The Girlfriend’s Guide to Breast Cancer, Chapter 1: The Moral Is…

Girlfriends and Boyfriends, Let’s talk about breasts!

Bosoms, boobs, breasts, chest. We all have them…in one form or another. For some, they are nothing more than a body appendage we were born with. While for others, they are a vital part of our femininity or masculinity, an identifying factor of our emotional identity and sexuality. And still for some, they serve the most primal purpose of all…that of feeding our children. Or, really, could be all of the above!

Yet for 1 in 8 women and 1 in 800 men, our breasts are also ticking timebombs – and I was one of them…one of you. 

In my early 30s, without notice or warning or even so much as a minor gut feeling, I found myself in the throes of advanced and clinically aggressive breast cancer. BOOM! It hit me like a freight train that didn’t even try to slow down at the station. I quickly found myself fighting for survival while also trying to navigate through my new daily reality of lab work, infusions, needles, nurses, big words, bigger decisions. Wash, rinse, repeat.

In my case, the cancer didn’t hurt. I found it strange to be so close to death but feel no pain. I actually didn’t feel a thing. But going through the chemo, the surgeries, the radiation and the countless scans and procedures, presented other challenges. So in the spirit of sharing and caring, here are a few insights and thought-starters…from your girlfriend, who’s been there.

Insight #1: Girlfriend, a bad-hair day is better than a no-hair day!

For some women, thinking about losing their hair is even worse than losing their breasts. I get it. On top of feeling sick from the cancer drugs, your hair starts to abandon you as well. When chunks of my hair started to find their way onto the floor and the kitchen table, I shaved my head in the garage. It was both tragically sad and empowering all at once. But I felt strong…like GI Jane. It was an act I did FOR myself and not TO myself. It was something that I did to prepare myself for war!

Not everyone loses their hair from chemo. However, if you need to, picking a wig can be a delicate matter. You may want to choose a wig or a fall that resembles your natural hair color and style. Or you may want to just go bananas and try out fun options and colors. 

In my case, I had one great quality wig and then six or seven more just for fun. Each had her own name and persona, and I felt like I could escape into a new realm based on the wig I was wearing that day and the story I wanted to live in at that moment. 

My wigs ranged from long and dark (“Erica”) to short platinum blonde (“Francesca”) to strawberry pixie (“Jane”) to a black severe bob (think “Mia” from Pulp Fiction) and everything in between. There was a “Samantha,” a “Carrie,” a “Charlotte” and a “Miranda. Yes, my Sex And the City friends, you read that right!  With so few decisions we cancer patients have, choosing my wig each day gave me back a sliver of my own liberty and independence. 

Francesca was the sophisticated wig who joined me in the city for dinners with friends. She liked fine food and dirty martinis. She looked like a wig and therefore required a lot of confidence to pull off. Francesca was saved for the good nights when I had strength. I felt most like myself in Erica, but since I really didn’t feel much like myself most of the time, she made limited appearances. Erica was really just reserved for special occasions or dates with my husband. Mia came out when I was feeling extra sassy and often had a dark, morbid sense of humor.  But in the moments when energy escaped me and I was in recovery mode, a soft cashmere hat was my go-to. When I felt up to it, the wigs were an escape…chance to be creative and have a little fun when my body and mind and spirit aligned. 

The Moral Is: Fake hair, don’t care! Just make sure it’s on straight.


Insight #2: Girlfriend, having chemo does not mean that you will be hugging your toilet!

Vomiting sucks! After one outrageously indulgent night of college partying during my freshman year, which almost landed me in the emergency room and the university’s security office (not in that order), I decided that I would NEVER vomit again. My brain was seared with the debaucherous memories from that humiliating night, and I was determined to keep my word.

So, you can imagine the horror racing through my mind when I realized that I would likely experience severe nausea and vomiting from the dose-dense chemotherapy drugs I would be taking. I discussed my concerns (more like nightmare scenarios) with my oncologist, my nurses, the finance lady, the front desk secretaries, and the parking attendant. Anyone and everyone who encountered me at NYU knew my irrational fears about vomiting and kindly humored me by hearing me out each and every time I started to rant.

Luckily my oncologist took me seriously and prescribed anti-nausea medications before and after each chemotherapy infusion. My neurosis aside, apparently most cancer patients get these medications to minimize side effects. I was nothing special. But I am very happy to report that, to my great relief and even greater relief of my friends and family, I did not feel nauseous or vomit even once during my four months of chemotherapy. Not even once!

