• http://www.yourownwords.blogspot.com susan @ yow

    Poor Aunt Lola. Isn’t that the Aunt you write all those hilariously funny stories about? The one who lives in a trailer? I hope all goes well for her.

  • poetstormy

    My link didn’t work for some reason, so here it is:
    http://www.the3day.org/dallas06/poetstormy

  • julezy

    Thank you for the Shoshun audio! It has totally made my day. I have listened to it more times that I will admit here. Or anywhere. Love it!

  • beachgirl4ever

    My sister, Laura, had a hard time with L’s as a kid. My parents were constantly getting her to say “Laura loves lemon lollipops” in order to practice them. Perhaps it would help Leta. However, shoshun is so cute, i have listened to it many times.

  • http://www.trevandkat.com trevordlb

    It’s odd; that picture reminds me of Martha Stuart or something… I can see how her perfection would drive any woman mad…

  • http://goingape.blogspot.com Goingape

    Since getting home from work and listening to the Shoshun sound file, my husband (waspjerky.blogspot.com) has been walking around singing “LOTION!” just like Jon in that sound file.

    Be afraid.

  • poetstormy

    I am walking 60 miles in October for several cancer survivors (check my linky). Each day of the “3-Day” we walk 20 miles, each day I am wearing a shirt with several names on it, names of people I am walking for. I am going to add “Dooce’s Aunt Lola” to Day One. Cancer sucks, and I plan to kick it in it’s ass! ;)
    (((Dooce)))

  • http://heidiho.wordpress.com Heidi-ho

    Loved Loved LOVED the audio file with Leta!!! Thanks (in part) to you, my husband and I are going to try getting me knocked up.

  • http://lemidden.blogspot.com Kahli

    Paddy’s mom got lung cancer in August last year. She was so not a smoker. It was an awful fall but now she is all clean and we just keep hoping it stays that way. She looks hott in her wig and she laughs when we tell her so. My mom had a breast lump removed but it was okay then she had the whole damn reproductive system removed because of cancer risks. It is troubling not knowing what array of worrisome genes we are going to send down the road with the monkeys. The puppy is sloppy and always interrupting like me and the cat is already neurotic like Pat.
    Your sister looks stunning, stunning, stunning. September the Stunnah!
    Best to you guys,
    Kahli

  • http://harlowandtheboys.blogspot.com greenthumb

    My stepmom and her family of incredible women (5) all have either had ovarian cancer or had to have Hysterectomies at an early age in order to get rid of tumor ridden ovaries. One of the hardest times in our family’s life was when my mom (step) found out that the reason she was unable to become pregnant was due to this very issue. She was and is the only one who was unable to concieve. I feel so fortunate to have her as my Mom, because she took me and made me her own when a very young and insecure greenie needed it most. She is the mom I never had, she IS my mom.

    I have to agree with Amanda B., A. Lola always sounded a littles sassy/fiesty and I too believe she will handle it with grace and strength, something the women in your family seem to have an abundance of.

    LONG LIVE SHOSHUN!!! How does your heart and soul take so much freakin’ cuteness? Oh right, it’s balanced by all the demonic screaming and refusal to eat and poop. ;-)

  • http://caloden.wordpress.com Caloden

    Dooce,

    I usually stop by for a daily peek at the fun of Dooce.com. I am sorry to hear about your aunt, I hope she recovers quickly and completely from the surgery. I also happen to write for The Cancer Blog and wrote a small blurb about how one woman’s cancer diagnosis affects the other members of a family.

    Cutie, cute, cuteness with the Shoshun. We are entrenched in the mania of toddlerhood in our house as well. The flip side of cuteness is the insanity of a wee person who is obsessed with unrolling every roll of toilet paper and scattering it about as gifts for the other members of the household.

    Enjoy!

  • http://rocksandgarbage.blogspot.com/ angela marie

    I know that fear, that terror. It waxes and wanes. My brother died from colon cancer before he was 30 and my sister and I found out that we have the same genetic mutation.

