Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A happy story about vanity, aging and breast cancer

Shelley Dodt
This is the best day to tell you this story since I turned 56 today! Last year I became a senior citizen and you know I had to give it some thought. Actually, I looked much worse in my forties when I was overweight and out of shape. By age 52, I was ready and lucky enough to get a facelife, tummy tuck, breast reduction and breast lift. Did I mention liposuction. All of this was good.
Actually, it was my breast that leads us to this story. Don’t even let anyone criticize you for vanity. It is because I was vain about two protruding extra little breasts that the surgeon neglected to take off under my arms. I guess you call it “bra fat”. So at age 55, in July 0f 2009 I decided to have it removed. The doctor said I was vain and it was nothing but fat, but I wanted it off. Surprise to everyone including the doctor when the pathology came back saying I had Ductal Carcinoma in Situ under my left arm! Now that frightened me to death! I would always give donations to breast cancer but never really wanted to know anything much about it since it is so frightening. Now I feel very differently. Do you know of anyone who can be relaxed about their mammogram?
Well I had to have surgery to have a 2.5cm piece of it removed and then further news came saying not only did I have Ductal Carcinoma in Situ but it was something called Her2/neu positive as well. A quick trip to the internet gave me a very fast education about that. I found out that if I had not found out about this DCIS, in two or three years it would have turned into invasive cancer. Invasive cancer involves chemotherapy and with Her2/neu is a very aggressive cancer. So even though my mammogram, MRI and Ultrasound were all negative, I still had cancer. This was very scary even though I was considered stage 0.
I did my research for clinical trials on my own after seeing several doctors who could only offer me more surgery and radiation therapy. I began to wonder what would happen if there were more DCIS cells in there floating around waiting to become invasive. The vaccine worked by taking your own white cells and making vaccine specific to your own body and injection them into your body once a week for six weeks. At the end, they do a mammogram, MRI and some other tests and then you have surgery. I tolerated everthing without any side effects. I did have to travel to Philadelphia for the shots, but I came to love the city and the University of Pennsylvania campus is beautiful.

Finding Dr. Czerniecki’s clinical trial at the University of Pennsylvania was like being pulled out of a burning building. I did have to go through many tests to qualify for the trial. His coordinator Jeanne Schueller was very helpful in getting me all the information and scheduling all the tests needed.
In the end my pathology came back completely clean. No sign of cancer anywhere and four lymph nodes checked were completely. everyone associated with the trial was very professional and kind.
Now I am associated with a 501(c)(3) group called Pennies in Action. My friend Uschi Keszler who is an Olympic Ice Skater and Olympic Coach and sister breast cancer survivor has formed a charity growing funds to help fund further cancer vaccines for all types of cancer. The money goes directly to the doctor and his team doing the research. Dr. Brian Czerniecki at the University of Pennsylvania can be seen on You Tube explaining how his vaccines work. We are all hopeful that the day will come soon when cancer will be an easily treatable or preventable disease.
So this is how vanity saved my life. If I had not decided to get rid of that ugly bra fat, the DCIS cells would have become invasive cancer. Now, I want to educate all women not to be afraid and to find out about breast cancer. Early detection and intervention can save your life. Dr. Czerniecki’s vaccine gives me the confidence to know I have had the best treatment available today. My biggest wish is that all people diagnosed with cancer could have the opportunity to get a vaccine like mine.

for info and to contact Shelley go to www.penniesinaction.org

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Huge success for cancer vaccine research...

After having great results with breast cancer vaccine with dendritic cells also called (ICAIT= immune conditioning activated innate transfer with dendritic cells)
Dr. Czerniecki has now requests for using his approach in trials for
Brain, ovarian, pancreatic, melanoma cancers and other protocols for breast cancer.
It is now imperative to get the funding for more space and labs and personnel. It is absolutely amazing what has happened in the 2 years that I am involved with this thru my foundation
Pennies in Action.
Fasten your seat belt, we will see the end of cancer in our life time….
I saw it in the 1970’s as a tuberculosis patient, when the lung sanatorium that I had been in for 8 months in 1966 was closed, because they had gotten TB under control. ( Before that it was the dreaded disease of the times…)
It is now a race for time, so we can give the scientists what they need so they can complete the work that still needs to be done.
For more info and to donate go to
This is so exciting for me, especially since I have faced a cancer diagnosis twice so far…

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Remarks from CBS Sunday Morning - Ben Stein

I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me.. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it.. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.
Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God, as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (Regarding Hurricane Katrina). Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'

In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school.. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide).. We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said okay.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

My Best Regards, Honestly and Respectfully,

Ben Stein