We interrupt your gadget coverage…

I’ve been running The Gadgeteer since the dawn of time (1997) and during all these years I’ve met, chatted and emailed a lot of wonderful people who have become my friends. For that reason, I have decided to share something personal with all of you. I don’t normally talk about my personal life on this site as we’re typically all about the gadgets and nothing but the gadgets. But sometimes there’s a need for a short detour. So here goes…

Two weeks ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Invasive Ductal Carcinoma to be exact. I’m not writing this for your sympathy or attention. That’s definitely not my style. I’m writing this in hopes that it might help someone else out there that might be doing the same things that I was doing for the past few months.

I’m not exactly sure when I first noticed that something was ‘wrong’ with my Right breast, but it was at least a 2-3 months ago. I told myself that it was just a cyst as I’ve had them before. I told myself that the tissue was just denser on that side since it always has been to a certain extent. I told myself that it was my hormones. I told myself that if something were wrong, it would show up on my next mammogram due in April. I told myself all kinds of stupid stuff… It’s crazy how you can play games in your own head to avoid the truth. It’s also crazy how the world can try its best to smack you in the head to wake you up to do something. I don’t know how many times I would turn on the radio and hear breast cancer related ads. Or see breast cancer related shows on TV. It also seemed like every car I happened to drive behind would have one of those Pink breast cancer stickers on their bumper. One night I even drove by our local Holiday Inn and parked in front was a big tractor painted all in Pink with a huge breast cancer ribbon flag attached to it. I’d probably still be playing the denial and avoidance game if it hadn’t been for several weekends ago when my partner and I were horsing around in the kitchen and she happened to bump into my breast with her hand. She immediately freaked out about it, and I immediately felt a sense of relief that I would now have to deal with it. She marched my stupid butt into the doctor the next day and we’ve been on this crazy ride ever since. First it was a mammogram, then an ultrasound, then a biopsy, MRI and PET Scans followed by another mammogram and ultrasound on the Left side because they thought it was there too (it’s not). Yesterday I had a surgical procedure to install an IV port (I’m a cyborg now) in my chest that will be used to administer the chemo drugs that I’ll be starting tomorrow. I’m scared out of my mind about the chemo – who wouldn’t be… but I am young, in good health and tough. I will get through this and be fine.

The moral of this story is to not pretend that things are fine when you know darn well they aren’t. Listen to what your body is telling you and what the world is telling you. If you’re reading this right now and are playing the same head games that I was, this is yet another slap in the head from the world telling you to do something. And if you’ve never had a mammogram and are over 40, go get one. Please. My surgeon told me something that I won’t forget. He said “people don’t die from breast cancer, but they can die from breast cancer that has spread”. Thankfully, they are pretty sure due to my PET scan, that mine has not spread. So I’m going to kick these mutant cells out of my body, lock the door and throw away the key.

It will be business as usual here at The Gadgeteer. I have an amazing team of writers that have been unbelievably supportive. We will all continue to bring you fun and interesting gadget reviews and news. 🙂

We now return to our regularly scheduled program…

For updates to this ‘adventure’ …

When I posted this article yesterday, I had no idea that so many people would comment, send me personal emails, tweet, and text me with their good thoughts, stories and advice. To say I’m overwhelmed is an understatement. You guys are awesome and I truly appreciate each and every one of you more than you can know.

So today was Chemo Day 1. I ate a little breakfast before Jeanne and I headed up to the Cancer Center at Columbus Regional Hospital. I was really scared what the first session would be like since everyone can react differently. They started out with 2 pills for anxiety and nausea and then hooked up an IV to the port installed in my chest. I didn’t even feel them do it. 🙂 Next up was a bag of steroids which if I remember correctly, also helps with nausea. The actual Chemo drugs came in 2 large syringes that they manually push into the IV. One was clear and one was Red (which they call the Koolaid). Both took about 5 or so minutes each. That was it! We were there for awhile learning some info about the drugs, diet concerns, etc.  The people there are beyond wonderful. The Breast Cancer Center has a person assigned to you that goes along with you to some of the doctor appts and procedures. Deana is one of the sincerely nicest people I’ve ever met. She even brought me a cute little stuffed monkey that she named Chemo. I’ll add a picture tomorrow.

It’s been about 10-11 hrs since they gave me the drugs and so far I feel about 98% normal. I feel just slightly whoozy, but not nauseated (knock on wood). We’ll see how I feel tomorrow and the next day. I hear the first 48hrs are when most people feel the worst.

The best thing about today is that I am no longer as scared about chemo as I was before. I know it’s not going to be a picnic, but I feel confident that I can do this.

Thanks again to all of you. Your good thoughts and energy are really helping!

It’s been over 24hrs since my first chemo dose and I’m doing great. Mostly just a little wobbly and maybe a itty bitty bit nauseous. I think the latter is just in my head though. Definitely nothing to complain about.

We went up to CRH (Columbus Regional Hospital) this morning so I could get a shot to boost my white blood cells. The reason? My oncologist Dr. Mak is giving me the choice of doing my treatments every 2 weeks instead of every 3. The only advantage is getting them over quicker. But when patients do the every 2 weeks, they need these special shots to make sure their white blood cells don’t drop too low. So I got the shot and will tell him next week what I what I want to do. If I keep feeling as good as I do right now, I will probably go for it. 🙂

Here’s a big hug to all of you that have been sending me great thoughts. You guys are wonderful!!!

