Blogs > Ann DeMatteo's Why Us?

Since my breast cancer diagnosis on June 9, 2008, I have spent a fairly decent amount of time wondering "why me?" I would like to hear from you about your cancer stories. Let's create a dialogue of learning, sharing and hope.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Hi Folks,
We're almost done with another Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I just got home from a great fundraiser, "Cocktails for a Cure," to benefit Dr. Andrea Silber's Sister to Sister Program at the Hospital of St. Raphael.
Tons of people showed up at Dunn's Pub for the event, organized by my support group, the Pink Ladies.
Still trying to figure out what to do with my left breast.
Still concerned about why so many people are struck with breast cancer, and cancer in general.
My cat, Patches, is laying on my desk at home as I write this and I'm trying to figure out if the thing on her tummy is a flea or just a black mark. She won't let me touch her stomach though without scratching or biting, and if she got my left hand, then I risk infection due to the lymphedema.
Sorry I haven't written lately. Can't get used to blogging.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Can't believe it's September

Hi Folks,
Hope you enjoyed my Aug. 30 column in the Sunday Register about the Rev. William Killeen. He's so inspiring.
I apologize for not checking in so often. Covering two towns, plus writing a weekly column, is tough to do.
I've been quite tired lately, and my knees and lower back often ache. Don't know if it's the Arimidex, old age or just being overweight.
I'm trying to put together a program, to kick off in October, that will deal with weight loss for breast cancer patients and other folks. I already have one doctor willing to help but I'm open to suggestions.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Coming this Sunday, July 12

Hi Folks,
I will be doing a column about Amy O'Neill, a Hamden resident and the longest-living person with a painful skin disease called epidermylosis bullosa. She is totally inspiring, a wonderful person living with a terrible disease all her life. I have never met a person who loves life more than she, but she struggles each day to stay alive. She really needs our prayers.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Radiation Graduation

How can something so unpleasant be pleasant? That was my experience with radiation. As you may have seen in my column, I thought radiation was the toughest of all of the breast cancer therapies. For me, it was the one therapy that made me think daily about my cancer diagnosis. After the technologists set you up on the table, the four-food lead door closes and you're on the table alone in your own thoughts.
On Thursday, I received my certificate of completion on the Varian Linear Accelerator, a machine that treated me 30 times, the last seven with cone therapy that lasted a minute. The previous 23 treatments covered five parts of my chest and armpit area and caused a very big sunburn. I am now peeling under my arm and it's uncomfortable.
It didn't help that in the course of things that I came down with my annual spring case of bronchitis. The infection went away after a week of antibiotics, but I'm still coughing and my chest is still wheezing. Not pleasant.
But what made my radiation therapy pleasant were the technologists who treated me, Roseann Perito and Shalene Neeman, and others who popped in to assist from time to time. As I've said in my columns, I have been blessed to have had many kind and caring medical professionals helping me during my breast cancer treatment. I don't know how they do it, but all the doctors, nurses and technicians I have come across are so caring and compassionate. What jobs they do.
Happy Mother's Day, all.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I've been so bogged down with work for the Register and for the Miss Connecticut Scholarship Program, my volunteer organization, that I haven't had time to check in. Actually, I think that I just can't do as much any more. My mother tells me to slow down...AAAAAHHHH!! No time for that!
Anyhow, I started radiation a week and a half ago. My NuBoob skin is already pink. I did an interview for my column the other day and that woman's breast was brownish-red. Guess I have that to look forward to. So far, radiation isn't that bad but you have to go each weekday. It's a constant reminder that you have cancer.
Chat soon,

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Hello Folks,
Haven't been on here in a while. Thought I'd promote some of my upcoming columns.
This week, I'm talking to Josephine DelVecchio, widow of the late Thomas DelVecchio of North Haven. Tom died on March 1, 2008, from lung cancer. Josephine has organized a March 28 fundraiser at Laurel View Country Club in Hamden. Proceeds will benefit The V Foundation, an organization that's raised more than $80 million for cancer research in 16 years. I'll also be promoting Nina Pane Sanseverino's March 21 fundraiser and tribute to her mother, the late Neapolitan songstress Giussepina Pane.
On March 22, I'll be sharing the inspirations of Sister Maureen Fitzgerald, the principal of St. Rita School in Hamden, who recently returned from a trip to Reynosa, Mexico with students and parents from Sacred Heart Academy in Hamden. They built two houses for impoverished people in Reynosa and will be sharing their life-changing experience with you.
In the future, I'll be speaking to researchers in our area about strides they're making in cancer research. Also on tap is an interview with a very brave young woman who has been suffering with FOP.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Dear Readers,
Happy Valentine's Day! Bob and I will truly be celebrating tonight as I got good news from my doctor yesterday. She said that my breast area is now cancer-free following its removal on March 4. I'll be writing about my mastectomy experience in Feb. 22's Register Living section.
Thanks for all your support and prayers.