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.


About Wendy D

I was born in San Francisco and ended up marrying a rancher in Reno, Nevada. I have a big city job anchoring the 5 o’clock news but come home to the country where my husband’s family has ranched for 5 generations.


  1. Lori Bullard says:

    Your tribute was very touching; your mom so strong and brave. Brought back many memories of my mother and her battle with Breast/Ovarian cancer. She was in hospice for two weeks — utter blessing. My mother Jerry, my sister Lisa, my maternal grandmother Jesse, my maternal aunt Janet, her daughter (my first cousin) Kelly all had breast cancer, ovarian cancer, or both. My sister is the only cancer survivor (diagnosed with ovarian cancer 8 years ago and breast cancer Sep 2011). I had the BRCA genetic test done eleven years ago. It came back positive for the deletereous gene mutation and I had a profilactic hysterectomy in 2005. I stay extremely vigilant about my mammograms and actually have had annual breast MRI’s the last 4 years. I’ve had consultations with my FP and a plastic surgeon considering a profilactic double mastectomy, but not yet ready. Thank you for the message to many women in Northern NV to be strong and take care of themselves. Thank you for arranging the free and/or discounted breast screenings!

    Your mom set an example for you. With the love and support of her family, she passed with grace and dignity. She seemed thrilled with the visit from your father. You may not know it, but in her illness she helped you become a better mother. You’ve taken that gift and passed it on to your world, Wendy. Don’t grieve this Christmas, assign your emotions instead to gratitude and humiltiy. They will be very comfortable there…

    • Wendy D says:

      Lori, I had no idea. Thank you for opening up about your family history. I’ve known for years there was something in your past, but never would have guessed it was something so horrible. I can’t wait to give you a hug at our next family get together. Hugs my friend!

  2. Cathy says:

    Wow, what an incredibly brave and courageous woman your mom was. The vulnerability alone that she must have experienced had to have been extremely difficult. Thank you for sharing her story with us, I know it was very hard for you but like you said, if it helps even one person it will be worth it. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1994 and has since been cancer free but a part of me wonders if it will always remain that way. I shared with you once very briefly my encounters with your mom….I used to work at The UPS Store there in Reno and she was one of my customers. The last time I saw her was when she came in to mail a package wrapped in brown paper and I noticed it was for “Little Miss Remington.” It was for Brooklyn. I am glad I had the chance even for the few minutes she was there to be graced with her presence. She carried herself well and I’m sure she hasn’t changed a bit even now. I have since moved out of Reno but am glad I was able to see this. It broke my heart watching you with your mom because I could very well find myself in the same position with mine should her cancer come back. When someone says “they aren’t sick/hurting anymore” the selfish side of me says “why can’t they still be here and not be sick or hurting?” Then I remind myself they are in a better place and by allowing myself to go through the grieving process, however long it takes, I know that life does go on and I will carry them in my heart forever. All those feelings of denial, anger,guilt, acceptance etc., bring us to the other side of what was lost and little by little we find ourselves smiling and laughing again and even being able to think and talk about our lost loved one without the tears. You are your mother’s daughter and I see the same tenacity in you that I saw in her in your story about her fight with this devastating disease. Keep on keepin’ on Wendy…I’m sure your mom would expect nothing less.

    • Wendy D says:

      Cathy, I love hearing from people who knew my parents. Thanks for sharing! I’ll be sure to tell Kristen!