I’m still doing well. The worst part so far has been that special shot I had last Thursday to boost my white blood cells. Wow, that shot was evil. Made me feel like I had the worst flu ever. Felt like someone had taken a hammer to my back in multiple places. Taking a deep breath even hurt. Not fun… but it only lasted a couple days and today I’m feeling relatively ‘normal’ again 😉

I hope everyone is having a great week and I’ll post update again in a week or so.


It’s been over 2 weeks since my first chemo treatment. I was supposed to have my 2nd treatment this past Wednesday, but was unable to have one due to some low grade fevers that I’ve been having. They did some tests to try to figure out what the fevers might be from, but they came back with no info. I have actually felt worse (tired) this week than I did after my first chemo. Go figure.

Yesterday my hair started falling out, so I called up the girl that cuts my hair and asked if she could come out to my house. Here are results:

I don’t look as hideous as I thought I would. 🙂 I actually kinda like it in a weird way.

So that’s the latest info. I will probably have my 2nd chemo Monday or Wednesday. Hopefully whatever is causing these fevers will go away.


I’ve had my 2nd round of chemo last week and wow, it knocked me on my butt way more than the first one. I spent 3 days in bed. I talking pretty much the whole day… That’s not like me at all. The good news is that the mass in my breast does feel different/smaller. So I think the chemo is working. It looks like my body will probably not tolerate the treatments every 2 weeks, so I’ll be on a 3 week schedule. The next one is 2 weeks from today. Can’t wait 😉 2 down, 2 to go (I think – need to ask my Doctor when I go in for a follow up next week).

Keep the good energy / thoughts flowing my way. I know they are helping!


I’m still hanging in there 🙂 Had my 3rd chemo treatment almost 3 weeks ago and it was rough. They seem to get worse with each one. By ‘worse’ I mean the fatigue. That has pretty much been my biggest side effect. The other prob I’ve been having is with my blood count numbers – white blood cells, red cells and hemoglobin. I have to take special shots to boost my white cells. There’s a chance that I may have to have a transfusion tomorrow if my red cells / hemoglobin are still low. This is to get me ready for my 4th chemo treatment that I’m supposed to have this Thursday. Although I’m really dreading it, I want to do it and get it over with. Then I’ll have to do surgery in a few weeks and more chemo after that. My oncologist says the chemo I’ll have after surgery shouldn’t be as tough on me as it won’t be the 2 hard core drugs I’m on now. It will just be 1 drug. Hope he’s right 🙂 I don’t quite see a light at the end of the tunnel yet, but there is a glimmer 🙂


I had my 4th round of chemo on 5/26 and am finally starting to feel better. It’s crazy how weak I am. Walking up the 10 stairs from my basement makes my heart pound in my head. The good news is that my surgery has been scheduled for the 22nd and that I won’t have any more chemo treatments until after I recover from that. I’m not looking forward to more chemo, but I keep holding on to the fact that my doctor says it shouldn’t be as tough on me. My fingers and toes are crossed. 🙂 Time is passing so fast, that I know it won’t be long till all this is over and I can get back to my everyday boring life 🙂


Well folks, tomorrow is surgery day. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t a little nervous about it. Actually, as crazy as it might sound, it’s not really the surgery or the result of the surgery that has me nervous. Without going into excruciating detail, the thing that has me the most anxious is the small procedure that they do before the surgery. It involves the radiology department, a needle, radioactive dye and my traitorous appendage. The words ouch, wince and shudder all come to mind. 😉 I’m tough though, so bring it on.


The surgery went well. I was sent home around noon yesterday and am doing great. Have only had to take regular old ibuprofen for the pain twice. Doubt if I’ll need to do that anymore. The worst part so far is having to sleep on my back… so if that’s my only complaint, things can’t be that bad. I just have to cross my fingers that pathology reports come back with good news as far as lymph  node involvement. They know that cancer cells were in the main node (sentinel node), so they took 15-20 more nodes after that one and will test them all. If they find cancer cells in those, that means I’ll have to have radiation treatments in addition to more treatments. Hmmm, I wonder if radiation would give me a super power like Spiderman? 😉


It’s been 4 weeks since my surgery and I’m healing really well. They did find cancer cells in some lymph nodes, so that means I’ll be having 33-36 radiation treatments after my 2nd round of chemo treatments. Chemo starts back up next Thursday if my blood work looks ok. I’m feeling really good and have been enjoying getting out and doing things again. If it wasn’t for my zipper scars and some range of motion issues with my right arm (I’m doing physical therapy for that), I would say I feel pretty much ‘normal’. I have my fingers crossed that the new chemo drugs don’t wipe me out like the first round. All I really care about though is just getting all this behind me and getting back to regular old boring life. I’ve had enough character building experiences for awhile 😉


Oops, I didn’t realize that I’ve not posted an update in over a month. I restarted chemo and have had 2 treatments since I last updated. I just have 2 more left (the next one is next Thursday) and then radiation treatments start one month after the chemo ends. So far this new chemo isn’t quite as bad as the first stuff I was on. I’m not as bone dead tired, but I’ve been dealing with the 101 degree fevers of unknown origin, which are taxing. I’m hanging in there though and feel that I’m doing pretty darn good for all the drugs they are pumping in me. 🙂


Another month gone by and another update to post 🙂 I think I’m going to make this my last update because I had my final (FOREVER) chemo treatment last Thursday. Yay! 🙂 The plan is for me to return to work on 10/13. It’s going to be a big adjustment after being off for the past 6 months, but I’m ready to get back to the old routine. Although chemo is done, my treatments aren’t exactly over though. In a month or so I’ll start radiation treatments. I’ll also continue to receive a drug called Herceptin every 3 weeks till next August.

