Bartending for Breast Cancer

Did you hear??  I’m going to be a celebrity bartender.  Ok, that sentence is just down right funny to me.  Because 1) I don’t consider myself a celebrity.  And 2) I don’t know how to bartend.  The last time I was a “bartender” my friend Amy and I snuck behind the bar at our college hang-out called The Wall and gave  beers away to friends.  That was 1993.  But when someone calls and asks me to help in the battle against breast cancer, I have a hard time saying no.  Joe Kelly and David Hughes made that call.  So, on March 22nd, please come out to Pinocchio’s on South Virginia Street in Reno between 5-8pm.  All your tips will be donated to the Moms on the Run organization.  Can’t make it?  You can also donate on the Moms on the Run website ( … but please put WENDY’S TEAM in the comment section otherwise we won’t get credit for your donation.  And we are up against other bartending teams… one of which made $21,000 in one night!!!!  Did I mention we have auction items??  Moms on the Run is a non-profit organization that raises funds to assist northern Nevada women with everyday living expenses while in treatment for breast and gynecological cancers. THANK YOU!!!!!!





The fight has just begun. Even though today it ended here in the state of Nevada. The fight will continue all across this country. I’m talking about breast density legislation. Today, Governor Brian Sandoval signed AB 147 into law. This will make it mandatory for physicians to inform women who get mammograms what type of breast tissue they have. Why is this important? Because dense breast tissue is more prone to develop breast cancer. AND tumors are harder to see on a mammogram for women with dense breasts. For example… my mom had a CLEAN mammogram and then 6 months later, she was diagnosed with end stage cancer. She had 4 tumors in her left breast.  1 in her neck. And of 54 lymph nodes taken out, 38 were cancerous. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE for cancer to spread that quickly. My mom had breast cancer, undetected in her annual mammograms, for years! She didn’t die of breast cancer. She died because she had dense breasts. Had she known she had dense breasts, I’m positive she would have paid the $150 a year for additional screening. Her cancer would have been picked up years earlier. She would be alive today. Here’s the story of the signing:

KTVN Channel 2 – Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video –

OK, now that I’m off my soapbox (momentarily) I’ll return to humor tomorrow.  Because you will not believe what happened moments before the signing occurred. Only in my life would something so important happen so haphazardly!



I had an extremely emotional, yet gratifying day today. I testified in support of Nevada Assembly Bill 147 in front of the Heath and Human Services committee at the Nevada Legislature. The goal of the 20130311-220247.jpgbill is the make it mandatory for doctors to inform their patients if they have dense breast tissue. “What?” you say. What is this “dense breast tissue” you speak of? Never heard of it? That’s weird because 40% OF YOU HAVE DENSE BREAST TISSUE. And that puts you at a higher risk for getting breast cancer. Why? Because dense breast tissue can hide tumors. Tumors are grey, dense tissue is grey. The cancer blends in and often times can’t be seen. Yet no one talks about dense breast tissue. Well, I sure as hell am… and here’ s why.

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in November of 2010. 6 months prior, she had a clean mammogram. So just last week, I called her surgeon. I asked, first off, if she had dense breast tissue. “Yes, she had heterogeneously dense tissue,” was the reply. Next question. Is there any way her tumor started the day after she had her last mammogram and in 6 months spread to her neck and 38 lymph nodes? “No” was the reply. For a cancer cell to multiply and become 1 centimeter, it takes 5-9 years. MY MOM HAD THIS CANCER GROWING IN HER BREAST FOR AT LEAST 5 YEARS AND IT WAS NEVER PICKED UP WITH A MAMMOGRAM. Holy Shit! That’s all I could say to myself. Holy shit, holy shit… my mom didn’t need to die! If she was told she had dense breast tissue, I guarantee she would have done an additional ultrasound screening. That ultrasound would have likely picked up her cancer years before it had metastasized so aggressively and she would be alive today. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. I believe every woman has a right to know if she has dense breast tissue. Then she can decide if she wants to pay for the additional ultrasound screenings (insurance doesn’t cover this type of screening, go figure!).

