• By Bill Rotter
  • Posted March 16, 2017

Why I Liquidated my Business to Advocate for Male Breast Cancer Awareness

Several years prior to my breast cancer diagnosis, I started to think about the right time to liquidate my business and sell the real estate. At the time, my brother and I owned two Ace hardware stores in the Milwaukee area with approximately 100,000-sq. ft. of retail space, warehouse and offices. I knew it would be a physically daunting undertaking …


  • By David Dubin
  • Posted November 3, 2016

Just Call Me “Above Average Dave”

“Superhero.” Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Flattering, obviously. As someone who has survived multiple cancers, still plays and coaches soccer, had his colonoscopy footage used on national television, and does a lot of public work, I’ve been given a few titles. One of them is superhero. Thanks. But I worry that people, especially …


  • By Bill Rotter
  • Posted October 20, 2016

A Male Breast Cancer Perspective (repost)

Editor’s Note: We are re-posting Bill Rotter’s entry in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It also coincides with an important time in Bill’s home state of Wisconsin; it is Male Breast Cancer Awareness Week from October 16-22, 2016. Bill was kind enough to update his piece to help raise the profile of men with breast cancer. Cancer …


  • By Eve Mart
  • Posted October 13, 2016

Metastatic Breast Cancer- A Lack of Awareness and The Hurt it Causes

Editor’s Note: In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we are re-posting Eve Mart's piece on metastatic breast cancer to share her perspective as a patient advocate. It complements last week's post by an experienced medical specialist on the same topic. Please share to help spread awareness during this special month. During …


  • By Cynthia Rigali Lund
  • Posted September 29, 2016

In The Beginning: My Ovaries Were Talking, but I Wasn't Listening

What a perfect time to begin my story — we are in the middle of National Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, as well as National HBOC (hereditary breast and ovarian cancer) Week. I love when things line up like it was all meant to be… Things did not line up for me in October of 2012. While preparing funeral arrangements for my dad …


  • By Eve Mart
  • Posted August 30, 2016

Metastatic Breast Cancer – a Lack of Awareness and the Hurt it Causes

During the past 30 years, there has been a cultural shift in breast cancer advocacy and awareness activities. An abundance of education efforts, as well as information and news coverage, have made breast cancer a familiar disease. There have also been significant strides made in early detection, research, treatment and patient empowerment during …


  • By Eve Mart
  • Posted August 18, 2016

Putting Yourself First

  When it comes to putting yourself first, I’d say to anyone else, ‘DO IT!’ particularly to someone who’s been through treatment for breast cancer, which is the equivalent of being put through hell and back.  Truth be told, I need to practice more of what I preach. I often overextend myself on projects or requests made by others, and …


  • By Bill Rotter
  • Posted August 16, 2016

Attending Breast Cancer Symposiums, Conferences and Research and Advocacy Seminars will Help Keep You in the Forefront Of Your Cancer

Soon after completing all of my treatment for male breast cancer I knew I was determined to stay on top of my cancer going forward.  I know there are many advancements in finding cures for all types of cancers and I am committed to learning everything possible about my cancer diagnosis.   Whether it happens to be in the area of new drugs …


  • By Eve Mart
  • Posted August 9, 2016

Why Social Media Is Important For People With Breast Cancer

I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t read many blogs or follow people’s cancer experiences on social media, but I do see the value in them. Networks built around cancer – whether through Facebook, Twitter, blogs or hosted communities – have a particularly active presence in healthcare social media. During the past few years, through Facebook, …


  • By Bill Rotter
  • Posted July 28, 2016

Ways The Ambry Genetics HBOC Patient Website Would Have Been Helpful After My Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Genetic Testing

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in December of 2013, and soon after learned I had inherited a gene mutation that was passed on from my father’s side of my family.  This overwhelming news was cause for great concern as much of what I had just learned was a lot to absorb.  I was the first in my family to be tested for BRCA1/2 gene mutations even …


  • By Eve Mart
  • Posted July 19, 2016

Relearning to Balance

After cancer treatment, I was so relieved to be finished with the demands of treatment and ready to put the experience behind me. Ironically, I found myself feeling uncertain with what my future held. I was so fixated on a magic number… five years. In my mind, if I could just get five years out from treatment, I would be magically cured and the …


  • By Georgia Hurst
  • Posted June 6, 2016

The Importance of Genetic Counseling With Genetic Testing

As I sit in the hereditary cancer trenches, I see the negative effects of genetic testing sans certified genetic counseling every single day – and it is an enormous problem. Many of the fears and concerns that people discuss with me could be addressed and ameliorated simply if they spoke with a certified genetic counselor before …


  • By David Dubin
  • Posted May 23, 2016

I have Lynch syndrome: the genetic predisposition to colon, endometrial, and other cancers…and soccer.