    I will be forever sad (that doesn’t even begin to cover it) that I don’t get to grow old with my wonderful brother, but the knowledge that I can help prevent this disease in my four children and myself gives me power.

  • jamie

    When I saw the title of this post, I thought “Dooce is having another baby”. Ok, I was wrong. But I had to comment…my sister was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer about 2 1/2 years ago, and it struck me in so many ways. I was scared for her, worried for my mom, and then scared for me. We have a history of many cancers in our family (all my mom’s side), my aunt died of cervical cancer, my grandmother from lung cancer, and my uncle from a rare form of thyroid. But this was my own sister! My risks went from high to MAJOR. My sister has been in remission now for about 18 months, and I go for annual tests to make sure I am still ok. So far so good, but every year my heart sinks when my ob/gyn writes the prescription for a sonogram, mammogram and a blood test. I am only 38, my sister is now 32, and I have 2 daughters that are now considered in a risk group. My thoughts and prayers are with your Aunt and your entire family.

  • http://goingape.blogspot.com Goingape

    Sorry about your aunt, prayers for effective treatment and peace amidst the chaos.

    Am I the only person upon first reading the title of this post “In a family way” thought, OMG, they’re making another Armstrong?

  • Cathy

    Heather, I’m so sorry to hear about your aunt. Breast cancer is such a scary thing and just this year my life has been touched by two women how have been fighting this terrible disease. I’ve decided to do the Avon Walk For Breast Cancer Research http://info.avonfoundation.org/site/TR?px=2308049&pg=personal&fr_id=1170
    I thought perhaps you might like to donate…or ask people to donate from your website? I don’t want to be pushy and I would not have asked had I not just learned that your life is being affected by this as well. I’ve been amazed at the number of donations I’ve gotten from strangers who just want to donate for someone they love.
    The best of luck to your aunt. My son’s babysitter is a ten-year survivor and had a mastectomy on one breast. I hope the surgery goes well and she recovers quickly.
    That and I *love* shoshun. How do you record Leta? (What do you use?) My son says the best things…I can’t even write down what he says for Maggie, our dog. But he’s clearly calling for her.

  • Tiffany Komasara

    I, too, know far too many young women who have battled cancer – most have survived, but still, having to suffer through multiple rounds of chemotherapy or have your breasts removed is just not acceptable. My neighbor had a single mastectomy when her daughter was 6 months old – she’d been breastfeeding at the time. Can you even imagine?

    For what it’s worth, I’ve also heard and read that genetics has become less of a risk factor; in other words, just because someone in your family has it, don’t freak, and even if no one in your family has it, still be careful.

  • http://www.maniacaldays.blogspot.com Maniacal

    My mother’s docotor found a lump just recently, and I have been going with her for test, and Biopsies, and although I was very worried about her, I was also worried about myself and my daughter who now have our chances of Beast cancer DOUBLED just from having a mother/grandmother who had it. So far, the lump is ok….

  • http://istoedejoana.blogspot.com/ Joana

    Your sister looks great! And yes, that skin should be forbidden. :)
    Take good care of yourself, Heather. I think we all should.
    *

  • Blue Dog Art

    Dear Heather,

    My mom went through treatment for breast cancer last year and she is doing just fine. The best thing to do is to get a baseline mammogram and then be vigilant about monthly self-exams. Early detection is the key. Something else you might do is get involved in breast cancer awareness causes. Ironically, five years before my mother was diagnosed, I walked in the Avon (I know!) Breast Cancer 3-Day. I raised almost $5000. in pledges. Getting involved can give you and your family a way to feel like you are doing something to help your aunt as she goes through treatment. I wish you and your family the best as you go through this difficult time.

  • MarathonGirlJess

    Ditto Gretchen’s comment.

    Shoshun = Cutest. Child. Ever. My ovaries seriously exploded and now I must, must find a partner to make one of my own with. Thanks a LOT.