I’m also ready to grow some hair. It was 39 degrees here this morning! 😉

Thanks to all of you that have posted encouraging get well comments and emails during these past months. I really appreciate you all more than you’ll ever know.

256 thoughts on “We interrupt your gadget coverage…”

  1. Jean-Denis Haas

    I know you’re not asking for sympathy but still, I’m sorry to hear that and I wish you good luck!

  2. Janet Cloninger

    Julie is The Gadgeteer – able to leap tall gadgets in a single bound! Those mutant cells won’t know what hit them. Seriously, Julie, you know I’m sending waves of good wishes your way.

  3. Mark Rosengarten

    Holy crap, Julie!!!!!!!! Oh, man, are my thoughts with you. When your body turns against you, it’s never a fun thing. Best wishes for a speedy (and COMPLETE) recovery.

  4. Holy shit!
    I hope you’ll get them little bugs and kill them all.
    Well you’ll probably will see how you look without hair. ;-/
    I hope it’ll grow back in due time.

    I’ve been following your blogs since about 1997 or at least since many, many years.
    Let’s keep this up for another 14 years from now. 😉

    Take care. God bless you.


  5. I’ve been a regular reader of The-Gadgeteer.com for many years, and I thank you for opening up to share your very personal struggle. Let’s hope your words encourage other women to pay attention to what their bodies are telling them.

    Go Julie!

  6. I’ve been following your writing the old Palm and Sony PDA days and I’ve always valued your opinions and humor. You have an impact on a lot of us so please do everything you can to get better ASAP.

    My thoughts are with you.


  7. Julie, so sorry to hear that. I have been following you since my Palm Pro days! I’ll be praying for you. Get well soon.

  8. Julie,
    All the best. You are right, caught early survival is all but guaranteed. My wife caught hers same early and has been a survivor for over 13 years now. You have a huge support group behind you.

  9. Whoa! I’m so sorry to hear this. However, I know you will kill all the bad cells and make a very speedy recovery. My thoughts are with you. B. J. Swanson

  10. William Lefler

    So sorry to hear bout your diagnosis. Good for your partner for recognizing it and making you face it.

    My wife of 33 years died from complications of Breast Cancer. That’s the bad news. The good news is we had 10 good years before it took her.

    May I make the suggestion that you see a “Natural” physician and get on a macrobiotic diet and herbs to reduce the side effects of the poisons they will be using to combat the cancer.

    Good luck and good thoughts. My prayers will be with you.

  11. Big Hugs. You’ve got lots to write in the future. I’ll be waiting on your review on the Palm Pre VI, The iPad 4, and FuelCell nose hair trimmers in the future.

  12. Best wishes to you and looking forward to positive updates. BTW, I really liked being bald when I underwent my chemo treatment. I kept touching my noggin and would buzz the fuzz every other day until I realized I would have to let my hair grow back. We’re all rooting for you. Keep in touch!

  13. As a physician, I can tell you that cancer treatment has come SO FAR, even in the last few years. With good medical care and loving support, there is so much that can be done.

    As a fan, I’ve always enjoyed your work and am now an ever bigger fan, impressed that you would share this personal side in the hopes of helping others. But I guess helping others is really what you do with this blog anyway.

    Life has thrown you a scary curve but you’ll be fine. We’ll all be sending good vibes your way!

  14. Edward Taussig

    Seems like I’ve been following your blog forever, it’s always the first one I check every day to find unbiased reviews by a real human being 🙂
    Best wishes and my thoughts are with you and your partner.
    I look forward to many more years of case and bag reviews.

  15. I hope all goes well for you. I appreciate and enjoy this site which I visit daily. Always puts me in a good mood. Maybe gagets are the best medicine.

  16. I hope all goes well for you. I appreciate and enjoy this site which I visit daily. Always puts me in a good mood. Maybe gadgets are the best medicine.

  17. Wow, I’m completely split on whether to be distraught over the discovery or relieved that it sounds like you caught it so early that they’ll be able to treat & release you quickly! I think a little of both, and we’re not much on the praying side but I’ll throw as many good thoughts, karmic energy and whatever else we can muster your way.

    Be strong, and know that you’ve got a HUGE amount of people pulling for you here and I’m positive in the “real” world too. Be well.

  18. Julie,
    Sorry to hear about this. I have been following your site since around 1999 and you feel like a friend. I lost my wife about 6 years ago from complications involved with the return of her breast cancer. She found her lump while in the hospital for a heart procedure in 1997. On recommendation I can make during chemo is that try to avoid some of your favorite foods. If you get sick from the chemo while eating your favorites, it takes a long time to get that sense memory out of your head. Take care.