  3. I came across this story last night by complete accident while cooking dinner, and I commend you for taking the time to document your mom’s journey through cancer and for the strength to share your personal story with others. It was heartbreaking to watch but it’s an important story to share. My own mom has dealt with a few rounds of breast cancer, and a friend of mine who is a radio DJ in Bakersfield (early 30s) just went through a double mastectomy and is being brave through sharing her story as well. I’m sorry for your loss :(

  4. Lindsey says:

    Her story is down to a T the same as my moms who died in 2002, I was 21. Thank you for sharing her story. God Bless.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Hi Wendy,
    That story was just incredible. It had to take so much courage for your mom to be willing to share her struggle with the camera’s in the hope that it will help others. I am amazed at the strength it must have taken you in order to put the story together as well. We lived next door to your parents for a few years in Heron’s Landing. They were both wonderful, kind people and we think of them often. Sometimes the stories without a happy ending are the most moving. I hope that this story inspires every woman who sees it to take care of themselves and practice prevention. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

  6. Joan says:

    Thank you for sharing your Mom’s amazing story, Wendy! What a beautiful testimony of faith, courage, strength and love of family. Continue to focus on the moments of your life…living each of them to the fullest. Enjoy your children…if our Mom could of had anything, it would have been more time with them. She is so very proud of you right now…as are we all!

  7. Peg Buckner says:

    Beautiful! Especially touching that you included and shared the portion of the story that your beautiful Mother saw your Father a few times. Really seemed like an amazing and moving, movie. Maybe you should consider writing a book?

  8. Peg Buckner says:

    Oh and, your story made me wish I had known your Mom!

  9. Patty Moscarella says:

    I just watched your story and it was very touching that your mom let us be apart of her journey. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer almost 5 years ago at the age of 69. She has been OK and this summer the Doctor can say “she’s in remission” I hope that day comes for her but I always have my doubts that one day she will call and say “the cancer has come back” Every-time I hear the phone ring that thought pops in my head. I have been very vigilant about pre-screening every year. I am very thankful that I got to spend Christmas with her and feel very blessed there was at least one more and pray there will be more to come. Keep your chin up Wendy she’s with your dad now feeling no pain and looking down on your family and friends who now have two guardian angels watching over all of you. I lost my dad in 2001 to lung cancer so I know how you may be feeling. I feel his presence all the time and that is very comforting and has got me through his passing. Keep up the good work I enjoy watching you on the news.

  10. Darby Weber says:

    Thank you Wendy for your strength to share you mom’s story. I, too am a breast cancer survivor. I just turned 39 and have been a survivor for 4 years. I also have Dr. Conrath as a Dr. and also had TC as my cocktail, so your story hits a little to close to home. As a mother and a daughter, I know that bond between a mother and her daughter and I am so sorry for the pain and heartache you have. My father died almost 7 years ago of lung cancer, and I helped take care of him for almost 2 years. It was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever endured watching my hero die. Each and every day I just wanted him to be at peace and be with his parents in heaven. After he passed, my mom had a few visions of my dad as I have had him in many of my dreams and we know he is at peace. Know that your mom (and dad) are watching over you and so proud of everything you do to continue to fight breast cancer. I know I am grateful for you – your amazing!

    • Wendy D says:

      Darby, thank you for sharing part of your life with me. You are an amazing woman. I hope 2013 is a great year for you!