    Re: this post, there’s not much I can say that hasn’t already been said:

    Congrats on the new addition to the family…now you can get the new baby smell without the puking and the waking up in the middle of the night! Cool!

    September looks fabulous, and while she does indeed have lovely skin, you don’t have to kill her. You look great, too! I saw those SXSW pics.

    Aunt Lola. Oh, that’s tough, and so, so scary. I’ll keep her in my prayers, and we can all hope for the best.

  • http://theblogthatatemanhattan.com TBTAM

    “At the same time this is bad news for the rest of the women in my family … The magnitude of what this means for us is still unknown.”

    First of all, please give your aunt my best wishes for a speedy recovery. If she is anything like my many patients who have had breast cancer, she will do just fine. And if she goes for reconstructive surgery, it is amazing what they are doing these days in that area.

    In this time of fear and stress, allow me to introduce some data that may or may not be helpful to you and your family. If your aunt is post-menopausal, her breast cancer will not statistically affect yours. The way I explain it to my patients is this: Every person who gets cancer is part of a family, but that does not mean that every cancer is familial. Most cancers, in fact, are not.

    That said, if your aunt is premenopausal, she may carry a gene that prediposes her to cancer, and which would be in the family. Once she’s throught the immediate stuff related to her cancer, she can be tested for the BRCA gene (the so called “breast cnacer gene”) to see if she carries it. If she does, your mother can be tested and so on to see if anyone else has it. Given the absence of any other cancers in your family, I suspect she will not have the gene.

    I don’t know if this is helpful, too soon or too much info. If it is, delete it or tuck it away for a future time when you may want it. Since I am a doctor, it’s what I do to deal with illness. I get clinical.

    Best to your family.

  • emilykg

    love reading your site and this is the first time i’ve commented. i’m focusing on learning about and raising money for breast cancer research and prevention this year. my thoughts are with you. my aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago too.

    this may not fly with heather (and I totally understand if it doesn’t), but if you would like to donate to the breast cancer cause please check out my fundraising page for the Breast Cancer 3 Day. i’m walking 60 miles and raising $2200 for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. more on my page at:
    http://www.the3day.org/Boston06/emswalk. many thanks if you do visit and/or donate.

  • Gretchie

    If you don’t open comments after posting something as cute as “SHOSHUN!”, I’ll just be forced to comment here instead (btw…. September – very kewl name, hair awesome, skin amazing, and a big get-well-soon to Aunt Lola).

    The Shoshun recording leaves me trembling with cuteness. And Jon has a lovely singing voice.

  • http://dooce.migrantroo.com minxlj

    Our love goes out to your Aunt Lola – I hope everything goes OK with the op xxx

  • Heather

    Congrats on the new baby in the family. It must be the new baby smell that soothes the savage beast. And I, too, have a sis with disgustingly beautiful hair. If my chest wasn’t bigger I would really hate her. Our prayers for your aunt to all the gods who watch over women. My mom also had breast cancer, she had a mastectomy, and when my youngest was born he would curl himself into the spot where her breast used to be. Mom said that all the junk was worth it because it meant that her Alex had a place to be comfortable.

  • http://sephaundone.blogspot.com Em

    My thoughts and best wishes go out to your aunt Lola. Cancer is a scary thing – I had a mastectomy last year: at age 28. There is no history of breast cancer in my family. However: compared to 10 years ago, compared to 2 years ago the chances of recovery are improving all the time. The treatments aren’t fun but they are increasingly effective and working out how to live with the results (physical and mental) takes time.
    Cancer is a funny thing: it doesn’t rigidly follow rules. What I’m trying to say is: breast cancer doesn’t happen to every woman who has a family history of the disease and women who don’t have a family history of breast cancer are not immune. (I am the one woman in every 1500 under 30 that has had cancer – not a statistic I ever hoped to be.)
    Try not to be scared: be vigilant instead. Know what’s normal for you and check them (or get Jon to check them!) regularly and get anything you’re uncomfortable about checked out quickly. The earlier it’s found, the less radical the treatment. You’ve got some good things in your favour too: you’ve had a child, you breast-fed your child (both things that decrease your risk). There’s lots of info out there – be proactive.
    And remember: there is a huge community of winners out there: women who’ve had cancer and recovered. (and today I am one of them.)