  19. Julie, I am sorry to hear you have cancer. I am glad you told us, your self-selected audience. I think of you as a friend, whose work here I appreciate. Please take good care of yourself.

    –Buck Pentecost
    Bon Air, Virginia

  20. Sending you BOTH warm positive thoughts and hoping you and your team can find and defeat every one of those invaders.

  21. Julie,
    I’m sorry to hear the news. Be well, get well and take it easy for a bit. Let your body have a chance to recover. Livestrong!

  22. Keep your head up! You seem to have it caught it early and their many successful treatments out there to help you.

    Our thoughts are with you.

    Keep us posted.


  23. Hey Julie, l as if I know you from reading all of your posts. From what I have read you are one tough lady and if anyone can make it through this you will. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I now have another person to cheer for when we do our Race for the Cure in May. Good luckChickie!!!

    Keep us posted,


  24. Hi,

    I don’t think I’ve ever responded to a blog before….

    Wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed your blog and your style of discovery of neat gadgets. You’ve introduced me to several items that have directly impacted my life.

    I say this to simply say Thank You.

    I wish you a healthy, positive treatment and a speedy recovery.

  25. I’ve been reading you blog since my Palm III days (!) My wife just went though a panic when she had drainage from one breast – luckily it turned out to be nothing, but we didn’t know that until the biopsy came back. I feel for you – its scary. Good luck to all.

  26. I wish you strength and good luck. I will admit that I cursed out loud when I caught this on Twitter, but I’ll spare you that.

    I have every reason to believe you’ll beat this.

  27. Julie,
    I feel like I know you personally after having read so much of what you have written for all these years. I will think of you often during your treatment, like I would any of my other friends. Be srong and get through this.

  28. I’m a new reader to this blog, sorry to hear about your breast cancer, but well done to stay touch and share your story with us, it’s absolutely encouraging!

    Best wishes to your treatment, believe you’ll conquer and get well soon!

  29. I had a similar experience, but with me it was testicular cancer. I found all sorts of excuses for the pain. If I had gone in earlier, I would have avoided the chemotherapy. That was in 1986.

    Good luck, it will get better.

  30. Fingers crossed. A colleague at work recently went through this starting back in Sept 2010 and things have turned around for her for the better. May the same happen here.

  31. I’m sure that for every one who comments here, there are dozens, if not hundreds, more who are silently praying for you and your partner. You’re a strong woman with a strong network of support. I’m sure you’ll pull through this with the typical grace, wisdom, and strength that you meet–and conquer–other challenges.

  32. Rainydayinterns

    Everyone here will be sending their good vibes your way until this is over. We look forward to you being 100% soon!

  33. Cancer is like owning a boat, well in reverse!
    The day you find out you have cancer is the worst day of your life.
    The day you finish your treatment is the best day of your life.
    I know I HAD cancer and it was treated and now I am cancer free.

    Julie, your friends, family and partner will be a great support in the days ahead, as you now find. One moves from a “Why the heck me?” mentality to a “I’m going to beat this” and get back to enjoying life. There will be some difficult days ahead and then the sky turns blue and you move forward.

    The short time I was in hospital I quckly realised I was one of the lucky ones others have far worse conditions in cancer wards and even with outher illnesses. Cancer isn’t something to be afraid of, it’s something to beat!

    Beat it. have a long happy life and keep writing your stuff for us all. We need you:)

  34. Get well soon and best wishes and hopes for your treatment.

    As a Cancer survivor myself the best advice I can give…take the medications the doctors give you. buy alarm clocks and timers to keep track of your “schedule” and take them ON TIME EVERY TIME even if you don’t feel like you need them take them anyway. Don’t try to be stoic or tough. Take care of yourself.
    You will also want to sign up for http://www.CaringBridge.com. It’s a free portal for friends and family to get updates from you about how you are doing and not feel like they are intruding on you.

  35. Fernando B. Corrada

    I have read the Gadgeteer posts and reviews every day for the past 2 -3 years. I have purchased or looked for further info in to many products that you have reviewed. I have bought many LED lights and small unique tools as per your recommendations. I am 100 % sure that you will continue to enlighten us for many years to come. YOU WILL BE CANCER FREE IN A SHORT TIME!!! Positive thinking in combination with the care of your oncology team will get this carcinoma out of your system. Keeping your mind busy wiil help you thru the chemo process. Your strength will come from those around you physically and spiritually. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones.

  36. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I wish you a complication-free recovery and a speedy remission 🙂

  37. Julie, Almost six years ago I was where you are today, facing the first of eight chemo treatments and radiation, surgery, etc., for the same type of breast cancer that I, too, dismissed as a cyst until my husband freaked out about it. It’s a rough ride but you’ll get through it!! Find a local support group if you want great advice and some camaraderie. The Komen and Susan Love websites offer a wealth of information, as does Scott Hamilton’s Chemocare.com. I hope your post helps others face their fears. Hang in there!
    From a longtime reader (& former fellow cyborg 🙂

  38. Julie,

    I wish you a speedy recovery and best wishes. I have read and enjoyed your blog for years. Thank you so much for sharing such an important and very personal message.

    If it is of any comfort, my wife, my mother, my father and myself are all survivors of various forms of cancer. The main reason that all of my family survived was early detection. For some, it was self-detection. For others a doctor’s visit, and still others it was an innocent comment from a friend about a funny shaped mole.

