the smell of my desperation has become a stench

The Avon World Sales Leader, another side

Back in April my mother The Avon World Sales Leader got a card in the mail from her healthcare provider reminding her that it was time to schedule her yearly mammogram. But she was busy, of course, busy saving the world while attending to every single need of every single grandchild and restructuring the entire organization of the Mormon Church (if you’re not going to give women the priesthood then just be courteous and get out of their way while they take care of everything, thank you very much [those are not her words, they are mine, but she is secretly nodding and resenting me for it]), and so she set the card aside.

A few months passed when in August she was organizing her house in advance of my cousin’s wedding. Ten members of our extended family were coming to stay at her house (GO GO GADGET BLOW UP MATTRESSES!), and while rifling through a stack of paper on her desk she stumbled across that card. At first she looked at it and thought, “Eh… I don’t have time. I’m just too busy.” But the more she organized her desk the more that card loomed in her brain. She finally and reluctantly gave in to a nagging feeling in her gut and made an appointment just seven days before hosting those ten family members, before organizing and cooking a dinner for over 50 people. 

What follows here is what my mother wants you to know most about what she has been going through ever since that appointment in August. I had her over for lunch a couple of weeks ago, opened a voice memo app on my phone and told her to start talking. Yes, this is long. It is long and detailed and at times uncomfortable. But please read this and forward it to every woman you know who could benefit from these words. You might very well be one of those women.


I can still remember the pain I felt on the last day of that walk. It was the first 3-day walk Avon had ever done to raise money for breast cancer. It was 1999. I was up and on the road at 4:30 AM walking by myself. By then my feet were blistered beyond recognition, and I was aching all over. We’d already walked 40 miles in two days, and I wanted to get an early start and walk as much as I could, you know, without falling over from the pain.

But I remember letting the pain wash over me because I knew it was pain that would end. Because all the people we were walking for… well… for many of them, their pain would never end.

There was this one kid, and we’d see him each day at about eight o’clock in the morning standing beside the road. He’d watch us walk every day, and on that last day I stopped and started up a conversation with him. He said, “My wife died of breast cancer. We’d only been married three years. They won’t let men participate in this walk, but I can come out here and support you who are walking. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you so much.”

I remember finishing that walk and going back to the hotel, getting on a plane and flying home. I remember seeing [my stepfather] at the airport and the emotion was overwhelming because of the immersion I’d had for three days walking for breast cancer. I raised $3000 by asking each of the representatives in my division to donate a dollar and to write a little note about someone they knew or anything they had struggled through, anything that would inspire me. I kept all the notes in a fanny pack and sometimes when I could hardly walk, I would stop and read them. And it kept me going. All these women helping me, another woman, to walk to help more women. I loved every minute of it.

I never dreamed that experience would have such a personal meaning to me now.

Little did I know that almost seven years into retirement I would have such a personal knowledge about this. That whole time I was just an outsider who could only imagine how they felt. 

Now I’m an insider.


When I saw that card reminding me of my mammogram I really wanted to throw it away. I’ve had a mammogram every year for how many years? I’m so busy. I have too much to do. But something wouldn’t let me throw it away. So I called and made an appointment seven days before your cousin’s wedding… yeah… two days before the wedding is when I got the call that there was a suspicious shadow on the film, and they needed me to come in for more tests. I went in and had another mammogram and an ultrasound. That’s when they told me that they had found *it* and needed to do a biopsy. *It* was small, but I shouldn’t put off the biopsy, and I was like, I HAVE TEN PEOPLE COMING TO STAY AT MY HOUSE DO YOU UNDERSTAND THIS? Who has time for a biopsy?

(Normal people dealing with my mother must be like, “This shit is crazy.”)

So I hosted those ten family members and cooked dinner for 50 people and didn’t tell a single one of them what was going on. I didn’t want to bring anyone down. It was a wedding, after all, but it’s all I could think about. And once it was all over I went in for the biopsy, and the doctor told me it looked like what he had seen over 3,000 times: it was most likely cancer. Within three days we found out… it was cancer, and I went in to see a surgeon.

My journey began.

You know, I have never been sick. I have never been sick. You ever remember me being in a hospital? I don’t get sick, Heather. You know I walk four miles every morning. OH BY THE WAY. You had better clear that up with your readers.