The Moral Is: A puke bucket also doubles nicely as a fruit bowl.


Insight #3: Girlfriend, breast cancer isn’t funny, but laughter is the BEST medicine!

I discovered that having a sense of humor about life’s challenges is an effective coping technique. 

As my cancer treatment progressed, I found humor in morbid things and moments that could seem macabre or dark to others. Like that time a teenage kid asked me in Costco about “the weird pipe” attached to my arm (my PICC line). Without missing a beat, I looked him, dead in the face, and sternly replied. “It’s for chemotherapy. I have CANCER.” His mother looked at me like I just shattered his innocence, and dragged him away without another word spoken. “Well, shithead,” I thought to myself, “…next time think twice about what you ask a stranger.” I was howling inside. So satisfied with my quick reaction. Probably not appropriate.

Or the time that I reached out to mindlessly touch the needle of the infusion syringe  – only to meet the earth-shattering screams from my oncology nurse, Peggy. “DONNNNN’T touch thaaaaat!” She yelled so loud that other nurses burst into my room and the friends sitting next to me looked as if they had been shot out of a cannon. When we all caught our breath, Peggy explained that the chemotherapy drugs were so toxic that one drop would literally slough the skin and flesh from my finger. Yes, she used the word “slough.” What in the mighty hell!?! “So, you’re pumping me with this poison for hours each time, but if I touch it for even one second, my flesh will melt away,” I asked Peggy in all sincerity. “Exactly!” was her response. After one beat of dead silence, the entire room erupted in laughter and disbelief. This time we howled out loud and while there was nothing funny about the situation, the absurdity of the moment was absolutely hilarious. Again, not appropriate.

Or the one time my very handsome, very successful friend, Steve, surprised me with a visit to the hospital room during an infusion. He grabbed the bedpan sitting next to me and looked at it quizzically. The room fell silent and all my girlfriends held their breath. Then he slowly looked up at me and I wanted to die from embarrassment when his gaze met mine. Because this was my college friend Steve who knew me when I was in my prime, in my glory…my friend Steve who I had shared years of laughs and crazy good times with…now looking at me, bald and sick, in the chemo ward, and holding my bedpan! The moment of tension was suddenly broken when he blurted out, “Hey, can I wear this thing as a sombrero?” Oh, we roared with laughter so loudly that I forgot my own situation for a minute and instinctively shushed everyone in the room, “Hey guys,” I said, “…we need to be a little quieter, there are sick people in here.” And then reality set back in. Still, not exactly appropriate behavior.


The Moral Is: Laugh often, hard and loud, especially when it’s most inappropriate!


Insight #4: Girlfriend, go to sleep with your make-up on, if you need to!


Rest is your friend when you are sick. When you are going through any part of cancer treatment, rest is your best friend, your boyfriend, your sister, your mother, your emotional support animal and everything in between. 

I am not a natural “rest-er.” Resting is actually exhausting for me. I’m the person who prefers to have too much to do than not enough…to be traipsing through an exciting new city rather than sitting on a beach. The state of relaxation is a foreign concept for me, and always has been. I was brought up to think that “I’ll rest when I die, but today, there is much to be done.” So my house is always organized, the laundry is always done, there are no dishes in the sink overnight. Make-up is off before bed, teeth are brushed, counters are clean and the plants are watered. I like to go to bed exhausted and feeling that I have accomplished many things.

During my cancer treatment, I was sometimes forced into a state of rest. I remember fighting a copious amount of Benadryl to stay awake so that I wouldn’t miss any part of a juicy story that my girlfriends were sharing. I recall being so hazy from the drugs that I couldn’t walk a straight line while out for a walk. Or too tired to eat my mom’s famous potato dumplings.  

I remember when my two best friends from Virginia drove up to spend a little time with me that I passed out in the bed after we went shopping. And when I tried to get up to take off my wig and make-up, they wouldn’t let me. They sat with me in bed and gave me permission to just…fall…asleep. It was the first time in all my adult years that I did not wash my face before bed. And THAT, I realized, was absolutely OK! The sun still rose…the world kept turning, and it was ok to just let go.

Gradually, I have learned that replenishment comes through rest, quiet and calmness. Stillness is sometimes necessary and waking up refreshed is a gift. That in order to be your strongest self, you need to be well-rested and well-watered (more than your plants), mind, body and soul.

