BRCA Genes: DNA Dark Matter, Grills and Aloha Sock Monkeys

In case you have not heard, what science used to call junk in our DNA is not useless stuff after all. It’s really, really important. So important, it is likely to change the cancer world forever.

Here is the link to a New York Times article explaining this discovery in greater detail:

In short, the parts of our DNA that aren’t actual genes are a complex network of switches that control the genes. Why is this such a big honking deal? Because the genetic changes that cause disease are often in the switches, not the genes. You can bet cancer researchers will start work right away on drugs that affect these switches. It’s an enormous leap forward and offers hope not just for understanding and treating cancer, but for many other diseases as well. So, no more junk DNA. Welcome, dark matter.

On a more personal level I am frustrated once again by an internal stitch that does not want to dissolve. I’ve been watching this red spot for several days now and this morning a tiny wound the size of a pin head is leaking fluid. I slapped some antibiotic and a gauze pad on it and gave my right boob a lecture. It’s been nearly 7 weeks since my last surgery. Healing is a lengthy process.

When I had my initial mastectomy and reconstruction it felt like I was getting rid of the old me and building a new and improved version of me, so I thought. Turns out, the old me was pretty damn amazing. The new me? A hodge-podge that I will need more time to get used to. And I’m still under construction.

Recently we got a new gas grill. The old one was literally falling to pieces. While I love my shiny new beast, I miss the old workhorse that served me so well. I miss the old me too, but I’m not looking back. Before any more surgery we are going to Hawaii for a week. My Mom gave me a small aloha gift, pictured below. Thanks, Mom. For everything.

Hula monkeys from





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