(She is referring to the time I mentioned that she averages 16,000 steps per day on her Fitbit and that she walks those steps mostly around her house. I guess it’s illegal to exaggerate, SO LET ME CLEAR THINGS UP: she gets up every day with my stepfather and they take a four-mile walk. But here’s the thing! Four miles doesn’t even get you to 10,000 steps. She is still walking another 6,000-7,000 steps somewhere. I’m going to go ahead and guess that somewhere IS IN HER HOUSE.)

I’m healthy. I have the energy of someone half my age. My goal is to stay this energized so that I can enjoy this wonderful life I have. And I think that’s been one of the hardest things with this, fighting the fatigue, fighting the physical and mental fatigue that comes with the weight of this. There’s this loss of… modesty is not the word… there’s this intimate way your doctors become involved with you, that they have to become involved with you. I have three different physicians who know me intimately, whereas before this part of my body was so off limits. It’s mine, it’s private, it’s sacred, and all at once I’m open to the world. 

Yesterday in radiology I was lying there with three individuals around me, my breast lying out to the side of me, and one of them was taking a picture of me for my file, and the other one was tattooing things on me and putting stickers on my boob. 

You lose your privacy. It can’t be a worry.

I got through that first surgery, and I felt such a sigh of relief. It really did feel like I was going to be fine. There was a tiny outside chance that he might have to go back in if the margins weren’t clear of all the cancer cells… sure enough, he called to tell me that they weren’t clear. So I went back through that whole procedure, getting up at four o’clock with the anxiety of not knowing how things would turn out, looking from the outside of my body at everything that was happening to me, as if I were watching someone else. Someone else was lying there. How could this be happening to me?

After the second surgery the margins weren’t completely clear. Again. Again.There were still cancer cells near the skin that they could not get. So what started out as a little incision… I now have a dent in my breast.

My official diagnosis is: stage one, early-invasive cancer.

It is not a genetic cancer. It is estrogen-driven. I will be on an estrogen blocker for the rest of my life. And you go, wow, that’s great. That means that it’s treatable. And it’s less than two centimeters, and it’s not in the lymph nodes, and all is well. Celebrate!

Except… the stage of cancer is based on where it’s located, how big it is, whether or not it infected the lymph nodes, and were they able to remove it? That type of thing. When I went to see the oncologist he was concerned that it might come back systemically throughout the rest of my body. He said that the grade of my cancer was in the gray area. The grade of cancer is the molecular makeup of the cancer. Is it an aggressive cancer? They rate it on the scale of 1-5. Mine is about a 3. 

My oncologist and I had to make a decision as to whether or not we thought chemotherapy could lower the risk of it coming back someplace else.

There is a test called the Oncotype DX test that examines the tissue from the tumor and predicts the likelihood of chemotherapy benefit on that tumor as well as the benefit of chemotherapy in a ten-year risk area.

The grade of cancer I have likes to come back in the bones and the lungs and the liver.

But my risk level is between 17-20 percent that in the next ten years it might come back someplace else. We had to make a decision based on this test, and for me it would only increase my benefit by about there percent. It was not worth it for me because of the side effects, especially at my age.

So, going forward, I met with the radiologist. She explained everything that is going to happen, the 32 sessions of radiation that will finish the day before Thanksgiving and the accompanying physical fatigue that will knock me to the ground, the dizziness, the nausea, the dryness and blistering.

(My mother is currently nearing the end of the second week of radiation treatment and has experienced all of this times ten. But I just looked at my Fitbit app, and OMG WTF. My mother is undergoing radiation treatment FOR BREAST CANCER and her weekly average HAS GONE UP. It’s now at 17,000 steps. Dude. Mom. Whoa. When I confronted her about it she reiterated that walking is helping to clear her mind and process everything. But… GO TO A SPA TO DO THAT. LISTEN TO SOME CELINE DION. I HEAR THAT THE MORMON TABERNACLE CHOIR IS QUITE SOOTHING.)

You know, breast cancer hurts physically, but not the breast cancer itself. It’s the procedures. The multiple mammograms hurt. The biopsy hurt. There are a ton of needles, they pull out tissue, they stick wires into your breast. They shoot radiation into your body. It’s so invasive.