The Moral Is: If the cancer tries to bury you, let it know that you’re a seed.


Thanks for reading, Girlfriend, and please share with your other girlfriends and boyfriends too!

And if you want to pen insights from your own cancer journey, click HERE. We’d love to hear from you!


Until next time,

-Your Girlfriend

The Girlfriend’s Guide to Breast Cancer, Chapter 1: The Moral Is…2022-10-11T21:44:08+00:00

How to Choose The Right Cancer Treatment For You

The latest research shows that cancer patients who are empowered to make decisions about their health have significantly better outcomes – this is what we want for you!

The first step is to own your cancer journey

We have created a toolkit that will help you in your cancer journey, step by step. It includes questions to ask your doctor, pointers for information gathering, as well as direction on how to decide on the next steps. And no matter what stage you are of the disease or in the process, there’s always hope, time and room to explore more options – and we can help you find those, do not hesitate to contact us!

How to Choose The Right Cancer Treatment For You

Once diagnosed with cancer you face many emotions, questions, and fears. Today’s world offers many more options to fight cancer than what it used to, and you should consider all options before starting treatment. Fighting cancer and trying to find, understand and choose THE RIGHT treatment is not easy and we can help you navigate and own your path to recovery.


How to Choose The Right Cancer Treatment For You2020-07-12T14:07:17+00:00

Being thankful

The holiday season reminds me of the numerous times I was told to look at my cancer as a gift.
While I understand the meaning and well-intention behind the words, 
this is truly not only a gift I could have done without, 

it is also not a gift I would wish for anyone else to receive. 

Being afraid for my life, 
dealing with treatment and its side effects, 
and trying to balance treatments with taking care of my three girls – none of it was or felt like ‘a gift’. 
Finding my inner strength to fight cancer, taking responsibility for my treatment options and choices, and specifically taking the road less taken by choosing clinical trials – specifically a clinical trial that ended up saving my life – that’s (!) what I’m thankful for.
Tzvia Bader
CEO & Co- Founder
Being thankful2020-07-12T14:09:21+00:00

TrialJectory Raises $3 Million in Seed Financing Round

New York, N.Y. December 17, 2019 TrialJectory, an AI-powered technology platform that uses self-reported clinical data to match cancer patients with clinical trials and remove barriers to advanced treatment options, announced today that the Company has closed a $2.7 million seed financing round, led by Contour Venture Partners. Proceeds from the financing will expedite the growth of TrialJectory’s platform, which includes adding more clinical trials for different cancer types and expanding the Company’s outreach across the medical, pharmaceutical and patient communities. To date, TrialJectory has matched thousands of patients for clinical trial enrollment and continues to add new studies to the platform each week.


“As cancer is the second leading cause of death for Americans – with thousands of new cases diagnosed each year – having access to advanced treatment options is a necessity, not a privilege, as new trials provide better outcomes to patients,” said Tzvia Bader, TrialJectory CEO and co-founder. “What’s more, one of the top obstacles that oncologists face today is the lack of clinical trial access for patients, which is due to the availability of more treatment options overall. Additionally, it is a very complex process to match the right patient with the right treatment, especially with the rise of personalized medicine.”


“Not only is TrialJectory’s platform expanding access to new treatments for patients, but it’s also revolutionizing the trial recruitment process as a whole by reducing operational costs and enabling new drugs to hit the market sooner,” added Bader. “The bottom line is that patients have the right to take action and find the best treatment for them. Leveraging AI is the key to making this happen and, ultimately, to saving lives.”


TrialJectory currently supports trials for breast cancer, colon cancer, bladder cancer, melanoma and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS; often called preleukemia). The engine works through mimicking the mind of an oncologist, reading all unstructured treatment descriptions and extracting the data that’s relevant to the patient. TrialJectory clusters, classifies and standardizes this information, creating a unique database that highlights patient attributes attractive to clinical trials. Patients are then matched to clinical trials through self-reported, dynamic questionnaire answers and can filter the trials and share the information with their oncologists to move forward in the process if appropriate.


“TrialJectory’s work – driven by a highly experienced management team, comprised of both oncology and technology experts – is disrupting and reshaping how we think about traditional cancer care today,” concluded Bob Greene, lead investor. “Even more important, it is empowering patients to take back control of their treatment, and we look forward to watching TrialJectory’s platform continue to grow quickly. We believe that the Company has the potential to become a go-to resource for the global medical community to help doctors provide personalized, matched treatment options to patients in need everywhere.”