20130311-220254.jpgDr. Nancy Cappello, from Conneticut, is the woman who brought the issue of dense breast tissue to light.  She has dense breast tissue and was diagnosed with a late stage breast cancer in 2004.  She got similar legislation passed in Connecticut and also created the organization  This is one of the only places you can get understandable information about this issue (yes, you can read medical journals but trust me they are no fun!).  She also testified at the Nevada Legislature today and I couldn’t be more impressed with her determination to inform women. 

And that’s where I stand.  I don’t want to tell the medical field how to do their job.  I really don’t.  In fact, I have a doctor friend who I respect who has sent me tons of literature opposing  bills like these.  But for me, it comes down to my gut instinct that WOMEN HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW.  Then you can make your own decisions about what you do with that information.  I can’t turn my back on that belief and the belief that had my mom known about her breast density she would be alive today.  Here’s my final word:  FIND OUT FROM YOUR DOCTOR WHAT TYPE OF BREAST TISSUE YOU HAVE!  Only a mammogram can determine this.  Size, shape, feel… it doesn’t matter.  It’s tissue you are born with.  Your doctors knows the answer to what type of tissue you have…. shouldn’t you too??





So yesterday, I said I didn’t like my new HD makeup. That not entirely true! For a non makeup gal, this stuff by Colour Basis is makeup for morons. I have a jar of eyeliner gel and a brush that says eyeliner gel brush. Brilliant!! I can literally do my face simply by reading the labels on my brushes. That I like. What I don’t like is this thin little pencil that’s white. White is an odd color for a pencil, even I know that! And this pencil is odd! You put it ON your lowered eyelid. Not UNDER it, like we all did in a sparkly shade of blue in 7th grade! Apparently, it’s an old modeling trick to make your eyes look brighter. It probably came from that Twiggy girl who ruined girls’ body images for decades… Because this stuff is ruining my ability to anchor. The moment I put it on it blurs my vision! So for the last week I’ve been trying to anchor with far less than my normal 20/20 vision. You too can give this a try!! Simply smear Vaseline on both eyeballs and try reading your TV’s closed captioning.

Ok take a look for yourself.

Here’s my left eye without the white eyeliner (sweet blemish above the eye!  WTH??? I guess I didn’t apply enough of the blemish remover with my blemish remover brush!!):


Here’s my right eye with the Twiggy inspired crap!


And now compare side to side:


(is it just me? Or do I appear to be having a stroke on my left side?? )

Ok! If you all comment that, YES Wendy! You look 12 cups of coffee brighter eyed with the Twiggy liner then I will just consider it a hazard of the job. But if you can’t tell the difference, I’m ditching that Twiggy crap… And eating an entire cheesecake too!

And next week, I’ll take you through my entire process… from sans makeup to full HD ready!  Stay tuned for that episode of fun! 





This is an actual conversation I had at work this week with a co-worker of mine.

Dani: Hey Wendy, can I have a condom?

Me (without batting an eyelash): No sorry, I’m out. But ask anyone in the newsroom. They all have some.

I swear only at the Deuce would you have a serious conversation like this. Ok, let me explain! Two weeks ago, Darrin and I went to a Christmas party at our friend’s house. It’s a tradition to bring a white elephant present. Everyone throws their gag gift into a pile and we have a present opening cocktail party that gets pretty funny. In fact, a few years ago I thought I was being funny by bringing a huge framed picture of myself. It was from my work. It actually hung in our lobby. It was my first chubby cheeked anchor picture circa 1996. That same picture keeps being regifted every year at this Christmas party. Weird. Over the years other gags representing my TV station have been added to the pile of presents. But this year, a guy named Mark took the cake!

