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!




Whole Foods Chocolates

Whole Foods Chocolates

Valentine’s Day is a day for chocolate, champagne and red roses.  Right?  Yes, well sort of!  This year, I would like it to be the year you give your loved one the gift of knowledge.  Knowledge that could save a life.  Knowledge about the dangers of dense breast tissue.  On January 24th, I gave a TEDx talk at the University of Nevada.  It was one of the proudest moments of my life.  So for this Valentine’s Day, I’m asking you to watch my talk, send it on to those you love and help me spread the message about dense breast tissue.  I was part of a day of knowledge at Microsoft Licensing in Reno recently and because of that day 2 women discovered they had breast cancer even though their mammograms showed NOTHING.  Women need to know their density.  Learn more by watching my talk.  Ok, I’m not a total Valentine’s Day buzz killer.  So here’s the deal!  Whole Foods now has some amazing chocolates.  They come in flavors like milk chocolate with cinnamon hazelnut cream, dark chocolate with caramel  and vanilla buttercream and milk chocolate with rich caramel.  An entire box of goodness is just 10 dollars!  But you can win one for free!!  Just watch my video and then make a comment or email me about how cancer has affected you.  I will pick the comment that means the most to me ON MONDAY in time for Whole Foods to get you your box of chocolates by Valentine’s day.  Good luck!!  (in case you can’t see my tedx talk below, here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQPLMWuTlWQ


“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!



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.