Tuesday, July 31, 2012


The Army of Women filled a study in EIGHTEEN days. According to the researcher who presented her results in the webinar embedded below, the normal time to fill a study would be about FIVE YEARS.  In other words, how much more proof do you need before you actually go sign up to be in the Army of Women database.

Not only will you learn about studies (in which you can select to participate OR NOT), you will have the opportunity to learn about the results of the studies in webinars like this one.  There is a Q and A afterward.  If you were on the call and you had a question, chances are you might have had your question answered.

For those of my buddies dealing with chemobrain, the study is fascinating.  It was done at Stanford by Dr. Shelli Kesler using software she developed for Lumosity.  There are no conflicts as she notes while she is presenting.  I was particularly interested in what Dr. Kesler had to say.  I was in a similar study and I utilized one of the other training programs she mentioned in the presentation.  My study is still open and recruiting.  You can take a peek and see if you might be interested.

To underscore my point about the efficiency of researchers utilizing Army of Women database to fill studies, this study is still recruiting.  It opened in August 2010.  Two years later, it's not filled yet.  Stanford?  Filled in EIGHTEEN DAYS.    You can admit it.... It's impressive.  Army of Women is impressive.  At the Dr Susan Love Research Foundation, they are conducting research, funding research and fast tracking research.  This would be a prime example of the latter.

Back to the important part.  The Results.  Her explanations are easy to understand.  The slides are extremely helpful. Three groups of women were studied and degrees of "issues" were found across all three subsets.  In other words, it's "CancerBrain" but good luck getting me to change my alter ego to @cancerbrainfog.  I am @chemobrainfog and I am blogging at Chemobrain: In The Fog.

The women were divided as follows:
  • Women with a breast cancer diagnosis without radiation or chemotherapy
  • Women with a breast cancer diagnosis who had radiation by NO chemotherapy
  • Women with a breast cancer diagnosis who were treated using chemotherapy
I was on the call scribbling furiously as Dr. Kesler presented some rather compelling information.  I never know whether to laugh or cry when I see a brain image and hear the researcher say, "In this case, the drug was (fill in the blank and it's always a drug that was part of my cocktail)."

This is an in depth discussion.  While I'd love to offer a synopsis, you are better off bookmarking this video and listening to it when you can.  After all, I'm in the same damn boat..... Not exactly the best person to decipher information when the source is so easily accessed.  BESIDES, Dr. Love participated in the webinar and it was very inspiring to hear her voice. VERY inspiring, indeed!

In case there is an issue with this video.....the link on the Army of Women page can be found HERE.


  1. I just love your opening line...from 5 years to 18 days...wow!

    1. I did leave you a note yesterday.... I too, was so impressed with the way this study was filled! It works...It really works....

  2. Thank you for the link to the MSKCC study. I trawl clinicaltrials.gov regularly, so I have no idea how I managed to miss it. Well, okay, maybe the reason is obvious--in spite of handfuls of nootropics, my brain is oozing out my ears.

    Thankfully, I received notification of your post in the nick of time--I had just viewed Dr. Kesler's presentation, and I was just about to purchase a year's subscription to Lumosity when Outlook chimed at me. (Let it not be said that "easily distracted" is all bad.) I have called MSKCC, and I await a call back.

    I'm not entirely sure I fit the criteria--can't figure out if "one year" is counted from the start date or end date of chemo--but I've got my fingers crossed.

    Now if I can only avoid flooding the house (or burning it down) until someone calls me back....

    1. Hi Rhonda,

      I'm laughing at your observation of "easily distracted" ...... yes, there is always flip side!

      I hope you will let me know how it goes! I loved the CogMed program and I'm now on "extension training." I found the "games" to be engaging. I may supplement it with Lumosity. Still deciding on that one....

      As for flooding/burning.... Yep... I'm right there with you. Neglecting to turn off the gas burner -- definitely an issue around here!!

    2. Hi AnneMarie :)

      I gave up on MSKCC. I called and left a message, but I've not received a return call. In such situations, I choose to take it as more of that "flip side"--most often when I find a roadblock, it was for my own good. (I've learned that from previous attempts at bulldozing through them.)

      As a result, I am now the proud owner of a two-year subscription to Lumosity. My only real concern is that there's not a lot of evidence the games do more than make us better at the games. (There's an entire chapter in /The Invisible Gorilla/ on that subject--fascinating book; great read.) Even so, I'm hoping that as I progress, my increased confidence (justified or not) will transfer to my other endeavors (because right now I'm afraid that everything I touch will turn out wrong, so I avoid doing many things).

      As for the flooding--I was draining a 40 gallon turtle tank...well, I thought I was draining it, but I walked away without actually flipping the switch. By the time I realized what I'd done, my kitchen had a tidal bore, and the dripping lights in the basement cast a gentle glow upon the river running into the sump pump. Call it 80 gallons of water (but it might've been more.) Thankfully, we're all dried out now, and I've not detected any evidence of mold. (I can't talk about the gas burners, because it's just too scary sometimes.)

      P.S. Thank you for this wonderful blog.

    3. Just wanted to let you know that MSKCC called me back. I love Dr. Ryan.

      As it turns out, I'm not far enough out of chemo to qualify, but she had some great suggestions. In the meantime, I'm matching cards with all my might.

    4. Rhonda!!!
      My head is up my ..... OK... no need to elaborate. You know exactly what I mean. First of all, I don't know HOW I missed the comment from last week. I can't stop laughing right now... bulldozing ..... Yes, I can relate. I believe we call that "Control Freak" and "Type A" and I wear those badges with pride. Or, I did. Now, I generally forget I'm waiting for something.

      I agree with your theory about making us "better at games" but I feel like I'm doing something. That empowers me. My office is still a disaster area but I suspect I let it get out of control and I simply can't summon the discipline to go in there and FIX the mess!

      I'm extremely glad you spoke to Dr. Ryan. I'm a big fan of hers. HUGE. When I went in to meet with her, it was for a private evaluation and I was so impressed with the time she took to converse with me about all of the things I found troubling. I think that was the most important part of the evaluation.

      Thanks for letting me know! Keep matching those cards and I'll keep reciting the numbers in backwards order in my game. It's all good. As long as we stay out of the kitchen.....

  3. To say that's impressive is just not cutting it - filling a study in 18 days is knock-me-over incredible. Having helped with research studies during my BA in psych, I know it takes some arm twisting and hard appeals to bring in participants. There's some very impressive influence in the Army of Women. Wow. Just Wow.

    1. Catherine.....

      I agree! Knock me over incredible is a great way of putting it and you have first hand knowledge of how difficult it can be to fill studies. I think it underscores Dr. Love's vision in spearheading the assembly of a solid database as a great method of fast tracking research!

      Big hugs...