  • http://kimba-bremen.com kim from germany

    i hope your aunt will find the strength to fight. sending good vibes that way :)

  • http://floatingmyownboat.squarespace.com MyOwnBoat

    Good God, I can’t read all of these comments to see if what I have to say has been said already. Kudos to you for doing so….

    When I was 25 my mother had breast cancer at 60. For a few years they subjected me to the painful-stretching-of-the-mammaries until they figured out that POST-menopausal breast cancer tended not to be hereditary. Apparantly, Heather, it is only pre-menopausal breast cancer that is the worry for the rest of that particular gene-pool.

    I can’t quite work out (without being a stalker) whether or not your aunt may or may not be in that category.

    I work in a hospital these days and I can tell you that yearly mammograms save countless women’s lives that were not saved even 5 years ago. Screening programs are key. KEY. Once you hit the age where they begin, GO. Go every year.

    But, if you’re aunt is post-menopausal, then don’t subject yourself to mammograms past the need to check out abnormalities in your self-exams.

    Having said that, breast cancer that metastases is very very bad news. Be prepared in the case of your aunt for this possibility.

    But, if she’s post-menopausal, look into the possibility that you may not need to worry quite yet.

    (I speak from Canada so am unsure of current American belief/policy on same, we seem to be quite divided on many things, this included).

    Sending good thoughts.

    Jen

  • sage

    JustLinda (and Dooce too) – I’m so sorry if I came across as crass. I was trying to be cheery, but apparently failed miserably. I’ve had so much cancer suffering in my life sometimes it helps me to be a little flippant about it – a refusal to let the bastard grind me down. I watched my mom be taken by inches, and now I’ve hit the magic age my sisters and mom were when they were diagnosed. But I do believe it can be a reminder to enjoy life. Clean less, play more.

    Dooce, I am sincerely sorry about your aunt. It’s amazing what we can survive.

  • robtsou

    So sure it sucks when you find out you have a family history of cancer but it REALLY sucks when YOU are the family’s history of cancer. I’m that lucky guy who got to break the streak in our family. It’s funny though once you get through it the things you remember and the things you forget. My wife just reminded me that I have 3 of the World’s Smallest Tattoos. I had forgotten that they give you these little dots to help aim the radiation at your “affected areas”. Anyway, it’s beatable, I’ve seen it and I’ve done it for the last 3 years. Good luck to you and your aunt.

    Oh, I love reading about Leta, it’s like reliving when my son (who turns 4 in May) was that age. So many similarities!

    Thanks! Rob

  • http://www.kerrianne.org kerri

    Thoughts and prayers and Internet Hugs! for your Aunt Lola.

    I lost an aunt to lymphatic cancer years ago, and my grandpa to a rare form of stomach cancer just over a year ago. My grandma and another aunt both survived bouts with breast cancer. It is definitely scary to think about how women in my family, and family-members in general, may be predisposed to a cancerous gene, but watching my grandma and my aunt so valiantly win their battles, and hearing other amazing stories of cancer survival, fills me with hope far greater than any fear I have yet to imagine.

  • Zazzy

    My mom had breast cancer and a radical masectomy in 1971. It was a strange time. People didn’t talk about cancer. They moved away from us at church as though you could catch it. I remember being sure she was going to die because that was what cancer was.

    She has been cancer free since and has never regreted the masectomy. Today there are a lot more options for reconstruction than there were then, if that’s important to your aunt. It never was to mom. It never was to our family.

    Over the years, I’ve known a lot of breast cancer survivors. Positive thoughts go out to you aunt and your family.

