Well hello!  How have you been?  Whoa, I’ve been busy.  Crazy in fact.  But all good things.  Since we last spoke, I’ve launched a new organization that will save lives.  It’s called Each One Tell One.  My partners are Heather Reimer and Chiqeeta Jameson.  Heather is a breast cancer survivor.  Her cancer was missed on a mammogram.  A SonoCine automated whole breast ultrasound she randomly received found a marble sized tumor. Chiqeeta’s story is similar.  Only while on chemo, she got the wrong cocktail, taking away her ability to have children.  And as you all know, my mom died from breast cancer after her mammogram missed four tumors in her left breast.  Her disease had spread to a tumor in her neck and out of the 54 lymph nodes her surgeon took out… 38 tested positive for cancer.  All of these stories have one common denominator.  All these women have dense breast tissue. So under the Each One Tell One umbrella, we created The Dangerous Boobs Tour.  We are traveling the country educating anyone who will listen to us that mammography isn’t enough for women with dense breast tissue.  Here are the stats:

40% of women have dense breast tissue

50% of cancerous tumors are missed on mammography

70% of all breast cancers occur in women with dense breast tissue

85% of women don’t know what type of tissue they have.

Those number are shocking.  Those numbers mean women are dying needlessly.  Those numbers are huge, but the only number that really matters to me is 1.  My mom.  She died from dense breast tissue.  She died because no one ever told her additional screenings can see what mammography misses.  A SonoCine machine was 2 miles from her house.  But technology is useless if you don’t know about it or know how it can help you.  So, in honor of my mom, The Dangerous Boobs Tour is doing what we can to inform women about dense breast tissue.  We’ve already made presentations to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Women’s Task Force.  We just got back from speaking at the National Women’s Survivors Convention in Nashville. And we are looking forward to doing more.  Please go to www.eachonetellone.com Educate yourself about dense breast tissue.  Ask your doctor if you have it.  If you do, ask about additional screenings that might be right for you.


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 (http://www.momsontherun.info/) … 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!!!!!!



TEDx Talk

On January 24th, 2014, I gave the talk of my life.  It was at TEDx University of Nevada.  The talk informs women about the dangers of dense breast tissue, and more importantly, what you can do if you have it.  40% of women have dense breast tissue and you have the right and the need to know this information.  Please watch my talk and pass it on to people you know and love.  Without grassroots movements like this, women will stay in the dark about this hidden danger.  Thank you for being a part of my mission to save women’s lives.  The video below my TEDx talk is my Mom’s Story.  Please watch that as well… maybe with a glass of wine!




church imageAs we walked to the news set the other night, I asked Kristen, my friend and co-anchor, “Do you ever cry in church?”  She laughed and said, “I’ll text you the first time I don’t cry in church.”   That made me feel better because last Sunday I had an extemely emotional experience in church and I wanted to know if I was crazy. Kristen assured me I wasn’t.

Last weekend, I ended up kidless on Sunday morning and so took advantage by going to church by myself.  Going to church alone doesn’t bother me.  It’s not like flying solo to a movie.  That does bug me.  But when it comes to church, I actually prefer to go alone.  I didn’t go to my church.  But instead traveled up to Lake Tahoe to visit St. Francis of Assisi. 

In 2004, we baptised our daughter, Eva Diana, at St. Francis.  Since then, it’s always held a special place in my heart.   And now, sitting alone in my pew, I was once again happy to be here.  When Father Bill entered I immediately sat up straighter.  His presence didn’t make me nervous, but rather more alert… like a freshman on the first day of class.  I wanted to truly understand the lesson I was about to hear.  And learn I did.

He asked us all to allow the Holy Spirit into our souls so that we could forgive those who trouble us the most.  The Holy Spirit would guide us in allowing our feelings of ill will to be replaced with love and eventual peace.  And when he said, “We need the power to deal with those that cause us the most pain…” my eyes immediately filled with water.

On December 21st, 2011, my best friend died.  4 days before Christmas.  She would have survived past the new year, but my brother and I gave her permission to go to the other side… and she did… that night.   I thought I was ready. I thought it would be best for her to move on to the next world. But I was wrong.  Living without my mom causes me daily pain.

As I glanced at Father Bill, trying to hide the tears that were now streaming down my face in a river of emotion,  I was horrified to admit the one person causing me the most pain was the one person who would never do anything, ever, to hurt me… my mom.   She would be so sad to know I struggle at the feet of her demise.  But I do.  We are coming up on her two year anniversary of leaving us and I still feel like that lonely kid who was forgotten at school.  I keep looking for her to come around the corner to get me. 

So with a deep breath,  I closed my eyes to allow the Holy Spirit into my core.  I breathed deeply several times to allow the warmth of his being to enter my soul.  And I felt… nothing!  Dammit!  So I sat there some more and waited.  And waited.  By this time my tears were drying up because I was getting irritated.  Where was the Holy Spirit when I really needed it??  I left church feeling a tad disappointed.

On my 40 minute drive home, I looked at they sky, still pale grey with smoke from the fire burning near Yosemite.  I thought how my mom would have complained about all the smoke.  She hated anything but bright sunny days in Reno.  And that thought alone broke me again.  New tears followed the dried stains already on my cheeks.  And this time, I allowed myself to sob.  To release some of the water that filled my emotional bucket.  I allowed myself to be angry.  I allowed myself to climb right up on that pitty chair and have a party.  And then it happened.  As I slowly pulled down into Reno off the Mt. Rose Highway, my tears dried up.  My anger floated away from me.  And a sense of warmth filled my body.  A warmth like I’ve never felt.  A warm blanket enveloping my heart.  And finally… peace. 