  11. My mom passed away at 4:22am on Thanksgiving. Here is the short story I wrote right after and shared at her home-going. I pray this blesses you. I miss mom terribly but know she no longer has to live in pain.
    The name of the story is:
    Room 110
    Imagine being in a large room with hardwood floors, a large window with the blinds drawn and dim lighting throughout the room. Now imagine two white leather love seats tucked discretely in the corner of the room. Picture a bed in the center of this room. I want you to see mom, sister Pat lying in this bed with white sheets and blankets pulled up to her chest as she breathes ever so gently. Picture her chest as it rise and falls with each breath that she takes. There is a lounge chair to the right of the bed and a night stand to the left. I want you to see me sitting in the lounge chair on her right, holding her hand underneath the white blanket with my left hand while holding a book in my right. The book I am holding is called “A Divine Revelation of Heaven” by Mary K. Baxter. There is soft worship music playing in the background as I read to mom. My sister, Shennill and I take turns reading this book. As the day wears on, there is weeping, reading, singing, talking and laughing. Now imagine each of her grand kids entering this large dim room. As they arrive, one by one they are led to her bedside. They take turns having a seat next to grand mom to say their goodbyes. They don’t see sickness or pain, all they see is grand mom sleeping in a bed. The kids are reassured that although grandma is sleeping she can clearly hear everything that goes on, even their whispers in her ear. The kids range from ages 5 to 19. Visitors drift in and out as we reminisce and testify about the wonderful life mom lived and the impact she had on everyone she touched. Testimonies and praise pour out, as we recognize the presence of the LORD throughout moms life which is evident by the lives she leaves behind. Now imagine family and friends gathering around mom’s bed holding hands for a final prayer of release and farewells. Soon after, all the visitors began to leave, and the grandkids have gone home for bed. There are four of us who remain behind: me on mom’s right, Shennill to her left, Wanda Mona’ at her left leg and Nottra at her right leg. We each sit around mom the way we sit around the table during the holiday’s. There are moments of silence followed by faint cries and weeping, all while worship music continues to echo the shadows. Throughout the night we talk about our lives, our families and our experiences; we remember the times with mom, we joke we laugh, we sing, all while never leaving her side. Time presses on towards the dawn. Hours feel like minutes and all at once we notice mom’s breathing rapidly changing as if to clear her throat as she prepares to depart for the last time. As I hold her hand in my right hand underneath the white blanket, I place my left hand on her forehead and then gently rub her cheek, I could tell that the once warm hand I held all through the night was beginning to grow cold. We each hovered over mom for our last kiss, our last goodbye and our final farewells. With me to her right and Shennill to her left, Wanda Mona’ to her left leg and Nottra to her right, we watched anxiously as mom’s breaths became shorter and fewer in between. With her mouth slightly open, she takes a breath in and 30 seconds later she exhales and releases her last and final breath…We all stare in silence, watching her chest, waiting…There is no heartbeat, she breaths no more. My sisters and I look at one another and then we look toward the ceiling in ROOM 110, we throw mom a kiss and wave goodbye with forced smiles, fighting back our tears. We envisioned mom waving back as she sees her four girls standing around her now lifeless body on a bed draped in white. As mom holds the hand of her guardian angel she turns and enters the pearly gates of heaven. Mom is gone. Silence is suddenly broken when I say, “Well everybody, at least we got to be together for one more Thanksgiving Day.” And then we embraced one another and we wept…ONE SCRIPTURE PLAYS IN MY MIND OVER AND OVER…and that is: “Precious in the sight of The Lord is the death of His Saints” -Psalms 116:15
    In loving memory of Patricia Ann Scott
    August 22, 1949 to November 22, 2012

  12. Vicki says:

    Wendy – I saw your mom’s story last night and am so sorry for your loss but happy that you and your family had the opportunity to document your journey – what a wonderful treasure to have video that you and your family can look back at. I lost my mom to breast cancer in 1999 and I regret not being able to spend her last days with her – I wish I had done things differently – I thought there was more time- something that we can never get back. . Your mom seeing your dad was very touching and I I hope that my mom also she too saw my father coming for her. I smile to think that they are together again.

    • Wendy D says:

      Hi Vicki,
      I do see My Mom’s story as a treasure… and a gift. Since the night it aired, I’ve felt better about my mom’s passing. I’m so sorry about your mom. Don’t live a life of regrets. It’s too short as it is. I’m sure she’s up in Heaven with our dad looking down on you wanting you to live a life of beauty!

  13. Amy says:

    Congrats to testifying on Bill 147. I, too, was found to have dense breast, have endured two biospies within a year from each other but still the doctor refuses to order an MRI over a mammogram. Thankfully both biopsies came back negative. My hope for this Bill 147 to pass in the Assembly is to bring more awareness to the community to speak up about their health. Keep up the good work.

    • Wendy D says:

      Thanks for your comments Amy. And I’m so happy for you your biopsies were negative. Stay on top of your health!

  14. Pam Morrison says:


    Thank you for sharing your Mom’s story…your story..your brother’s story…the story of all who knew your Mom. It was so touching. She had such strength and courage as she faced each day, not knowing what it would bring, or if there would be another day, another sunrise. You have your Mom’s strength and courage. You have taken a very sad time in your life and turn it into a positive for others, giving them information that can save their lives. Your segment with Kristin’s husband was so heartwarming.