I’m so grateful for my team of doctors. They have shown such tender care of this condition. They understand what it does to women. [My stepfather] is a cancer patient, we’re not strangers to cancer. But I know more about my breast cancer than he ever knew about his lymphoma. And it’s because it’s been six years. So much has happened in the cancer research community, and we know so much more about cancer and its treatment. As a patient I feel so informed about what I can expect. 

My greatest fear is that it’s going to come back.

You know what else I’ve also learned about cancer? It’s stealth. It is a stealth disease. It is so under wraps that it has invaded you before you even have a clue. The greatest instrument we have in detecting breast cancer is mammography.

If I had waited another year this could have been fatal. The doctor says it could have quadrupled in size by next year.

Let me tell you another thing…this has already cost me a bit of money. What do people do who are in that… hmm… who don’t have government assistance, who are hard working people, who just don’t have $1000 lying around in a month to pay for four $225 copays? My insurance will pay for 80% of radiation, but I’m going to end up spending $10,000 after all is said and done. And I have really good insurance. Really good. What do people do? I had never been forced to take up that concern, and now I think about it every day.

Those people will die.

If I have a message to anyone it’s, “Get your yearly mammogram.” Because it can come so quickly. Some patient of my radiologist said, “I can’t believe I have cancer, I’ve had a mammogram every year for five years!” As though mammography prevents it. It doesn’t prevent it. It discovers it. My self exam would not have detected it because it was too small. Because they caught it they were able to eradicate it in the breast. I didn’t have to have a mastectomy. And now we can be on high alert for the rest of the body.


This condition invades one of the most private parts of your body, one of the most beautiful parts of your body, a part of your body that IS womanhood. From nurturing and feeding your child to the intimate pleasure that is gained with your partner. It invades that, and it’s ugly. It’s vile.

When I first started facing this, I thought, “I can do this. I am strong.” And I am, and I have faced it. However, it has been harder on my emotions than I wanted it to be. And I’m scared. I don’t scare, Heather, you know me.

My fear is that it will come back and shorten my life, my wonderful, energetic life filled with so many more memories than need to be created with my grandchildren.

But I refuse to let the emotional morbidity define me. I am not Linda Oar who has had breast cancer. I am Linda Oar who has gone through some hard things, but I’m going to come out the other side regardless of what happens, strong and knowing that this is a bump in the road, a hiccup in life. We all have them. I just happen to be one of every eight women who has had to face this very specific hiccup.


Just for your reference, here are some hard statistics on breast cancer:

– Breast cancer is the number one occurring cancer in women. Every three minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer.

– Breast Cancer is the number one cause of death among women 35-54 years of age.

– In 1961 breast cancer incidence was 1 in 20 women; today it is 1 in 8.

– One woman is diagnosed every three minutes in the U.S.

– One woman dies every 12 minutes in the U.S.

– About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.

– Breast cancer requires more surgical operations than any other disease.

– Breast cancer is the most costly cancer in physician and hospital bills


In honor of my mother and what she has been through in the last three months and what she faces for the rest of her life, I’ve made a $250 donation to The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. Avon is the leading corporate supporter of the cause globally. My mother spent her entire career with Avon immersed in this cause not ever knowing that she would be one of the women to benefit from the services that they fund.

I’d love it if you would join me in donating any dollar amount you can afford.


Don’t put off your yearly mammogram. Thank you, Mom. You are the bravest person I know.

  • Mindy Williams

    2014/10/30 at 9:07 am

    Much love to your mom. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Isabel

    2014/10/30 at 9:09 am

    All the love and support to your mom. So very beautifully written.

  • Heather C

    2014/10/30 at 9:10 am

    Thank you for sharing this. Love and prayers to your mom, you, and your entire family.

  • virtuallori

    2014/10/30 at 9:10 am

    xo to all of you. This is so important.

  • Kelly Snover

    2014/10/30 at 9:12 am

    It’s a tough battle but The Avon World Sales Leader sounds a lot tougher. Good luck

  • Amie J

    2014/10/30 at 9:13 am

    I’m in tears. Sending strength and positive thoughts to you and your family.

