Monthly Archives: February 2011

A time of reflection…

I attended a “Get Started” meeting tonight for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. My sister-in-law, Nanci, joined me for support. While I have already been “getting started” on my fundraising for the 2011 3-Day and am already approaching the half-way mark to the $2300 requirement to walk (thanks to some generous donations as well as three highly successful eBay auctions!), I must say that this meeting was more enlightening than I had anticipated and it is still affecting me as I type.

A number of cancer survivors were in attendance at the meeting, and at times their stories nearly drove me to tears, or at the very least got me thinking. Maybe it was their own passion mixed with my own fidgety tendacies, but I frequently found myself wanting to shout out and join them in their passion for the cause. My story may not be as strong or heartwrenching as theirs, but (as you already know) I, too, have lost a loved one to breast cancer, and I, too, know the fear of the unknown and the possibility of disease permanently affecting my life… Let me share:

Not everyone I know may be aware of this, but I also have had a “brush” with a form of cancer. In early 2003, I had a precancerous mole removed from my chest. I was just barely 20 years old. It was a dysplastic nevi; a precancerous mole caught and removed at the earliest possible stage, before becoming a melanoma.  I have many atypical moles on my body, which puts me at higher risk for developing melanoma. It may not be breast cancer, but it is just as scary and just as deadly. So I know the fear that people go through; the fear that maybe (just maybe) the next time you go it for an exam, that might just be the day you get the news…  Because of this, I know all about the desperate hope and need for a cure.

This meeting gave me a mix of emotions in the span of a mere 90 minutes. The high of Pride; realizing that what I am doing will make a difference and will be recognized by thousands. The low of Truth; remembering that every day people are losing their lives toto this disease and that any day it could hit closer to home. The high of Excitement; knowing that I’m taking part in something so awesome and realizing the affect that it has in developing me as a person. And the low of Raw Emotional Power; hearing the cancer survivor’s personal (and often tragic) stories, then going home, looking at my young and innocent daughter and hoping that she will never have the need for what this cause is providing.

I’m still reflecting on everything that I have brought home with me from this meeting. I’m going to hold these emotions close to me as I continue to raise money… What a way to “Get Started”!

For more reading on dysplastic nevi visit:

Current Status: My hooters are healthy. My heart is heavy.

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Do it for their skin, their lungs, their heart, their ovaries, their colon…
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Good Read: ‘LEFT Neglected’ by Lisa Genova

Hemispatial neglect is most frequently associated with a lesion of the right parietal lobe (in yellow, at top)

Do you remember that book called ‘Still Alice’? It covered the topic of early onset Alzheimer’s, and definitely brought tears to this girl’s eyes. Now the author is back with her second novel, ‘LEFT Neglected’. This time she has something to say about a condition called (you guessed it) left neglect, more commonly known as ‘hemispatial neglect’.

According to Wikipedia:

Hemispatial neglect, also called hemiagnosia, hemineglect, unilateral neglect, spatial neglect or neglect syndrome is a neuropsychological condition in which, after damage to one hemisphere of the brain, a deficit in attention to and awareness of one side of space is observed. Hemispatial neglect is very commonly contralateral to the damaged hemisphere, but instances of ipsilesional neglect (on the same side as the lesion) have been reported.

Hemispatial neglect results most commonly from brain injury to the right cerebral hemisphere, causing visual neglect of the left-hand side of space. Right-sided spatial neglect is rare because there is redundant processing of the right space by both the left and right cerebral hemispheres, whereas in most left-dominant brains the left space is only processed by the right cerebral hemisphere. Although most strikingly affecting visual perception (‘visual neglect’), neglect in other forms of perception can also be found, either alone, or in combination with visual neglect.

In an extreme case, a patient with neglect might fail to eat the food on the left half of their plate, even though they complain of being hungry. If someone with neglect is asked to draw a clock, their drawing might show only the numbers 12 and 1 to 6, the other side being distorted or left blank. Neglect patients may also ignore the contralesional side of their body, shaving or adding make-up only to the non-neglected side.

Neglect may also present as a delusional form, where the patient denies ownership of a limb or an entire side of the body. Since this delusion often occurs alone without the accompaniment of other delusions, it is often labeled as a monothematic delusion.”

Wow. A pretty heavy topic to write about. But the author knows her subject well and does-so with finesse and (occasional, where appropriate) humor. It makes you suddenly think about a condition you may have never heard of before, or perhaps didn’t entirely understand. Much like her previous novel, the book involves a lead female character whose priorities must change after her condition develops. You travel with her as she gets used to life with her disability and you see how she recovers, if at all. The author knows how to keep it real, pulling our heartstrings along as if it were our own friend or family member (or perhaps even ourselves) with the condition.

Highly recommended reading.

Text Resource:
Find ‘LEFT Neglected’ here:
(I am not an affiliate of Amazon, nor do I make any money off this post.)

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Me and the kidlet

I'm a real person and not just a cyber bot! That's me and my adorable little kidlet. We love to have fun and take pictures.

My name is Jenna DeTrapani. I am a happily married wife and mother of a 3 year old “princess” in Palm Harbor, FL. For nearly 5 years (and counting) I have worked for the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (aka NMEDA, a non-profit for the adaptive automotive equipment industry) as their Creative Manager.

I love who I am and I love what I do.

I try my hand at blogging off and on, but you know… Being a full time mom with a 40-hour work week means there’s not much time for anything but the daily commute and child’s play until bed. But now I have a $4,600 goal to fundraise for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure and I will do anything in my power to reach it. And if that means blogging like it’s my new religion, then so be it!

(Oh, and if there’s anything else you would like for me to post here in order to give me more credibility, please comment! I have plenty to spill about my current reads, current events, parenting tips (ha!) or any of the other million-and-one ongoing marathon of thoughts inside my little ol’ head…)

Current Status: My hooters are healthy.

Do it for someone you know whose hooters might not be healthy.
Do it for someone you lost to breast cancer. Make a donation today.

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It starts with a goal…


Goal driven and wanting to make a difference, this year I have decided to join the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure® in Tampa, Florida, taking place October 28-30, 2011. The next step is to reach that huge monetary goal. How does one manage to raise that much money with limited time and seemingly limited resources? One thing’s for sure: It’s a challenge. A challenge I am willing to take.

Do I have a “personal story” as to why I am participating in one of the largest fundraisers for breast cancer research? A story so uplifting, so touching… Enough to bring a tear to your eye? Not really. Sure, my grandmother (on my father’s side) passed away in the early 90’s from breast cancer. It was caught too late to allow her the chance of living a long lifetime. Yes, that hits close to home and, sadly, I can’t even count on one hand the number of times I was able to see my grandmother before she died. But is that enough to drive a person to take part in such a huge undertaking? Compared to most of the stories I’ve read about those who have participated in the 3-Day, I’m not so sure. It’s heartwrenching to think about the number of people that I will be joining on the walk who are cancer survivors themselves. Rather than mope in their own misfortune, they are out there doing something about it. Just for that they deserve more admiration than I do. Really.

If I can help to make a difference by taking part in this event, I will. But I cannot do it without the support of people like you. Through your donations you can contribute to my goal and allow me to walk in October. I can’t walk without $2,300 raised, but I’ve decided to double that. Let’s go above and beyond and raise as much as we can for the cause!

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