I tell a good story. I’ve been given a certain set of genes. One set of genes has caused me and much of my family to endure multiple tumors.  Another set has given me the gift of storytelling, whether in print or in front of a microphone.  My name is David Dubin, and along with my wife Robin, I am the co-founder of AliveAndKickn, a foundation …


  • By Travis Bray
  • Posted May 18, 2016

A Brief History of Travis Bray

My story is one familiar to many in our community… but with a twist. Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) started in my family when my grandfather was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer at the age of 36. Three of his six children, including my father, were later found to have FAP. My mom suspected I had FAP as a toddler, although I wasn’t …


  • By Georgia Hurst
  • Posted May 9, 2016

No Mud, No Lotus

Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh believes if people face and embrace their suffering, they will eventually grow from it and possibly turn it into something beautiful and meaningful... Hence the phrase: No mud, no lotus. Five years ago after I was diagnosed with Lynch syndrome, I found myself mired in mud – I had no idea what would emerge …


  • By Eve Mart
  • Posted May 3, 2016

Personal Impact of Peer Support

As a breast cancer survivor I think I experience a bit of Survivor Guilt. I occasionally wonder, “Why me and not them?” Or rather, why hasn’t this disease been eradicated yet and why aren’t we ALL survivors?  It hurts me to the core to know that I will lose more friends and possibly even my mother to the same disease that I have been …


  • By Eve Mart
  • Posted April 19, 2016

Ride Marshaling at YSC Tour de Pink South

As I said in my last post: ”Breast cancer survivors share a connection, and I’ve come to learn that in some unconscious way by helping others, I’m helping myself to heal and spin a positive out of something that was negative.” This past weekend, I had the honor of ride marshaling at the Young Survival Coalition’s (YSC’s) inaugural Tour …


  • By Bill Rotter
  • Posted April 12, 2016

A Male Breast Cancer Perspective

Cancer is a difficult and tricky disease that tries to destroy us but now we are better prepared to fight back due to a stronger understanding of the disease. Cancer does not discriminate.  As a male, the day I learned I had breast cancer was one of total disbelief and overwhelming shock.  A diagnosis I was not prepared for.  Sure, I knew men …


  • By Eve Mart
  • Posted March 29, 2016

Peer Support

I hadn’t set out to be the “go-to-girl” for all things breast cancer, but when you’re faced with a challenge and come out on the other side fairing pretty well, I think people trust you. Maybe they’re just looking for positive support wherever they can, when they find themselves in a similarly difficult spot. It starts with a phone …


  • By Eve Mart
  • Posted February 16, 2016

Treatment to Survivor

Being a breast cancer survivor isn’t a static label. For me, being a breast cancer survivor has added another layer to the person I am and have become, and that has been an evolutionary process. It took time to get my energy back, but I now happily maintain a very active lifestyle. Again, it took time, and patience was not my strong suit.  …


  • By Theresa Smith
  • Posted February 9, 2016

So I am supposed to chop off my breasts?

When I was offered the option of having a preventive bilateral mastectomy, it was so overwhelming. I couldn’t think about. I couldn’t talk about it with anyone. I didn’t research the procedure. I just put off thinking about it entirely. I couldn’t handle it emotionally, and the thought of what it would do to me physically was very scary …


  • By Eve Mart
  • Posted February 2, 2016

Healthy Habits, Healthy Mind

The funny thing about ‘healthy habits’ is that you can do everything ‘right’, but there are no guarantees in life. For me, breast cancer is hereditary. he·red·i·tar·y Something (like a health problem, like cancer) that is due to inherited genetic changes (mutations), which can be passed from parent to child.  I have a BRCA1 gene …


  • By Eve Mart
  • Posted January 19, 2016

Giving Back and Paying it Forward

Having been directly affected by breast cancer, it would be impossible to expect that it hasn’t altered my perspective on the important, and not so important, things in life. I feel an intense need to pay it forward or, shall I say, give back. I’ve lost several friends to the very same disease, and now my mother lives with metastatic breast …