Some poor guy picked from the pile a box about the size of a hat box. It was plainly wrapped. On the outside, it appeared boring. But when the unsuspecting guy opened it, hundreds of condoms came pouring out onto the carpet. And I leaped out of my chair. That’s because on each and every condom packet was a sticker of my TV station’s slogan: COVERAGE YOU CAN COUNT ON!

20130102-203807.jpgOk, that is REALLY funny. But I started grabbing as many of them as possible, wondering if I could somehow get fired for these. But they were like jumping beans flying off my fingers and into everyone else’s clapping hands. It was quite the scene.

Fast forward to New Year’s Day and I come strolling into work, carrying a bag of condoms. It was like Christmas all over again. I was throwing them out like candy at a parade. They were a huge hit. So much so those who didn’t get one wanted one. And now you understand why Dani would casually ask me for a condom at work!



If just ONE of you who watches this 23 minute video goes and gets screened for breast cancer, then my mom’s death won’t have been in vain.  My photographers at my TV station and I shot this story over the course of a year (2011).  And it took me another year to find the courage to put it together (2012).   This is My Mom’s Story, Her Battle With Cancer.



20121220-085705.jpgFor those of you in my viewing area… Have I looked different lately? Well, I should have. That’s because recently my station switched from standard to high definition. And shortly after that, we got HD makeup. Now let me tell you a bit about my makeup history.


When I first started reporting 19 years ago (gulp) I wore a touch of blush, some mascara and lip smackers lip gloss. You can see makeup isn’t my thing. I went on air like that for about a year until my then boss, Nancy, called me into her office and said I had to start wearing makeup meant for TV not a 7th grade date to the movies. She even popped in a tape to show me what I looked like. That wasn’t very nice but boy did it drive home to me that makeup was just as much a part of TV journalism as spelling is to print. You have to have it! So around 1997, we had a Mary Kay consultant come make us over. And then Mac moved to town.



And now HD makeup. Christie, with Colour Basis, is the latest consultant to walk to hallowed halls of the Deuce. It’s been quite the progression… Both for my face and the makeup industry. But, man, there’s one thing I hate about this new makeup. I’ll write about that tomorrow!














I’ve interviewed a lot of nutrition gurus in my career. And every time I talk to one of them, I’m sold on their ideas. For example, after interviewing Mark Sisson (Primal Blueprint) I started eating like a caveman and working out in short spurts and stressing less. I loved it. I felt great. But in this stressfully hectic world, I couldn’t sustain it. Cortisol once again started racing through my veins. So when I learned Robb Wolf (The Paleo Solution) moved to Reno, I thought, “Ok, I’m going to give this Paleo lifestyle another shot!” I first met Robb during an interview at my TV station. I then invited him back to do a live segment with me. And each time, he convinced me eating Paleo really is better. He’s living proof. As a former Californai State Powerlifting champion and amateur Thai boxer, he was horribly sick with ulcerative colitis, high blood pressure and a host of other health problems. After switching to Paleo, he’s better… much better. In fact, he rarely deviates from this lifestyle after 15 years! But when he does “cheat” it’s with some corn tortillas, ice cream and dark chocolate. And what about alcohol? Can we indulge without undoing all the good we’re trying to do with our diet? I love Robb’s answer to this! Drink dry wines, the NorCal Margaraita (tequila, lime juice and soda water) and drink enough to optimize your sex life, not so much that you damage performance.

I believe in living life to the fullest… and trust me! I’m not going to miss out on Sunday night pizza during the game just because I’m “Paleo.” But I do believe sticking to a healthy diet (whatever diet that is for you) most of the time is essential. Plus, it makes those indulgences taste that much better! On the other hand, the more I cook Paleo, the more I like it and the less I want breads, pasta and dairy. So, if you’re tempted to try it out, Robb says the number one thing to take out of your diet is gluten. That means no wheat, oats, rye, etc.

Good luck on your journey to better health! To learn more about Robb Wolf go to And click on the link below to see my 2 minute interview with him.