  • Kelly Cyr

    2014/10/30 at 9:13 am

    F*ck cancer. Glad your Mom had that mammogram and found it early, best of luck to your Mom!!. My Mom had late stage breast cancer when she was diagnosed, it’s terrifying. I’m looking into doing the Avon walk in Boston next year…just need to raise the necessary funds. Thank you for posting this.

  • Megan

    2014/10/30 at 9:22 am

    Heather, I volunteer for a breast-cancer nonprofit called SHARE, which has a helpline staffed with women who have had breast cancer. It’s a wonderful organization. If your mother (or any of your other readers who’s in the same boat) ever needs to talk to someone who’s gone through what she’s going through, she can call Toll-Free 866-891-2392. All services are free.

  • KimFunk

    2014/10/30 at 9:23 am

    Sending love and healing vibes to your mom as she deals with all this.

  • Joni H

    2014/10/30 at 9:23 am

    Thank you for sharing this. I will send your mom healing thoughts.

    I have a friend that is blogging about her life as she fights breast cancer. She’s badass, funny, a great writer, mother of three young boys and wife. You might really enjoy reading it. She so fucking smart. I think she will write a book about her expereince one day.

  • IsidoS

    2014/10/30 at 9:24 am

    Heather, thank you. I needed this right now. My stepmom is, this morning, getting biopsied on the OTHER side after going through a mastectomy 3 years ago. She’s scared and angry and all of theother emotions that go with it. Last night, she apologized for crying about it. I told her she had every right to cry and that I too was scared and just downright pissed off. Yes, F*ck cancer. It’s not fair and it’s not right, it doesn’t discriminate. So grateful to all of the people who walk and raise money for us to keep learning more about this horrible enemy. Thank you for bringing more light to the cause. Hugs to you and your mom.

  • Jennifer Cafferty-Davis

    2014/10/30 at 9:25 am

    The statistics are staggering, and scary. My thoughts are with your mom and your family. She sounds like one heck of a tough lady, but I hope she leans on her wonderful support system.

  • Hope

    2014/10/30 at 9:30 am

    This hits close to home. Last week was my two year anniversary of my mastectomy. The fear that it will come back and shorten my life is still there. I wish your mother all the best. Thank her for being so open and honest about her journey.

  • issascrazyworld

    2014/10/30 at 9:31 am

    GAH! This one made me bawl from the second I saw the title. NOT THE AVON WORLD LEADER! Sigh. Cancer doesn’t care. It’s a stealthy bastard who doesn’t care who someone is or how amazing someone is. I’ve leaved this in my life, having lost three of my four grandparents to various forms of cancer. Keep kicking cancer’s ass Avon World Leader. You’ve got another person here cheering you on. (Also I’ll call today and make an appointment for the weird skin discoloration on my face that I’ve been ignoring for two weeks. Ahem.)

  • Katherine Walsh

    2014/10/30 at 9:33 am

    Very insightful post. Your mother is inspirational, it is such a scary process. I wish her all the best and a full recovery with no recurrences. She sounds like a wonderful person.

  • Donna B

    2014/10/30 at 9:40 am

    I was 47 when diagnosed, Stage 1 DCIS, bilateral mastectomy but it was all contained in the breast tissue. I’d rather be here with fake breasts then not at all. 7 years later and I’m still doing fine. I raised money for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and in my own little world, have raised almost $50,000 these past 7 years in the hopes that one less woman (or man even as I did meet Peter Criss from Kiss at an event and he had breast cancer too) hears those words. Your thoughts are put together so well. I am better speaking out loud than writing it down but agree with everything you say. Hang in there. It gets better. Be vigilant but don’t let it control your life. Good luck to you.

  • Jenna

    2014/10/30 at 9:43 am

    My mom isn’t as lucky. No health insurance until Obamacare. The moment she got health insurance, she got a colonoscopy. It was too late however: stage 4 colo-rectal. Had she had insurance, she would have had a colonoscopy 10 or more years ago and those polyps that became cancerous would have been removed long before cancer.
    I’m so grateful for Obamacare and yet so sad it didn’t come sooner for my mother.
    I’m sitting here sobbing for you, Heather, for your mom, Linda, and also for me and my mom. Peace to both of you and those you love. I’m so excited that Linda is on her way to recovery.
    Thank you for reminding women to go to the doctor early and often.

