About Me

My name is Ann Silberman and my email address is butdoctorihatepink AT gmail DOT com. Because of spambots, I used words instead of symbols in the address, but you know how to replace them with the @ and . characters.

If you need help, if you want to talk to somebody who has cancer, who has incurable cancer and is still going,  if you have any questions about what I experienced during treatment,  all you have to do is ask me.  I am very open about it all.  Keep in mind, I am NOT a doctor, just a patient. I can only share my experience, I can't tell you if you have cancer, how you will react to any treatment or what you should do.  I can only tell you what I would do, what I know from my own research, and what my thoughts are.

My facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/ButdoctorIhatepink.  Please like it!  My ego is all caught up in there, isn't that weird?
My twitter is @butdocihatepink. Oddly, no ego there.  :)

If you email or message me on facebook or twitter I will respond. (Warning - I only check twitter once a day, the rest I check multiple times so they are a better bet).  You will need to like my facebook page to message me.

The folks at Soul Pancake did a nice video of me and you can see it here:

I filmed it November 2012 and am still here as of this writing, January 2015.  A drug came out that was not available at that filming that I got, and it has put me in remission,  so I am lucky.  Several of the people in their series have died so I have some survivor's guilt.  If you notice, in their description, they got my age wrong - they said I was 52. I was 54 - but what lady corrects her age?  I'm 56 now.

As I said in the video, my goal since learning my cancer was end-stage was to make it to my youngest son's graduation, which I did.  He is now a freshman at Caltech.

Many people who comment on that video seem to think that I don't know about all the alternative treatments out there, but of course, I'm an intelligent woman who is active in the cancer world - so I do. And, I reject them as not being scientifically proven.  If somebody else wants to believe these unproven theories, I won't change their minds, and thus would appreciate the same courtesy.  

I suggest an excellent book called The Cancer Chronicles by George Johnson which will give you a good background in how long cancer has been around and how little it seems to have changed over the millennia.

I also believe that there is a psychological component to believing that anything we can eat or do will change things.   if people think they have all the answers, they feel confident will know what to do if something devastating happens to them.  Everybody wants to distance themselves from tragedy by thinking they know how to prevent it, when in reality, it can happen to anybody, and nothing can stop it.

So, I have had conventional therapy and a lot of it.  You can look at my treatment list page to see what I've done so far.

If you watched the Soul Pancake video, you know being a mom is the most important thing to me.  Being a wife, being a family person - that's what I live for.  I was a high school secretary, a job I loved.  I have had many jobs in my life, from bartender to IT manager.  But school secretary was my favorite.  I was sad to have to give it up but years of chemo and then having c-diff ended my ability to work.  I have two greyhound dogs, and I have a cat.  I live in an old, 70 year old house with people I love.  I enjoy scrapbooking, making cards, watching hummingbirds and quiet things.  I used to be very active but now I have learned to appreciate a peaceful life.

Since my remission in 2015, I have started exercising and trying to regain some energy and health.  I am speaking at SXSW 2015 in Austin, which I am excited about.  I also am involved in helping new bloggers get started.  None of these things pay but they keep me busy.

Here are some photos of me that will eventually be in order - Cancer through the years:
Me on my 50th birthday in '08-
4 months before I was diagnosed
Healthy me with my nephew at his wedding in '07
After Mastectomy 2009
After first chemo, 2010
Hair Growing Back, Summer 2010

Some surgery, can't remember!

2012 - Hair cut into a pixie

SBRT 2013
Winter 2014


  1. Your video is truly touching Ann. Sending you many blessings in hopes that you will get to see your youngest son graduate. Much love to you, I wish I could hug you and take the cancer away. I am a cancer survivor and you are an inspiration.

  2. Props to you. You're a hell of a person, and I hope, truly, truly hope, you see your son graduate. You fuckin deserve it. Stay strong (I already know you will).

  3. I wish you nothing but good in the days to come. Like all of us, you did not ask for this. Stay strong and keep picturing your son walking across that stage!