    If just one person uses this message for what you meant it for, then you deserve a hugh thank you.

  39. Julie:

    Your courage to write this post, take on this personal challenge and still find time to make a contribution to others is … inspiring!

    You go girl!

  40. In ’98 or ’99 I was in the market for a Palm organizer and discovered you through a review of a Palm III or V, don’t remember exactly. I’ve been a daily reader since and, like most of the commenters here, I feel I know you, at least a little. Now that you’ve shared this, I know you a little more and I thank you.
    I have no doubt your reaching out will affect someone in an important way.
    I’m pulling for you.
    Good luck.

  41. The Vanderslice Family

    Our collective thoughts are with you for a speedy recovery!

    Robert, Daniel, Alphonso, Jose, Aaron, James, Curtis, Austin, Phillip, Sammy, and the Oreo

  42. Julie, hang in there. With today’s tech (how fitting), you are in good hands. Best wishes on a speedy recovery.


  43. felina r. masadao-adefuin

    hi, julie. i have been reading your blog daily since i first had a palm several years ago.
    i am a medical oncologist and i can say that treatment now is soooo much superior to before; even side effects are easy to take care of.
    breast cancer – even if metastatic – isn’t a death sentence anymore. just do what your doctor says, exercise (even if only brisk walking) regularly, keep your weight within normal limits (being overweight portends poorer prognosis to breast cancer patients), eat healthy, take power naps..and do continue on working and doing what you have been doing the past years before diagnosis.
    before you know it, treatment is done, and you’ll just be seeing your oncologist every few months.
    take good care of yourself. we need our daily dose of tech advice from you 🙂

  44. Alejandro Lorenzo

    Great words, Julie. I’m sure you’ll get well soon, since I sense some brave determination in you. I’m looking forward to seeing you really soon back in the gadget business.

  45. Steven Witherspoon

    Been reading and enjoying for 3 years,

    Keep strong – and fight hard…

    Although, if they use any new medical tech / gadgetry – could you resist the urge to review it? –
    Keep smiling, seratonin is a good and secret source of wellness.

  46. Thank you for posting this! I know it was not for pity etc, but I really hope that someone else is reading this and will have their self checked and in turn save their life!

    Well done!

  47. i am very sorry to hear of your diagnosis. this is a large bump on the road of life. you are strong enough to deal with it and kick this cancer’s butt. take care, regards, nick

  48. I started tearing up while reading your post. Thank you for sharing and I hope you will be here for many years to come.

    On a side note…once you kick cancers ass, do you get to keep the Cyborg port? Because I think it would be the coolest gadget that a gadget geek could have. 🙂
    (just kidding of course)

    get well

  49. Sad situation, my prayers are with you, but a beautifully written post. My heart goes out to you. I cannot relate to your pain, but I definitely feel for you and will be praying for your speedy recovery!

  50. I’ll be thinking of you, Julie, and sending all the positive energy I can for a fast recovery.



  51. Prayers your way, Julie. My mom’s been a survivor for nearly 25 years, and still going strong. You will be too.

  52. Kick some cancer butt! I’ve enjoyed this site for sometime. Perhaps during your journey through treatment you will come across gadgets in the medical field. You’ve already exposed many a geek to all kinds of tech gadgets maybe now you can expose others with medical conditions to gadgets available to them in the medical field. Kick some cancer butt while doing what you do best. Best wishes.

  53. David in Seattle


    We are all hoping for a quick and cancer-free recovery. Know that you are in our thoughts…



  54. Julie:

    Wishing you all the best for a speedy recovery. Thanks for sharing your story and here’s hoping all of us will pass along to our loved ones.

    Get well!


  55. Recover quickly with a positive attitude, a good diet and vitamins. If there is any time that you benefit from vitamins, it is before and after surgery. Get your Vit D level checked! As an Internist with years of attending a weekly Tumor Conference I can tell you it is good to thoroughly discuss the options of treatment and have a medical advocate to help you make choices. My prayers for your complete recovery!

  56. 😆 I thought you weren’t going to post … but I am glad you did!!

    I’m looking forward to emails and IMs with you for years to come; you will beat this thing, and it will make a fine “do you remember when” story for us to ‘tsk tsk’ over years from now!

  57. Thank you for sharing your story and the risks of avoidance and denial (which is very human and universal). My good friend did the same thing because she has had so many benign cysts over the years, and by the time she dealt with it, her cancer turned out to be in Stage 3. In fact, I have had 3 friends in my workplace struck with breast cancer within the last year and a half. Here’s the great news: they have all made it through their treatments and are doing great! I am wishing the same outcome for you–sending lots of love, light, and prayers your way. And thanks so much for The Gadgeteer–I really enjoy it.

  58. Best of luck with your recovery. My mother was a long term cancer patient. One of the best things that she did for herself was to proactively monitor and change her diet to a chemo friendly regiment. She as lucky as chemo didn’t make her overtly sick, just tired. Your Oncologist can probably point you to a good reference for diet. It’ll help you feel better!

  59. Thank you for sharing this and for encouraging others to take good care of themselves. Here’s to your partner making sure YOU take care of yourself!

    Wishing you the very best and looking forward to you being on the other side of this!!!!