  • pixistik13

    2014/10/30 at 9:50 am

    September was national Ovarian Cancer Awareness month. Both my mom and grandma lost their battles with it. I pray for your mother’s health and wish her years and years more with your family. Raise a glass to all the brave individuals who are ravaged by this horrible disease. xoxo mama

  • Desiree Fawn

    2014/10/30 at 10:06 am

    Sending love! Such a hard thing to deal with, but she’s such a strong woman! And so are you!

  • Susan

    2014/10/30 at 10:06 am

    Wow. All my best to your Mom. Thank you for sharing your story, Linda. You are courageous. And you have just saved lives.

  • George Boone

    2014/10/30 at 10:18 am

    I can hear every word in her voice. Love this. Love you and your mom. Hopefully I’ll see you both in May/June next year to give you both hugs.

  • Amy Lee

    2014/10/30 at 10:20 am

    I wish your mom the very best, if anyone can kick cancer’s butt it’s The Avon World Sales Leader. I know how hard this must be for your family (my dad is a cancer survivor), I’ll be keeping you all in my thoughts.

  • Susan Goldberg

    2014/10/30 at 10:20 am

    I am so sorry to read this. Thinking of you and your mom (And of my mom, and of everyone else.) Wishing her a full recovery and easy as possible rest of treatment. Go, Avon world leader!, go

  • Amber Gregory

    2014/10/30 at 10:22 am

    Oh Heather. Love to you and your mom and your family.

  • Marisol

    2014/10/30 at 10:28 am

    Much love to you, your mom, your entire family.

  • jashshea

    2014/10/30 at 10:29 am

    Love and support to your mother! My mom was diagnosed about this time last year and chose to have a double masectomy, along with months of chemo, and then finally a reconstructive surgery. She is such an inspiration for me (always has been) and the way she’s handled herself during this whole process is just plain amazing.
    F*ck Cancer. Keep kicking ass*.
    *Sorry for my language, AWSL.

  • Ali

    2014/10/30 at 10:30 am

    “From nurturing and feeding your child to the intimate pleasure that is gained with your partner. It invades that, and it’s ugly. It’s vile.”
    That is the most poignant thing I have ever read in regards to the emotional impact of breast cancer. It increased my level of empathy twofold as it provided such an intimate glimpse into what it means to be undergoing treatment for breast cancer

  • Jennifer Campisano

    2014/10/30 at 10:47 am

    Thank you for this, for bringing some more attention to the real facts of this godawful disease. I wish you and your mom and the rest of your family nothing but the best.

  • Kristin

    2014/10/30 at 10:47 am

    I’m glad your mother can share her story. My grandfather was diagnosed with breast cancer recently and luckily the surgery removed the cancer (for now at least). I hope that the breast cancer walks are including men at this point, since it affects men as well. I recently lost my father after a far too short battle with pancreatic cancer. He was diagnosed the day after Christmas and passed away on Father’s Day. Talk about bad timing. Cancer is a terrible terrible disease and no one should have to go through it, whether it be the patient or the caretakers. I hope your mother fights hard!

  • housepea

    2014/10/30 at 10:55 am

    Wishing the Avon World Sales Leader a long and healthy life. She sounds like an incredibly strong and brave woman. My grandmother survived breast cancer, and it is pretty much my biggest fear that my mom or myself will get it. Sending good thoughts your way.

  • Brenda

    2014/10/30 at 10:57 am

    Thank you for writing this! Thank you to your mom for sharing her journey. I will say a prayer right now for her.

  • angrynikki

    2014/10/30 at 10:58 am

    I want to hug your mom. She’s in my thoughts as she goes through this. Thank you for sharing.

  • Practical Mama

    2014/10/30 at 10:59 am

    I’ve done Avon Walk, as well, mainly because my father is a breast surgeon (surgeon specializing in breast cancer). I see him and the team of oncologists and specialists working very hard to save lives. In every case, early detection is the key. When he got home, you could tell he had patients in latter stages from his face. I’ve heard surviving patients’ letters to him. I wanted to do my part in the cause.
    I pray for strength and health for your mom. I hope she recovers completely and it never comes back, ever.