  • http://www.snickrsnack.com Snickrsnack Katie

    Oh my god, the SHOSHUN audio clip cracked me UP! Especially when Jon sings it in his opera voice. All I can say is, there is no way that Leta could NOT grow up to be an absolutely hysterical human being.

    My little guy has always loved lotion, too. He will say “I want my skin to be MOIST!” and will giggle maniacally as we smear it on him. I don’t know what it is about lotion, but it brings out the humor in children for some reason.

  • http://justlinda.net JustLinda

    I’m sorry about your aunt.

    I have my first mammogram next month. I think I might be more scared of the boob-squish than I am of breast cancer (please, know I’m not serious but well one seems rather more IMMINENT and after all, I am LINDA, Sworn Defender of the Breasts).

    Man, it’s tough being a woman… just in your post alone, we have child birth, hair coloring, and breast cancer. We need some more frou-frou drinks to get us through it, I think. Sex on the Beach for EVERYONE!!! (send the bill to the guy above me)

  • sage

    I have a mother and two sisters who survived breast cancer, then my mum succumbed to ovarian cancer years later. When my sister went for genetic testing, to see if she actually had a gene for cancer (I think about 10% of cancer patients have one), she was annoyed that I wasn’t elated she was doing this “for all of us.”

    First of all, testing her genetic material has little to do with my genetic material. Whether or not she has the gene has little baring on whether or not I have it. Our DNA is similar, but not the same.

    But more importantly, why would I need to know this? How would knowing I have a genetic make-up that predisposes me to cancer change the way I live? I eat well, stay fit, and get regular check-ups. Nothing can change the fact that I grew up playing on a pesticide soaked lawn, inhaling enough second-hand smoke to turn our walls brown, smothering myself in baby oil to catch more of the sun’s rays, and practically living on smoked meats (nitrates are evil, apparently). And nothing, it seems, will affect the amount of pollutants filling our air, water, and food system by profit-hungry corporations.

    Just my luck, I’ll be walking down the street one day, fretting about my cancer history, childhood behaviours, and environmental pollutants, then get hit by a Mac truck.

    This is my convoluted way of saying, try not to let it worry you! And, dammit, have another twinkie, or drink, or whatever your poison is. Everytime someone I know gets cancer, I see it as a wake up call to really soak in life as much as possible each moment of every day. As Epicurus used to say, there’s no point worrying about death while you’re alive, because you’re still alive, and when you’re dead you won’t care because you’re dead. So just don’t worry!

  • http://www.twise.blogspot.com Trish

    My Gramma had cancer in the 70′s and had one breast removed. Made me appreciate her so much more. It came back on the other side almost 30 years later and took her from us. I’m only in my 30′s but I get a mammogram every year. I’ve found that to relieve my paranoia (at least about this), I volunteer for the Komen foundation when I can take my daughter along. Next month we’re helping with the kids’ race at the Mall of America. Tell Aunt Lola that we are thinking of her here in Minnesota.

  • http://www.emlocke.com/emlocke EmLocke

    Your Aunt Lola has reminded me to celebrate my breasts. Sometimes we forget how much of our femininity falls on our curves. I’m sending good vibes her way (and yours!)

  • http://www.nooccar.com nooccar

    When our daughter Claire was born both grandfathers, who were totally reserved in their own stoic grumpy ways, melted… totally just melted. My wife’s father is Grandpa and my dad is now Grumpy (to go with Grammy). He has embraced his new name and will never ever live it down.

  • Carol

    It has been a few years since I have been to Utah. I am glad to see that they have finally outlawed blue eyeshawdow, blue mascara and Aqua Net!! You and your sister are beautiful, and don’t even get me started on Leta and Chuck!

  • http://pickleness.blogspot.com Stepha1202

    Wishing your aunt, and the rest of the women in your family, happy thoughts.

  • Steph

    Sorry to hear. I went through this with my mom.

