Whenever I’m asked to describe myself or my various roles in life—novelist, journalist, wife, mother, daughter, sibling, friend, chauffeur, cook—the very last role I mention, if I bother to mention it at all, is breast cancer survivor. In fact, I never call myself a “survivor.” I hate that word. More on that to come in my blog.
But for purposes of MyBreastCancerNetwork.com, the fact that I had breast cancer nearly 10 years ago at age 41 (Stage II-B, with lymph node involvement) is probably the most important thing you want to know about me. I’m no expert, but I’ve been there. It was hell. And so far, thank god, I’m fine. But I’m not taking anything for granted.
Let me say, from the outset, that I’m not one of those people who believes that “cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me.” It wasn’t. And I’m not going to let my cancer experience define how I think of myself or live my life — which is why I usually leave it out of my life story. At times, though, I have written about my breast cancer for publications including the Washington Post, TV Guide, National Public Radio, and Mamm, where I was contributing editor.
I currently live in Chevy Chase, Md., with my husband and two teenage daughters. I used to work full time in an office, but for the last eight years, I have worked from home, writing fiction and nonfiction.
I began my journalism career in the Washington bureau of Forbes magazine, which was an unlikely starting place for an English major who had never taken a business or economics class. Then I became one of the founding reporters in the Money section of USA Today. From there I moved to US News and World Report where I was a senior editor and wrote and edited stories about the workplace, social trends, education and other issues. I have taught journalism as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and American University. As a freelancer, my work has appeared in national magazines and media, including Business 2.0, Business Week, The Washington Post, Washingtonian, TV Guide, National Public Radio, US News and World Report and Good Housekeeping.
I also write books. My novel, My Ex-Best Friend , was published by Simon & Schuster in 2003. If you like my blog, you will probably like my novel. I also wrote a personal finance guide called Everything College Didn’t Teach You About Money , (St. Martin’s Press), and I’ve contributed to an upcoming anthology called Mommy Wars, which will be published March of 2006 by Random House.
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