Girls Just Gotta Have Fun!

Hello, friends and family,

First, an update on the cancer front:

Good news! My scans on August 17 showed diminished cancer on the mammary lymph nodes and another area showed no visible cancer. So chemo did most of what it’s supposed to do. Now, we continue to treat the cancer aggressively!

Next on the schedule:

  1. Surgery on Thursday, September 3, which is similar to a mastectomy (again) on the right side. At least a few weeks recovery and lots of Vicodin for pain.
  2. Radiation will start as soon as possible after surgery for 6 weeks every single day.
  3. Puerto Vallarta during Thanksgiving week!

I am feeling much better now as my energy is coming back (along with my hair).  I’m back in the gym, although not 100% yet.  Getting there!   Yes, surgery and radiation will set me back a tiny bit but not too much.

Harley Girl Now!

I like to plan fun things to look forward to. And when opportunities come along, I take them! I recently had a great experience; I got to ride on our friend Carl Sittig’s Harley Davidson motorcycle!

Not only that, but he had the gear so I got to look the part, too!

Getting Ready

Getting Ready

                                                       (Oh, my cap says “Suck it up, Buttercup”)

Safe and Snazzy!

Safe and Snazzy!

Off we go! Around Lake Sammamish

Off we go! Around Lake Sammamish

Thank you, Carl, for the special treat!

Later that same day, I saw this cool bike in a store with my friend, Kari    2015-07-15 14.29.12

Fun with Socks

Two of my girlfriends, Gail and Connie, have given me great socks, and I wore them to chemo for every treatment! The nurses loved them, too.

Read this!

Read this!

3 mix n' match socks - fun!

3 mix n’ match socks – fun!

"Kick This Day in its SUNSHINY ASS"

“Kick This Day in its SUNSHINY ASS”


Professional Soccer Game Highlight

My medical family at the Virginia Mason Cancer Institute invited me to be the “Patient Hero” at a sold-out professional soccer game between the Seattle Sounders and Orlando FC on August 16, 2015.

I placed the match ball on a podium to kick off the game, high-fived the players as they came out, and then the announcer told my story to a stadium filled with 40,000 people. They learned about my three rounds battling cancer, about Tracy, and my efforts to raise money for the cancer cause. Then we all watched the rest of the game and the Sounders beat Orlando 3-0!

Mathis and Dana at the Sounders

Mathis and Dana at the Sounders

Waving to my closest 40,000 friends

Waving to my closest 40,000 friends

2 Big Screens and an announcer telling my cancer story and honoring Tracy, too.

2 Big Screens and an announcer telling my cancer story and honoring Tracy, too.

Photo album here:

Upcoming fun things:

  • I’ve really enjoyed giving time to the American Cancer Society and the Virginia Mason Cancer Institute to help raise awareness and funds. So, between now and the month of October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month), I’ll be a “survivor ambassador” and do some local TV and radio shows.
  • October 2-3, I get to visit my Aunt Sandy, Uncle Bobby and Cousin Elizabeth and her kids in Durham, North Carolina. Can’t wait!
  • Saturday, October 10, the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides for Breast Cancer” 5K family walk. I will be leading “Dana’s Gladiators” and many of my friends have started their own teams, hanging under “Dana’s Gladiators.” Here is the link to my team site so you can sign up to walk with us or donate: 
  • Mathis and I are constantly planning concerts, golf, movies, outings with friends and so much more. Join us!


In close, I recently had a wonderful visit by my girlfriend, Mary Foss-Skiftesvik, who was my college roommate at UC Santa Barbara in 1982 and who now lives in Connecticut. She shared the following quote:

Yesterday is History. 

Tomorrow is a Mystery. 

Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.

A special thanks to each of you for being on my team, supporting me every step of the way.  I still hear “Oh, I don’t want to bother you” or “call me when you need me” but please reach out any time of day or night. If I’m resting or sleeping, my devices are off so there is no risk of bothering me.  I cherish each connection with family and friends.  I used to be that “crazy-busy” person and now look back and wish I had taken more time (prioritized) to just be there for friends. Family and health were always a top priority, as they are now.

Huge hugs and love,


cell: 206.849.1000



11 thoughts on “Girls Just Gotta Have Fun!

  1. Thanks for the update. I am always smiling after I read one of your newsletters. Glad you are kicking it and having fun. 40,000 friends hey. Maybe you can get them to vacuum for you sometime!!!! (My favorite friends are the ones who feel a need to do housework at my place.) And then we eat chocolate after.


  2. Dana and Mathis–I think it tells the whole story: smiling with both arms raised in celebration. Now that is the picture of a winner.
    Much love,
    Kathleen and Bill


  3. No one inspires me like you do!
    God Bless you sweet Dana!

    YOU look like a bad ass on that bike! YIKES!
    Please, please give my love to your Mathis and to your mom


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