  60. I’ll add my name to the legions of people wishing you a speedy recovery, Julie, and who will be thinking about you and your partner over the coming months as you show cancer who’s boss around here.
    Chris x

  61. Prayers with you and your partner, Julie. I had two very close friends in the past year receive a similar diagnosis, and both are doing well with treatments. Stay positive and stay strong. You’ve got a lot of folks in your corner. All the best.

  62. My thoughts are with you, thanks for sharing your story. I have four long-term cancer survivors in my immediate family, and have confidence that your treatment will have a good outcome.

  63. Julie, your site has been one of my daily Internet stops for almost as long as I can remember. I have found many, many of my gadgets by reading your site and I have avoided getting bad gadgets by reading the reviews here. I know that you will do well, that you will come to this with flying colors but just in case–are family will add you to our prayer list. Godspeed.

  64. I hope you’re drinking this in, Julie. It’s great to find out how many people really care about you, huh?

    Best always…

  65. Goes to show you that you never know what a person is going through. And as you have helped so many, for so many years, it is my hope that although you don’t know us, we can return the favor and help you with support, prayers and positive thoughts on a full recovery.
    Wishing you all the best. Stay strong and know that so many near or far do care about what you are going through.
    We are all here to help each other along the way……..so glad you shared this journey with us.

  66. The very best of luck Julie although I am relatively new to Gadgeteer I have thoroughly enjoyed reading my daily copy. All the best for a speedy recovery. ;o)

  67. Our differences aside I wish you nothing but the best and a safe and speedy recovery. You’re a strong individual and I know you’ll kick the crap out of it.

  68. Have been following your site since the beginning. Sending you best wishes and prayers for a speedy recovery! Keep positive thoughts, eat well, and lean on your partner for support.

  69. Joel McLaughlin

    Hi Julie,

    We lost my mom in-law to cancer a little over a year ago. She fought the odds and won for 10 years. Her initial prognosis wasn’t good. At every step and every turn she defied the doctors for 10 hard and long years. We didn’t think we were going to get THAT long and I am thankful we did.

    Try to get in every trial you can. If you can’t get into trials where you live, be willing to travel. Columbus, OH where I live has one of the best cancer programs I know at The Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital at the Ohio State University. It’s not that far from you. I recommend them highly. With out the work of those doctors, we’d have lost Charlotte much sooner and thanks to their work, she got to know my son and her other grand kids….something that I will never forget.

    I’ll be praying for you Julie!

  70. Julie I’ve been reading you for years. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I fully expect you to beat this with one hand tied behind your back and I look forward to continuing to read The Gadgeteer for many more years to come.


  71. Best wishes for a safe, speedy, and complete recovery. Thank you for sharing this with us. Another kick in the pants to those of us who tend to procrastinate when it comes to our health.

  72. as someone new to the site and someone who has had neighbors and family members who have cancer or are in remission i want to wish you a speedy recovery and offer my support.

    regards, and good health,


  73. Coming from someone who seems to have a family full of this horrible disease, I sincerely wish you all of the luck, love and strength that I know you will need and cherish.

    From experience, staying positive, speaking to survivors and most of all, doing everything within your power to keep your body fighting strong will help.

    Stay strong Julie, you will come out of this experience a much stronger person.

  74. Hi Jules,
    Wow, what a plethora of support! How loved are you 🙂
    Might I say deservedly so as well.
    I don’t know much about this shit other than it’s not nice and as you have always been very kind and very helpful to me, I am sad to hear this not-nice-shit has found you.
    Chin up Darling, I’m sure it will open up a whole new way of looking at the world for you.
    Love at ya,

  75. Hello everyone 🙂 Only one word comes to mind right now and that’s “OVERWHELMED”. All of your comments have hit me square in the heart. I did not expect this at all. Sure, I thought there were would be comments. But not this many. I’m so grateful to everyone for their kind thoughts. I’m a firm believer in Karma, so all of you have equally good mojo coming your way. Thank you!
    BTW: I updated the article with some info on my first chemo session today. I may continue to do these updates periodically.

  76. Julie,

    I absolutely love your site and have been reading it for quite a few years now. I am praying for you and truly believe you will beat this for sure.

  77. Read your site since the early day (palm iiie is my first PDA) but never post a comment. Well just want to let you know that I and your reader are with you.

  78. in moments like this, i wish there’s some shit that we can install in our gadgets that allow us to scan our own body.
    *trekkie’s wishful thinking. “scan me up scotty”

    my mom has been diagnosed with some sort of cancer for over 10 years. they can tell the ‘type and where’ till today. from this experience i realized that ‘mind set’ plays a huge role in day-to-day conditions.

    hang in there Julie. don’t let it stop your gadget-voice

  79. Thank you so very much for sharing your story with us, Julie. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery with the least amount of down time possible.

    FWIW, a coworker’s friend is in her 10th year of recovery, and I’ll always remember hearing how she never took an extra day off even while having chemo. May you be as blessed in all ways.

  80. Julie

    Everyone here @work is wishing you a speedy recovery, you are in everyone’s prayers here also. My wife’s mother passed away from breast cancer, but back then they didn’t have all the latest medicine and new procedures they have now. Hang in there, I know you are going to beat this thing. I am glad to hear that your first round of Chemo went well.