  4. Pulling for you Ann! My diagnosis was '05 and my son is graduating this year as well. I feel you and am praying for you:)

  5. Bless you, Ann. You are a wonderful person and an inspiration. Sometimes I get caught up in the little things and your video on SoulPancake changed my perspective so much. I am sending you so much love. <3

  6. Ann you are the best communicator/writer. I love what you said about people want to distance themselves from cancer by thinking that they know how to stay healthy! I have always been an athlete, thin, have never smoked (and always avoided smoke like a mad woman ;) non-drinker, healthy eater and when I was diagnosed one friend said it was because I did too many strenuous activity (mountain climbing, triathlons, marathons) and stressed by body too much, another said it was because I drink diet coke once in a while!! I always try to read your blog and also pray for you and yours. And I hope you are around when your son graduates college. Are you going to do a post on what his college choice is soon??

  7. I just discovered your story tonight while I was on YouTube so then came here to learn more... It has been a help to me. You write in such a real and honest way. Thank you,
    I am a 2 time lung cancer survivor. The rest of my left lung was removed a year ago. Even though our cancers are different I can very much relate to all that you shared here.

  8. I hate pink too! Why is the symbol for breast cancer a lousy pink ribbon. My metaphor for hope is a garden in the ruins: http://iameclectica.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/the-garden-in-ruins.html

  9. You're amazing and such an inspiration, and i saw your video on youtube, both of your sons are amazing so is your husband i wish you a healthy life full of joy to you and your family much love xx

  10. I felt kind of alone when I was writing my blog and I would crack jokes and make puns on cancer. After reading your story. . . I feel ashamed. If YOU can feel light hearted about cancer, then so can I. I'm not alone anymore! And . . . neither are you ; )

  11. Hi Ann, Thank you for sharing your fight with us. I am also Stage IV with mets to the bones. My initial diagnosis was in late 2009/treatment 2010. Mets 2013. Please visit my blog as I don't have many readers and if you can pass it on I would be grateful. http://mybreastcancerroadtriplog.blogspot.com/

    Thank you and congratulations on making your son's graduation! And many more years to us all!

  12. I just saw the video on youtube and read your blog. You inspired me to look at all the little things in life and im so thankful for my family and friends, and even my dog who is excited to see me when i get home. Im so proud of you for fighting so, so hard through this journey. You, Ann, are such a wonderful person and I thank you deep down from my heart for touching my life, a stranger. Love and prayers to you, your boys and your husband.

  13. Thanks for your note the other day, it really reminded me to be grateful for where I am! I love your attitude. I too, had people send me links to "broccoli" cures and homeopathic/other miracle cures which I politely said were very nice for someone else, but for me I needed the big guns and planned to go full out. Sorry to hear you had so much trouble with Tamoxifen - I've heard others with the same concerns. I guess I'm lucky, cause it's relatively uneventful for me - I'm on year 4 and may do 10 as the latest studies show that an additional 5 years are helpful. My daughter graduated last Friday, so I can relate to your wish to be there for your son. Hope it was a wonderful ceremony (assuming it occurred in the last week or so). All my best to you and your family. hugs xo

  14. Hi Ann! I found your blog while searching breast cancer blogs and I'm so glad I did. I don't have mets but had breast cancer this year, triple neg, had surgery, chemo, rads and was send on my way. I feel completely lost and scared all the time. Every ache and pain I have immediately makes me think it's back and my friends and family are ready for me to move on and get on with my life. I don't know how! Thanks for your insightful words. I've gotten a lot of comfort from your words. Thanks so much!

  15. Hi Ann - I have stage 4 lymphoma - Julie Moran Romagnoli - trying to approach the fact that I will NOT be healed with God's grace and humor - you inspire me <3

  16. Hello Ann, I'm so glad to see that you are still with us, gracing us with your amazing spirit and sense of humor. I first came across your sugarless Haribo gummy bears review on Amazon back in January '14 and while searching today through some old notes, I found it again and had to know what happened to you in the interim. Very glad to have found your blog.