The magical spell lasted until I pulled into my driveway.  The chaos of my kids, now back at home, dulled the sense of warmth inside me, but I knew it was still there.  I had released some of the pain of my mom’s death.  I have a long way to go to be out of daily pain, but moments like that, where you connect with the Holy Spirit make me realize I will someday get there.

(note:  My Holy Spirit is the Divine Trinity.  What’s yours?  Is it Mother Earth?  Is it your own belief that doesn’t have a name?  Whatever, or whoever, you pray to, I hope you find peace in your God like I do mine.) 

A book that opened my eyes to the Divine Trinity is called The Shack.  It’s a fictional story, a good read, but man does it have a thought provoking kick to it! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it:



“Mom, how are your boobs?”

“Mom, when’s your next mammogram?”

“Mom, what’s this lump on my chest?”

Those are common questions around my house.  And when I say common, I mean like every day.  I guess that’s the backlash from having elementary age children lose their beloved grandmother to breast cancer.  At age 8 and 6, my kids were old enough to understand my mom died of breast cancer, but not old enough to understand that I’m not going to die of breast cancer… at least not any time soon.  So conversations started about mammograms and self breast exams and, lately, dense breast tissue.  I’m sad because my kids are too young to even know what a mammogram is… certainly too young to literally have it marked on their calendar when I get mine.  But they do.  That’s our reality.  And today was the day.









I went to the Renown Breast Center because they also offer SonoCine.  This is an adjunct screening approved by the FDA to help see cancer sooner, especially in women with dense breast tissue.  That would be me.









SonoCine is basically a movie of your breast tissue.  A wand glides over your breast a couple of times and the computer makes it into a streaming video.

This technology uses ultrasound, so there’s no radiation exposure.  Unlike mammography, cancers show up like dark spots up against the white background of dense tissue.  This is easier for the radiologist to see compared to mammography where dense tissue and tumors both show up white.  It’s often referred to as looking for a snowball in a snowstorm.

This is my radiologist.  Dr. Susan Ward.

Dr. Susan Ward reading my Sono Cine

She was nice enough to let me barge in while reading my reports!  Yes, I’m that impatient.  She didn’t finish completely looking at them but she didn’t see any problem areas while I was there.  Phew!

There’s no pain nor compression with SonoCine.  It takes just a few minutes to get done.  At this point, it’s not covered by insurance.  Regular cost is $195.  Renown is running a special if you book in June for $150.  To me, it’s like insurance.  It gives me a little more peace of mind that I’m doing everything in my power to make sure I don’t have breast cancer.  And if I do, I’m catching it as early as possible.

And since SonoCine is considered an adjunct screening, I still walked down the hall and got my annual mammogram.

Getting a Mammogram

Along with monthly self breast exams, I really believe I’m doing all I can to stay on top of my breast health.  So the next time my kids say, “Mom, do you have breast cancer?” I can honestly look them in the eye and say “No.”



20130604-195348.jpgIt was Monday morning and I had just wrapped up a great mountain bike ride with my Little Friend Lynn. It was 10:50. I was sweating, muddy and sporting a sweet helmet head look. My phone chirped, signaling a new text massage. It was from Gina at my work making sure I knew AB 147, the breast density bill I’ve dedicated the past 4 months of my life to, was going to be signed into law today by the Governor at 11:30. WHAT????????? was my reply. Governor Sandoval’s office had called and emailed me… but on my work contacts. So the only warning I got was 40 minutes before the bill was to be signed. I’ve posted before about how my life is like a duck; calm on the surface, but paddling like hell beneath. That was me on this day. I literally ran to my bathroom. Showered in less than 2 minutes. Threw a dress on. Combed my dripping wet hair and ran back to the car. I called the kids’ school and said, “I’ll be there in 7 minutes. Make sure the kids are outside.” At 11:05 we were heading down to Carson City. We found a decent parking spot at 11:25. As we briskly walked into the state capital, I was pulling on my belt and shaking the remainder of the water from my hair. 11:38, we were escorted into the Governor’s office… as if that was my plan all morning long! Governor Brian Sandoval was amazing. He engaged my kids in conversation. He showed them is coin collection. He answered their many questions about the state and his family. He even asked them which desk he should use to sign the bill into law. Normally in Nevada, the Governor uses a small historic desk. But my kids wanted his grandiose, every day desk and he obliged. He then had just the kids and me come behind him so we could get official pictures taken with just the four of us.


He then invited assemblymen James Ohrenschall and Randy Kirner (sponsors of the bill) and lobbyist Audrey Damonte to join us for the official signing.


And this was a live signing. Sometimes it’s just ceremonial and the actual bill was signed ahead of time. But he saved this piece of legislation for us to witness him signing it live. He used several pens and then gave each of us one of them. He also handed me a copy of the bill, personally signed to me by the Governor. And he gave the kids his Governor coin.


All in all we were in his office about 25 minutes. 25 great, historic minutes. I cried out of pride and sadness. I’m proud to have helped pass a law that will save women’s lives. I’m sad this bill came too late for my mom. But days like this  make the sadness easier to tolerate. And I know my mom was watching. When I got home that night, I put on some shorts and was making dinner. For no reason, I put my hand into my back pocket. My fingers curled around a thin piece of paper. Surprised, I pull it out and broke into laughter when I saw what it was. Two 5 dollar bills. One for Eva. One for Domi. A present from my mom in heaven saying, “Good job guys! Well done today.”









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 www.areyoudense.org  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??





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.