    After I watched the video I thought to myself that I have nothing that I can say. I have not lost a family member to cancer. I have not watched their daily struggles, fighting the disease. A couple of hours later my brother called me from NH where my Mom had been in a nursing home for 12 years. She had suffered a stroke in 2001, leaving her bed ridden or chair bound for all this time. She had passed away.

    You are an inspiration to all of us. Thank you so much for sharing. May God Bless You.

    Pam Morrison

  15. Chad Brown says:

    Your mother reminds me a great deal of my own; her sweetness, her courage, her zeal for life and family. Her story is as inspirational as it is tragic. I sat and cried, listening to her. I could easily imagine my own mother, wife, sister…in her place. It is heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing her story. I wish you and your family all the best.

  16. Lisa Phillips says:

    I happened upon the story because of the Emmy nomination. You all showed great courage and a loving spirit sharing your story; you will be honoring her memory far beyond our community. Thank you for the reminder that cancer touches all of us in some way and to ever be vigilant but also warriors not only for ourselves but for those we love most. You and your family have been an inspiration. Thank you again for sharing your story.

  17. Rachelle Guinan says:

    Dearest Wendy,
    What a brave woman you are to share your story. I know we all have stories and I thought I’d tell you mine.
    I’m a native and grew up south of town and had the wonderful opportunity of having Eva Damonte (your mother in law) teach me how to knit in 4H. To this day I still pick up knitting and never forget Eva sitting next to me.
    As life went on I got married, had two children and did the mom things with sports and school.
    When I turned 50, I found a lump. Went through all the testing, doctor appointments and mammos. In my heart I knew it was cancer, sure enough it was. I followed with a lumpectomy, chemo (4 rounds) and 33 treatments of radiation.
    Like your Mom you will do anything to live your life to see what the future holds. I am so sorry your Mom won’t be there to see this with you and your children.
    Long story short, almost 11 years have passed since my diagnosis, am doing great and very strict with my health care..
    It was nice to see how painful it is to have your head shaved and what is around the corner with the whole breast cancer ordeal. The uncertainty is horrible.
    It was nice to email this to you and hope I can be a friend to be of support for you.

    • Wendy D says:

      Thank you Rachelle for sharing your story. I’m so thrilled for you to be a survivor. The uncertaintly is horrible, but you are a survivor. I wish I could have met Eva. Through stories like yours, I know she was an incredible woman. Our daugther is proudly named for her.

