopause and I want to get rid of all estrogen… oophorectomy scheduled, and while we're there, don't need the uterus anymore, be done with all reproductive cancer risks. Comfortable with this decision. It's the little things that I have confusion about .. hmm, research says soy is good, ask onco, she says don't go nuts for soy, can have estrogen type effects. Research talks about supplements, she says take a multivitamin and separate VitD3, no need for $$ supplements if you have a healthy diet. Each individual is different.. but having a professional who could help fill in the big picture of treatment with the nuances for an individual, that'd be great. And not just applicable to breast cancer, for sure.
    I have found continued inspiration as I read about your journey and pray for your continued health in the future.

    • says

      Thank you for your note, Linda…and for reading the blog! I'm so glad to hear that your doctors have been great! You're so right that YOU are the keeper of your plan. I couldn't agree more! Great blog topic suggestion, by the way. I'd love to learn more about the concept of "trade space" that you describe. It sounds like you are on a great path of self-advocacy. I'm very happy for you and send all of my very best wishes to you! Please stay in touch. Best, Hollye

      • Linda J. says

        We often use trade space to consider various engineering options, to include each item's pros and cons, most often with respect to complexity, cost, schedule, and risk. Once all items are laid out, then they can be examined and evaluated with an awareness of the variables. A team could choose an option that might be more expensive, but that is proven technology with small risk, or if they have the schedule, go with less mature technology that has time to mature, and might cost less.
        Where trade space was most obvious in my FBC treatment decisions was a desire to minimize radiation impact if possible… so choosing mastectomy (and the pro of no more breast cancer in the breast) and likely no radiation, versus lumpectomy and automatic need for radiation. Having all the pros and cons written down allowed me to at least feel I was making the most informed decision possible at the time of surgery, with an understanding of follow on possibilities (like if I had a positive lymph node(s), and then rad might be recommended anyway)
        Take care.

  3. says


    I would think an excellent topic would be –what to say and what not to say when talking about/to/with the person who has cancer.

  4. says

    As someone who found breast to be somewhat short-sighted in information as well as their discussion board needing constant supervision (which it does not get), I do hope that what you will bring to the table will improve what has always had the potential to be an excellent site for information.