    Get well soon Julie

  81. I’m another long-time daily reader, since 1999 or so. I hope you keep your sense of humor throughout this ordeal. Maybe we’ll be reading about new medical gadgets you see in your doctor’s office or iPhone apps to track how you feel during your treatment! 🙂

    You and your family are in all our thoughts!

  82. I wish you a fast recovery. My mother has been diagnosed with a similar condition and had surgery twice in the last two months but things look good for her, and I hope for you as well.

  83. Thank you for sharing your situation and your story. It will help others- either to seek diagnosis or to give support to those who are going through something similar. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We’re all behind you. Get well.

  84. Bret from Champaign, IL

    My sister-in-law is a breast cancer survivor and she is doing great now, I wish the same for you!

  85. Add another to the many who wish you nothing but the best!! I sincerely hope that knowing so many people are thinking of you helps to make things a little better whenever you feel down as you fight through this.

  86. Julie – thanks for posting it, and for building such a great community through the years. We are all wishing you the very best, and know that with such a great partner by your side you are going to do fine!

  87. Julie, hope that the treatments go as predicted. I had lymphoma a dozen years ago, and it was treated with chemo and radiation. I was lucky with the short term effects (no nausea, little tiredness, etc.) and with the long term remission. After a few years of check ups, my oncologist declared me “cured” and said no need to return unless symptoms appear. Hope that this experience helps to reinforce your sense that things do turn out well.

  88. Julie, been reading your site since around ’99… very sad to hear the news, but confident you will kick the arse (I’m from the UK!) of this horrible disease… we will be thinking about you from this side of the pond!

  89. Butch Cloninger

    Best wishes, Julie, for a speedy and complete recovery! Don’t underestimate the power of positive thinking. And major kudos for speaking out about the dangers of self-delusion and personal health.

  90. Hi all. I posted another quick update. I’ll continue to do so in hopes that it might help others going through the same or similar thing that I am right now.

  91. Julie, I’ve enjoyed reading your site since the heyday of Palm PDAs and still consider it a wonderful ressource for gadget information that has its own personality and value very distinct from the big gadget blogs that came after The Gadgeteer. Thank you for bringing this important health issue to your community’s attention and I wish you all the best for a complete recovery with minimal discomfort.

  92. Hi Julie, I’ve been reading your reviews for the longest time… haven’t been reading again until now and saw your post regarding your cancer… I pray for your speedy recovery! Keep up your good spirit!

  93. I shaved my head last month but by mistake- I tried to do it myself with a new electric razor I bought, had it on the wrong setting, dang! My girlfriend likes it cut short, though, and it feels much better to me and easier to wash.
    I just hope nobody thinks we’re skinheads 🙁
    Here’s hoping you get better soon!
    From yer loyal reader Bob 🙂

  94. Hang in there darlin’! And thanks for the words of advice for people playing headgames to avoid getting things checked out.

    My dad is a colon cancer survivor from way back in the 1980s thanks to a particulalry pushy no-BS doctor. She saved his life. I am proud to say that, at 41, I’ve had two colonoscopies as recommended based on my family history.

    Best wishes,

  95. I like the new “hair” do:)

    Keep the blog going Julie.
    First lesson here to get out is: If something feels wrong get it checked out EARLY.
    Second lesson: Routine ups and downs of treatment and why it’s not so scary and one does adapt.

    Your blog is teaching so much to inform so many. Keep it going Julie as I am sure many new cancer patients will draw comfort and knowledge from your experiences.
    Perhaps some photos of your undergoing chemo would help inform. Knowledge of the “unknown” is a powerful and educating tool that reduces fear/concern. Small unknowns can lead to misunderstandings and hospitals often can lose this perspective even though they try their best.

    A short story of one missunderstanding: Just b4 I underwent DaVinci surgery for prostate cancer I visited the hospital and was given a run down of the events surrounding the procedure and the immediate aftermath. This included the nurse telling me I would have a catheter in for several days. She then pulled out of her magic bag the catheter and a flexible clear plastic tube about 1/2 an inch, or more, wide leading into the “bottle”. I gasped and almost passed out. “You mean that HUGE thing is going into my xxxxx!!!!!” I GASPED in total horror/shock/fear! And I fell back into my chair. “Oh No!” laughed the nurse. “This is the draining end”. As my pulse rate fell from 200++ down I said: “May I respectfully suggest that with the next patient you pull out the thin tubing end first, so they don’t have the shock I had!”

    Yeah these little things are funny to laugh at when you know everything. But small unknowns and misunderstandings are what causes so much of the fear.

    Ergo your blog here is doing a great service in informing everyone of the process and enlightening us.

    Get well soon:) (Hope I wasn’t too graphic!)

  96. My wife went through breast cancer and when she lost her hair someone recommend that she get a baseball cap and put a scrunch on it. I think I spelled it correctly. Anyway, it is just a pony tail that she hooked to the back of the hat and wore that every where. It made her feel much better during the time with no hair.

    1. @Richard I don’t mind not having hair at all. It really saves time getting cleaned up in the morning 🙂 I wear a pink camo knit head cover when I go out.

  97. @Julie

    How did your follow up with your doctor go?

    I have been crossing all my fingers and toes for you.