  18. Sending my sincere Care & heartfelt sympathy to you for your loss. I love your voice. I love your mother! How beautiful is she. She will live on in hearts, minds, memories and this beautiful tribute! Thank You for sharing this and making this! I was taken away from my own Bio mom by the RN from my birth hospital. I found that RN Dead when I was 13. Life only got Worse after that!! Taking care of her former Butcher, illiterate, abusing, man, John!! Who tried to Kill me whenever his drunken rage would take over!! One Christmas Eve, I met my husband to be. He was 18 & I was 16. He f got to see some of the horror I lived in. He helped me. I did right by John & put him into a elderly housing unit. I was left with Nothing!! Taking care of John so much hurt me from graduating high school. When I was 19 & Pregnant I found my Bio mom!! Gary & I did find her. I drove against my OB’s Advice. We found her. Got to her in time to see her Dying from Breast Cancer! She never shared if I had a Dad or family! Joining our family wasn’t possible! Breast Cancer claimed her life at age 46! I never saw her again! That emotional, bittersweet visit was heartbreaking and life ending for her. Jump to ’09 my longtime husband lost his job and insurance. Then 2010 I got TNBC!! I wasn’t much older then my mom when she died! My husband saw my mom’s Dying look on my face! He begged me to live! I’m a woman of my word. So I’m still here! Even though I feel like TNBC/Chemo/Surgeries/Radiation left me feeling like I was tortured and left to Die. Trying to do this with NO income! Little Quality of life. No pet scan, MRI, cat scan, bone scan or those endless meds. I could NOT afford! Emend is like $448.00 for 3 pills! So puking I did!!! All of the nausea! My Cat made the throw up sounds.. & laid on the bedroom floor with me! TNBC is life robbing!! My daughter drove me to ALL of my appts. Since our car wasn’t road worthy! I owe her tirs & car repairs! But can’t do that on our no income situation! My Daughter always had gifts for me. Got me anything she could to provide me Help. All food tasted like mud, hurt, burned and was Terrible!! She’d try to find me some pills I desperately needed! She’d drive me past The New Dodge Challengers. I dreamed I’d own if I live! She always made sure we got 49 cent ice cream cones. When she didn’t want any.. But it tasted terrible, like dirt! But she tried to make me find Peace, comfort & Happiness!! My husband did what he could as well. In his eyes I saw his need for me to live. I tried to enjoy any time with my youngest daughter and her then 3 Babies!! TNBC is brutal! Your mother was courageous, beautiful, warm, loving & wonderful. I wish I knew her! How inspiring she is! Thank You for sharing!! I’m still here! Living on Love & a Prayer and Zero income!! It seems to only take the best. I hope you feel you love bond and the signs your mom sends you! She’s watching over you with loving care. I loved your article. Beautiful in every way.

  19. Chad Brown says:

    Dear Wendy,
    There is a new Protocol for screening and diagnosis of Breast Cancer. It is called Breast Enhanced Scintigraphy Test (BEST). Rather than simply screening, with a qualitative black/white image (like mammography) BEST Protocol QUANTIFIES tissues by type. It distinguishes among calcium, healthy tissue, inflamed tissue, DCIS and Cancer, and it does so without surgery/biopsy. It identifies cancers as small as 2mm, compared to mammography which averages 19mm diameter for baseline. That means it can identify cancer YEARS before mammograms can find it. Even better, BEST Protocol works flawlessly for women with dense breasts, implants, etc. It delivers 1/3 of the radiation exposure of the typical mammogram and it DIAGNOSES while it SCREENS, with NO SURGICAL BIOPSY NEEDED. No more False-Positives, and no more False-Negatives. It has been the subject of 5 studies (with 995 women & 2 men tested) published in peer-reviewed medical journals, and it does NOT need FDA approval. It is ready for the women who need it. Will you please be so kind as to sit down with me to chat about it? I can show you images, charts, etc., to explain how it works and where it is in the process. It would make a phenomenal story. This is what we are so desperately seeking to DEFEAT BREAST CANCER. Additionally, the Director of Radiology at UCLA’s Harbor Medical Center has endorsed it and wants to conduct BEST testing on a handful of women for FREE, on-camera, to help get the word out. Moreover, a local hospital is presently considering a large-scale study and launch. Please call me: 918-767-2676. I live here in Reno.

    • Wendy D says:

      That’s GREAT news Chad!! I’ll do some research on BEST and get back in touch with you. It sounds really exciting. Thanks for making the contact with me!

  20. Lena McCully says:

    I am visiting from Southern California and I just saw on CBS your very beautiful Mother’s story: My Mom’s Story. I am so sorry for your loss. My son is a cancer survivor. I know it is very hard to talk about cancer with people that you do not know but I am here to thank you for sharing your mom’s story with all of us. I just got a letter from my doctor saying that I do have a dense tissue … anyway, I filed away but as soon I get home I will call my doctor and make a follow up appointment. Your beautiful Mom, I am sure, have saved many people from breast cancer because of her diligence in bring forward awareness. Thank you! May you and your family be blessed with great health. I love your determination and inspiration to keep going with your life. Sincerely, Lena McCully

    • Wendy D says:

      Thanks for the beautiful email Lena! And thanks for sharing some of your story with me. I’m thrilled to know your son is a survivor. Have a beautiful day!

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