    I'm curious, based on your experience and the knowledge related to your illness that you have surely acquired over the years in excess of the average person's, what your opinion is about whether hormonal birth control (specifically, the Pill) causes or increases one's risk of developing cancer? There seems to be a lot of conflicting science on the subject, with the mainstream pharmaceutical interests asserting no relationship exists between the two, while the ecological/ new age/ other alternative proponents claim that these substances are damaging or toxic to the body. Also, do you have any personal theories as to why cancer is so rampant today, and occurring more frequently in younger populations?

    Congratulations on your continued health and thank you again for sharing your unblemished story with the world. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and best wishes!

    1. May I recommend that you read the Cancer Chronicles? It's a very readable, interesting book and it will explain much about cancer.

      I don't think it is really more prevalent today than it was years ago, it's just much more out in the open - however, a factor may be how long people are living. Cancer happens when cells malfunction, which happens much more often in older people. Cancer is often a disease of aging so as we live longer, it makes sense that we'd find it more. Speaking of age, do you know they found cancer in dinosaur bones and in Egyptian Mummies? It's always been around.

      As for the birth control pill, I haven't read anything about the pill being linked to breast cancer, unlike HRT which is a definite risk factor. To be honest, I've never really researched it. However, I'm not a fan of anything but evidence-based medicine and the word "toxic" is a big red flag for me that somebody doesn't know what they are talking about. :)

      How funny you found me from the review! Awesome. :) Thank you so much!

  17. Gosh, where to start... I just recently got a breast cancer diagnosis, and am not sure I'm mentally ready to start reading blogs about terminal cancer yet. But you've sucked me in. I think you are a long lost soul mate, because the description you wrote about the sentinel node biopsy and core biopsy could have come from my own fingers. Well, except that I haven't reached the humor stage of this yet; I'm still wallowing in self-pity and crying a lot. The thought of the boob contraptions being used for testicular cancer sealed the deal for me. :)

    1. Welcome! Hey, I'm still here and still doing well. Hang in there!

  18. Your site and video are wonderful and amazing. Thank you for sharing your life. My sister (47) was just diagnosed with Metestatic Breast Cancer, so reading your story is very insightful and meaningful to me.

  19. I'm 49 & found my lump in April, but the Dr.'s dragged their feet so wasn't diagnosed with IDC until June 18th, 2015.Dbl mastectomy on July 28th and suffering with tissue expander spasms as I write. ( I'm also in that wallow in self-pity stage- but occasionally bounce back for a few moments of humor and hope.) I'm waiting now for the results of the new genome test -to see if I will need chemo or not- but know the tamoxifen is a given either way. My cancer hadn't spread to the lymph nodes- so (as I've been told) this makes me 'lucky'. I DO feel lucky to have found you & this blog tonight- and will get a copy of the cancer chronicles to read while I sweat and lie awake at all hours of the night.. I've decided that the club I never wanted to be a part of? Is filled with some pretty amazing women.. Thank You for sharing your journey~

  20. Look at how beautiful you are (comment on your images). I thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience, hard won as it is, through this blog.

  21. I stumbled across your blog in looking for a story about cancer survival, searching for a type of kindred understanding, since I am currently just one month into diagnosis. I appreciate your blog very much. Thank you so much for documenting your journey. I am completely absorbed in what I've read so far- I look forward to reading through every single post! Would you also please consider taking a look at mine? MomentAtaTime.blogspot.com

  22. I love your sense of humor, especially in the face of your ordeal, and I love your sharing with us. I have only had early stage breast cancer, but if I ever have mets (and 20-30 percent of us will) I hope I can deal with it as constructively as you do

  23. Love your awareness article Ann, so I'll link it up and spread it around if that's OK. I'm a guy two years post treatment for bc who was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. Turns out 30% of men with bc go on to get pc. About to join the club of guys who have had a mastectomy and a prostatectomy.

    I've built an information site: maleBC.org and I'm on Twitter as #malefitness

    Anyway, you have an inspirational spirit and I wish you all the best.


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