  • lisadijon

    i had a baseline mammogram done at 32, mostly for my own peace of mind, but also for my bit ‘o paranoia having had a grandmother that fought every kind of cancer in the books. the dr. just shrugged my concern away when i mentioned it – “oh you’re too young, don’t worry about it” – but she (a gynecologist i saw only once) had long fingernails…painted RED for goddsake. clearly she had no common sense! just imagine those things coming toward you during an annual exam…or perhaps it’s best to not think about it, huh. oy vey.

  • annlee

    {{{{Pilgrimgirl}}}}

    Happiness and sadness all in one post…it’s tough. Hang in there, Heather…you’ve got a wonderful family to support you and each other through these tough times. Lean on them!

    I am running in our local Race For The Cure 5K next Sunday…I’ll be thinking of your aunt, and my aunt, and my friend down the street who just had twins AND a radical mastectomy.

  • http://torie.squarespace.com Torie

    Everything always seems to come at once doesn’t it? Good and bad all at once.
    I’ve seen pictures of little Maci on George’s site; she is quite adorable.
    I’m sorry to hear about your Aunt Lola. Cancer seems to run in my family too. It really does make you think twice about your life and all the little things that you can do to help keep yourself in the best health possible.
    She’ll be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • pilgrimgirl

    I’ve lost about 1/4 of my body to cancer.

    It’s something that always hangs over your head after you’ve had someone close to you battle cancer or after you’ve had it yourself. Every ache, lump, sore–Is it cancerous?? Is it a malignancy or a metastisis?

    But life must go on. You can’t keep wondering ‘what if.’ No one knows when they might go–it could be cancer, it could be a car accident, whatever.

    The only blessing that comes from a brush with cancer is that it makes every day sweeter. I really _love_ life–even though I’ve lost so much.

  • marianne

    I wish I didn’t understand your fear. The women in my family, my late grandmother and my mother, have had brain tumours. My grandmother had cancer, my mother did not. Thank god. I’ve been afraid ever since my grandmother died 5 years ago and I started being afraid for my daughter the moment I found out I was having a girl.

    We named her Lola.

    I very sorry to hear about your Aunt Lola.

  • Velma

    I ran your aunt’s situation past Mr. Velma (who is actually Dr. Velma, and an oncologist to boot), and he says that having a second degree relative with breast cancer doesn’t measurably increase your chances of developing it yourself.

    I told him that this was not the warm fuzzy advice I was hoping to pass along to you, and he said, “Tell her to get a baseline mammogram at 35 instead of 40 if she’s worried.” Shrug. Yawn. “She’s got no reason to worry.” More shrugging, but I’d say you probably don’t have any more reason to fear breast cancer now than you did a few weeks ago.

  • http://serenitysprings.blogspot.com/ Holly L

    Heather:

    You may feel that your sister’s skin is more beautiful than yours, but MY GOD, you got to sleep with a famous soap star!

    Also, I did about 9 months of chemo two years ago. It’s not fun for anyone but it changed my entire outlook on life…in a wonderful way. And I’ve been healthy ever since. I hope your aunt has a similar experience.

  • http://www.lisaschaos.blog-city.com Lisa’s Chaos

    It is absolutely amazing how babies can change people and lives. I had four and each one was unique. They’re all now teenagers and continue to change lives daily.

    It is also amazing the effects cancer has on the lives of the one diagnosed as well as those surrounding them. In Oct 2005, at age 38 and with no family history of any cancer, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer and honestly worry more about my loved ones than myself. It’s so hard on one’s family. And so very hard on the parents of the one with cancer.

    I absolutely love the openess you have on your blog and phooey on anyone wanting you to change! If there happens to be something they don’t like they can skim over it. Life’s too short, life it like YOU want.

    Give Leta and Chuck big sloppy kisses from Lisa.

  • http://smosey.com Elizabeth M. Johnson

    New babies are wonderful.

    And my prayers are with your aunt.