  • Andrea

    2014/10/30 at 11:01 am

    Oh Heather and mom! I’m so sorry to hear/read this but thank goodness she didn’t put it off. In March my husband who is 48, we have 4 children b/w the ages of 6-11 was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. We have been through surgery, chemo, radiation, and now more chemo. It’s literally exhausting and as my husband says I bear more of the brunt of it than anyone as he has dr’s who care about him and worry about him and make sure he is pain free, comfortable, etc. Take care and big big big hugs to you both!

  • cornpicker73

    2014/10/30 at 11:02 am

    Lots of love to you and your mom and your family, Heather. Thank you for sharing this story.

  • maggie wilkin

    2014/10/30 at 11:15 am

    Sending you and your mom virtual hugs! I am curious when she told everyone? After the wedding? I had my first mammogram (just turned 40) this past year and was shocked to have abnormal results and needed a needle biopsy. THat was so scary, but luckily it was benign. I am so glad I went though because it could have just as easily been cancer and was so miniscule that it would never be detected by self exam. Get your mammograms, ladies, early detection is the cure!

  • Mary Ann

    2014/10/30 at 11:27 am

    My mom used to tell me that the thing to do for chemo-related fatigue is get on the elliptical for 45 minutes and “really power through it”. Some of us are made of different stuff. I know what it’s like to have an invincible mother who somehow has cancer. I’m sorry. It really sucks.

    Your family is in my thoughts.

  • East West Logistics LLC East W

    2014/10/30 at 11:27 am

    Hugs to you! I was diagnosed Stage 3 in 2003, with lymph node involvement, at the age of 52. Chemo, surgery, more chemo, and radiation followed – I’ve been healthy ever since. Praying for the same for you, this post REALLY struck home.

  • Katybeth

    2014/10/30 at 11:29 am

    I’m sorry you had to be so brave. All my admiration and intentions for your complete recovery.

  • Joanne z Filmlady

    2014/10/30 at 11:31 am

    I know how your mom feels — all of it. I just reached my five-year cancer-free anniversary last month, and if I can do it, the Avon World Sales Leader will ramp it up to 11 and run rings around me. Hugs for all of you, especially the amazing AWSL, who — in addition to her stellar sales skills — created such an awesome dooce.

  • Hanni

    2014/10/30 at 11:45 am

    Wow…what a powerful post. Your mom is an amazing, beautiful woman, Heather…

  • Becky

    2014/10/30 at 11:46 am

    Thank you both.

  • April

    2014/10/30 at 11:48 am

    Tell your mom thanks – just made my appointment – been putting it off (3 years).

  • KristenfromMA

    2014/10/30 at 11:51 am

    I’m on the verge of blubbing like a baby, here at the office. I’ve never met your mother – or even you, Heather – but I have a deep affection for her. Cancer is such a scary word, but if anyone can beat this disease, it’s the Avon World Sales Leader. I’ll be keeping her in my thoughts. <3

  • Cassie Sue

    2014/10/30 at 12:01 pm

    This post made me cry!! In the past 8 months, I lost my Dad to cancer at 59, a dear friend to liver cancer at 50 and we lost my coworker to leukemia at 32. UGH cancer sucks!! I’m so glad your mother’s cancer was found and I wish her the best. This has been a tough year, and the world needs the Avon World Sales Lady. I’ll be rooting for you!

  • Liz W.

    2014/10/30 at 12:10 pm

    This is such a wonderful post. Thank you for shining a light on cancer and telling your story. I lost my own mother to cancer a few years ago and my family still feels that loss every day. I can’t begin to tell you how important it is for women to become their own health advocates. If you think something is wrong or have a gut feeling, please push your doctors to investigate. You know your body better than anyone else. Much love to you and your family.

  • Breanne

    2014/10/30 at 12:13 pm

    Love, support, and prayers for your mom. What a brave lady!

  • bambooska

    2014/10/30 at 12:17 pm

    Thank you for sharing this story, Linda Oar. It means a great deal. Thank you so much.I got teary because I’m proud of your mama, Heather. She is a very special woman. Would you give her an extra hug in the name of all of us?

  • Angela

    2014/10/30 at 12:24 pm

    Hugs and prayers to you all. XO

  • Marleah Dolson

    2014/10/30 at 12:25 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your Mom’s story. I’m cheering you on!

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Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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