    1. @JMWarren85 I just returned home from having my 3rd chemo treatment this morning. I’m feeling pretty good today which is great since I haven’t had a lot of good days this past 3 weeks. The 2nd treatment really knocked me on my butt. I never new what fatigue was till now. But besides all that, the treatments appear to be working. The doc has examined the mass and says it feels less dense and smaller. 🙂 So I have another chemo treatment in 21 days and then surgery. After that I might have more chemo and / or radiation. Just depends on the pathology.

  98. Thanks for the updates Julie. Thinking of you quite often. Hang tough pal and hope to see you soon!!

  99. Julie,

    I’m one of many who have enjoyed your site over the years. How are you doing? My thoughts are with you.


  100. Hang in there, Julie. I’m pulling for you. Thanks for the update, even if you’re feeling worse now.

    1. My last update must have came across wrong. I’m not feeling bad right now. The only time I feel really crummy is a week or so after my treatments. After a week I start feeling better. So it’s really not THAT bad. I’m not complaining at all. I know a lot of people have it much much worse. 🙂

  101. I think it just sounds more difficult with the transfusion and all. I’m glad the effects wear off in a week each time. That’s been my experience with other friends and family who have been through different chemo treatments as well. Sorry to make you feel hovered over. It’s hard to show you care and are supportive without coming across wrong. 🙂

    1. @Tom You’re not hovering at all 🙂 I appreciate EVERYONE’s good thoughts, questions and emails.
      Good news, I didn’t have to have any white blood cell boosting shots or a transfusion today! My counts are close to normal. Yay! That means I get to have my 4th chemo Thursday. Can’t wait to have that behind me.

  102. awesome! you will be prevail in this challenge, God works through people that love you, continuing prayers and energy, competent doctors and and your wholesome spirit, one day at a time although some may be hard. You are a tough gal, you will be fine.

  103. Thank you for posting your updates Julie! We miss you back at work and we are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

    1. My blood counts were good and I was able to have my 4th chemo today. It was my last bad one (hopefully) and I can say good bye to the “red devil”, “red koolaid” stuff that is pretty strong. Even the docs that are mixing the drugs have to wear gloves and take special precautions so that they don’t get it on their skin.

      I’ll be glad to get back to work. I miss all my friends at Cummins! Never has the daily drudge of a regular work day seemed so wonderful 🙂

  104. Sounds good, even though I’m sure it’s not fun to feel weak all the time. Thinking of you very day. 🙂

  105. James Goforth


    Thanks for the update. Everyone at work misses you and we can’t wait for you to get back. But you need to take care of yourself first….

  106. Thanks for the updates, Julie. There are so many of us who care and it’s wonderful to hear how you are doing. May the rest of this ordeal pass quickly and easily for you.

    Take care, my friend.

  107. Janet Cloninger

    @Julie You are tough – much tougher than those stupid traitorous cells. I know you don’t like to take medications, but you need to remember one thing for tomorrow. If they offer you any pain medications before they begin that procedure, say “yes, please!”

  108. I, like many of your other family/friends/followers, are thinking of you daily but especially tomorrow as you endure another step in your journey to cancer-free living.
    Let that positive energy encapsulate you and remove all fear and pain you may be subjected to.

  109. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. My mother is undergoing therapy as you so I can understand how you feel. Keep the warrior spirit and you will come out stronger from this.

  110. HiHi Julie,
    Welcome back home:)
    My Sammy DLP just went kaboom this morning and I was feeling annoyed. Now your posting has cheered me up no end.
    Have a great weekend at home:)

  111. Hang in there. Enjoyed your posts for years. Sorry to hear about your cancer. Sending good thoughts your direction.

  112. Radiation gave me a permanent tan. Hope you get back to full strength soon–course that means back to work! Missing you!

    1. @Ann I’m guessing you have a permanent tan in the affected area, but not on your whole body 😉 I’d be all for a whole body tan as I tend to be as pale as an albino albino 😉

  113. I’m inspired by your updates, Julie. You are a tough cookie and will be even more full of “character” when you are cancer free and back to the daily grind. Sending good thoughts your way.

  114. Julie – Just found this series after seeing your post on chicken soup and chemo. Sending prayers and healing thoughts your way. Thank you for posting on your journey, helping alert others to the need for early action, and showing us that the way through cancer can be full of support.

    FYI – Jake Shimabukuro is going to be in Springfield and Bloomington, Illinois November 8 & 9. I plan on being at the Springfield show on the 8th. You might consider the trip over if you’ve not seen him in person.

  115. Glad to hear things are going better with this round. Hope the fevers clear up and you continue on the path to recovery. Thinking of you!

  116. Julie,

    I’m so glad you’re done with chemo! I’ve been quietly pulling for you, and this is a happy day! Keep us updated even if you stop posting to this thread, okay?

    Best always,


  117. Great news, Julie!

    I hope you can quickly ease back to work.

    Thank you for sharing your life through this tough journey. It likely save a life or two, by helping get people to check themselves more frequently

  118. Thank you for the update Julie, I have kept you in my prayer thoughts thru this chalenge. You’re a trooper! You have the courage of two Gladiator’s……Please call me if you ever need a errand run.

    1. @James oh oh… does that mean you’re over worked and are going to dump all the stuff you don’t want to do on me? 😉 Just kidding 🙂

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