I was walking through the Reno airport the other day coming back from a girls weekend in Seattle. I hadn’t showered, I was exhausted and truth be told, a tad hung over. Not my ideal combination for being out in public. Because yes, to answer the most common question I get, yes I’m often recognized in public. And it’s a tad embarrassing when I’m not 20121121-090423.jpglooking my best and someone says, “Hey Wendy Damonte… it’s you!” And their “you” sounds more like “eeewwwww.” But I do have to say people in Northern Nevada are great and gracious and I never really mind people coming up saying hi. But on this particular day, I was really hoping to get to my car unnoticed. I made it out of my gate, down the escalator and past the baggage claim. I was about 100 steps from the parking garage when I heard a screech coming for about 15 feet in front of me. As my eyes slowly looked up to see what all the commotion was about, I saw a woman, maybe in her 40′s, staring right at me. By now she was doing mini calf raisers over her excitement at seeing me. And finally she yelled, “OH MY GOD… I LOVE YOU! I WATCH YOU ALL THE TIME. I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M SEEING YOU. HONESTLY YOU ARE THE BEST, ERIN BREEN!!!”………..crickets…….. Ok let me quickly pull us out of this post to explain something. Erin and I do work at the same TV station.  She’s great. I love Erin Breen. She’s one of my favorite people in the newsroom because she’s quirky, tells it like it is, and I often find myself eavesdropping in on her when she talks to herself. She’s a hoot! BUT…. she and I have few, very few, common physical features. She’s a brunette, she’s 5’6″ and she has crystal blue eyes. I’m blonde (at least this year!), I’m 5’8″ and have muck green eyes according to my high school boyfriend (jerk!). Ok, so now that you understand how preposterous this woman’s excitement is, let’s click back into the post.    I’m standing there wondering what do I do??? Do I simply reply, “Oh, I’m not Erin I’m Wendy.” Well as I got closer to her, I realized I (well, Erin) was making this lady’s day… possibly her week. It reminded me of when my brother, Jer, would walk through the Dallas airport during his football days and little kids would run up to him and say, “Troy Aikman, we love you!!” He would tell them the truth and crush them. I always told him he should just go with it so the kids would have a cool story on the playground come Monday. So I decided to go with my own advice and just go with it. “Hi! It’s so nice to meet you too!! Thank you so much for watching.” “Thank YOU, Erin! See you tonight on the news!!!!” And with that, I escaped to my car and had a good laugh. And I had an even bigger laugh when I looked in the mirror and saw how horrible I looked. Sorry I represented you so poorly, Erin! I sure hope that woman didn’t say to all of her friends that night, “Hey guys! I saw Erin Breen at the airport today…and boy did she look like shit!”



Ok, this post IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. In fact, most of you should stop reading right now! I mean it. Especially all you men. This is not for the light of heart. TMI comes to mind. Ok, for those of you who can handle it, here ya go! You know that feeling, that little tickle, when you forgot to put in a tampon? SEE I TOLD YOU TO STOP READING!! Anyway, when you get that feeling, you hope you’re still at home, sipping that last Godly drop of coffee before rushing out the door. You hope no matter where you are you’re in a black skirt. And you certainly hope, when that little tickle comes you can get discreetly and quickly to a bathroom to stop the gush that is coming any moment. Well… that little tickle happened to me today ON LIVE TV! Presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, was in Reno and right as he took the stage… tickle tickle tickle! Now, when that happens, you slightly freeze, right? You hope if you don’t move the situation won’t get any worse. So there I am trying to take notes, not moving from the shoulder down… for 45 minutes! And once he left the stage and we signed off, I had to pretend to stay busy until everyone else left the studio. No way was I going to risk walking in front of anyone. Finally, I was able to get to the bathroom where I took care of the business I should have taken care of before I left the house today. The one saving grace is I did have on a black skirt