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    How Does a Woman Business Leader Cope with Breast Cancer? A Personal Message to My Readers

    A Pink Rose for Breast Cancer

    My Dear Readers,

    I know you’re out there because I continually get feedback. Writing this blog has had a dual purpose for me; I have been able to provide help and mentorship to many women and, at the same time, I have been learning and growing from your experiences. Well, I am now on a new journey, which I am going to share with you because I know there is much to learn from each other.

    How does a woman business leader cope when she hears that she has breast cancer?

    I have recently learned that I am joining the army of women in pink. I received the news a few days ago after a three-week bout of angst over a suspicious annual mammogram. In fact my blog, 6 Ways Women Business Leaders can Overcome Negativity,  was written with the hopes that all was OK!

    I have noninvasive in situ breast cancer. The good news is that it is noninvasive, the bad news is that the 3-by-4 centimeter hole in my breast did not placate the enemy. My case was evaluated by a tumor team and the recommendation based on family history, rate of growth and MRI was that I undergo a mastectomy. I have opted for a bi-lateral with reconstruction.

    So what happens to “little miss positive” now? I am going to share my journey with you from the perspective of a woman business leader. Who am I with this new identity? How do I share the news with family? Staff?

    I will be having surgery this week and have full confidence in the medical team taking care of me and will be blogging again at the end of the week. Stay tuned for what I expect will be the ride of my life……….I intend making it a good one!

    40 Responses to “How Does a Woman Business Leader Cope with Breast Cancer? A Personal Message to My Readers”

    1. Sara Alfano says:

      Your blog sounds like it is going to be beneficial for both you and all of your readers. Like you said this is a new journey but trust me you will learn so much from it. I look forward to hearing great news and want to wish you luck on your surgery this week. You know there are so many people supporting you! Always remember that attitude is everything! Best of luck.

    2. Jodi says:

      You are an inspiration. Keep the positive energy!
      Much love,

    3. Heather Ripley says:

      I’m so sorry to hear this terrible news. But stay positive and you will beat this! I’ll be praying for you and thinking about you!

    4. Lisa Guthrie says:

      You’ve really helped me a great deal, as a new business woman (after a layoff a year ago, I’m out on my own and loving it!). Now, it’s my turn to help you. I will be praying for you, and wishing you peace. It will be interesting to hear your perspective as you go through this. I’m a writer, and I appreciate your pieces as very authentic and compelling. Take care and know that there are many people – whom you only “virtually” know – who are pulling for you! Continue to be fearless.

      • roxannejoffe says:


        It sounds like you helped yourself – I am pleased things are going well. Thanks for reaching out – all this positive energy is wonderful.

    5. Dorothy says:

      Thank you for sharing your story. I have found that the business community has been very supportive of me during my recent diagnosis and pending surgery for breast cancer.

      You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    6. Sandy says:

      Your strength and resolve is admirable, it will serve you, your family and your friends well. Thank you for sharing your experience. Prayers will continue for you and your family.

    7. Your positivity and trust (in the universe, God, Allah, nature, whatever works) and knowing that a great attitude helps you soar 90% of the way to a recovery and renewal are the invaluable tools we all seem to discover.

      You have a network of women especially (including me) who are part of this “pink club” but happily, it sounds as if you have made the best decision for your case and that you have excellent medical care to support a speedy recovery. Best success to you — and in terms of balance with work?

      My experience is that this has a way of re-prioritizing…making each day count, making blessings a matter of “gratitude”, making people important as opposed to material issues. For what it’s worth –

    8. What a great thing you are doing sharing your personal experiences like this. I’m sure your story will be very comforting and helpful to others facing similar choices. Very, very good of you to do this. Wishing you only the best.

    9. Jeff Stanger says:

      Roxanne — you are in my thoughts. I just learned of this. I have other friends fighting this battle with you, so appreciate what you’re going through. You are courageous to share. I’m adding my well-wishes to the others here. All the best.

    10. roxannejoffe says:

      Jeff, I so appreciate the support.
      Thank you.

    11. Beth Hunt says:

      I am a five year breast cancer survivor this November. After breast cancer twice (2006 and 2007) and 7 surgeries later, I am fine.

      My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. Thank you for sharing your story. I know this will make you a stronger person and appreciate every day. Every day we receive is a gift.

      Live, Laugh and Love…. This is the best medicine.

    12. Gene Payne says:

      Roxanne -

      I just heard about your surgery and want to wish you the very best in your recovery! Thank goodness you have such a positive attitude, as I am sure it will help you weather this storm. Looking forward to sunnier days and blue skies on the horizon for you and Sam soon.

      Take good care -

      Gene Payne

    13. Monica Manolas says:

      I am thinking of you each day. You are an inspiration to all women business leaders and I hope we can talk soon. I know each day can be challenging when tackling something like this, so I will wait until you have recovered from your surgery to reach out more personally. Know your Stage 29 family is sending loving, healing thoughts your way!

      • roxannejoffe says:

        Monica – I am blessed to have a network of love and care Stage 29 has added a cradle of comfort to my life – thank you

    14. Carlene C. Cobb says:

      Your journey will leave you even stronger than you already are. Love, light and prayers surround you. I made a similar journey last year and recently celebrated my 1-year clean mamo anniversary. Soon, you will celebrate yours. After the surgery and radiation, not much scares me anymore. Every moment is even more precious. Please give yourself the time you need to heal. Welcome the gifts that will come in unexpected packages.

    15. Elain [Mervis] Steinberg says:

      I remember your fist day at KDVP. You were a child from a small town and as your entered the classroom you looked terrified, though quite stoic. You knew there was no escape and you also knew that you would have to make the best of it, no matter what the outcome. I have the sense of you doing the same thing here and now with an even greater challenge. My heart went out to you then, as it does now.
      My challenges through my biography have been very different to what you are going through now, although I must say that I am so privileged to have partnered many friends and family through their journeys with cancer and other life threatening dis-eases. Some journey’s are still continuing whilst others ended months or years ago. Whatever the outcome, you are in for one of the most interesting and introspective times of your life.
      This challenge is going to give you the time you have never devoted to yourself, and only yourself. I always wonder, is it possible being Jewish or a mother, wife, friend, businesswoman or just a plain simple woman, to ever give ourselves the time we require to just be, without others needs, demands and requirements being that much more important or urgent.
      Roxanne, this is your very special time to devote to yourself entirely. You, I hope, will give others the blessing and the privilege of taking care of you. This incredible journey is not yours alone, but the journey of everyone who chooses to accompany you. No one will be the same. Ever.
      Your quiet time has come to get in touch with yourself on a cellular level and hopefully you will get to know every cancel cell on an intimate level, so you can walk away from it with a smile on your face and no more trepidation.
      Elain xx

      Elain Steinberg
      African Divas
      Abstract Art & Interiors

    16. Roxanne,

      Because of your prominence as a woman business leader in our community, your openness about this issue takes even deeper resonance with your readers and the people who work with you and of course those who know you personally as well.
      I’m struck by the bravery with which you are coping and handling the challenges you’re confronting.
      Wishing you godspeed in addressing, moving through, and recovering from all this.
      All best,
      M.C. Coolidge

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