TrialJectory Raises $3 Million in Seed Financing Round2020-07-12T14:10:29+00:00

Breast Cancer Clinical Trials Guide

Over the recent past, medical advancements, even in terms of research and analysis, have grown sporadically. These advancements have birthed some practical practices, one of them being clinical trials for breast cancer. You may be wondering what these trials mean and what they encompass. Even with a slight understanding, I can assure you that many are the benefits that come along with this practice. A breast cancer clinical trial evaluates the safety and effectiveness of new approaches and or treatments for diseases,  In other words, these trials are used when considering whether a new type of treatment or medication is effective enough in combating breast cancer. Clinical trial goals are to find out whether a new treatment is more effective than the previous ones. So, you should understand that clinical trials are tests of what has never been used before in treating breast cancer.  

Breast Cancer Clinical Trials

Breast Cancer Clinical Trials Trends

Recently, breast cancer clinical trials are being used vastly in helping researchers and doctors to come up with the most powerful form of treating this illness. You, however, do not need to worry about whether the clinical trials are legitimate. In fact, this medical practice has been identified and recognized even by government entities. Therefore, you do not have to doubt the acceptability of clinical trials if you wish to participate in one. The main agendas of these trails may vary. In some instances, they seek to evaluate ways of reducing the spreading of breast cancer or its severity. In other cases, it aims to identify the usefulness of non-drug treatment even on factors like dieting and complementary therapies. As noted earlier, breast clinical trials have already been recognized even on global levels. For example, the National Cancer Institute has a fully developed website where you can access numerous approved breast cancer trials.

Breast Cancer Clinical Trials Benefits

The good thing about the enhanced breast cancer trials is that once you participate, you can receive the standard of care of the most effective treatment currently available. In some cases, the breast cancer trials help to establish a promising treatment that, if practical, the participants become the first beneficiaries.  People ask themselves questions like, Are the trials safe? Are there any side effects? Well, you should note that before a clinical trial is ready for the test, it must be judged safe and ethical by relevant medical bodies. If at all anything goes wrong, an ethical committee approves compensation. Another added benefit of participating in a trial is that you get to have an opportunity to help others and even make breast cancer treatment better. One of the most notable advantages is that as a breast cancer patient, you gain the privilege of having regular medical checkups. In this case, doctors carry out extra tests to ensure that everything is stable concerning your health. This merit helps to eliminate additional costs, especially if you had to visit a clinic for checkups. Note that, it is under this test that if anything uncommon is noted, immediate treatment measures are taken. The constant monitoring comes along with additional tips on how to exercise, what to eat, and any medical advice that relates to breast cancer. Therefore, it is very safe if you decide to take a breast cancer clinical test. 

Search for Breast Cancer Clinical Trials

Since clinical trials are widely recognized, they can take place anywhere in the country, including other parts of the world. In most cases, you are likely to find them in medical facilities and hospitals, while durations may vary. In other instances, agencies like the National Cancer Institute establishes numerous sites across the country and gives specific dates. During this kind of breast cancer clinical trial, you can expect a bigger number of individuals. However, note that a clinical trial must have an eligibility criterion or rather some guidelines of who should participate. 

Finding Breast Cancer Clinical Trials

If you would like to find clinical trials for breast cancer,  you can conduct relevant research by searching the internet. One of the most resourceful websites for finding breast cancer clinical trials is with Trialjectory. We are an AI-based marketplace that helps cancer patients and their oncologists match their clinical profile with clinical trials. TrialJectorys first provides you with a list of trials that are right for you based on your past and current medical history. Next, you review and share these options (if you would like) with your doctors. From there, you decide which one trial you would like to apply to. We then will connect you to a trial site and help facilitate all communications in order to ensure you get access to the best treatment. 

Trialjectory makes the process of finding a clinical trial simple, as we search for clinical trials for you and match them with your individual disease profile. Once you have been matched, we will help you apply to a trial, and get started. If you need assistance in learning more about the clinical trial process or have any questions, please email our clinical team at:

Breast Cancer Clinical Trials Guide2020-10-02T16:20:43+00:00

Participate in a Clinical Trial: A Guide for Patients

Participate in a Clinical Trial

What are clinical trials?

Clinical trials are designed to find new or better ways to treat, prevent or screen for a medical condition.  These trials involve human participants to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of new approaches/ treatments for diseases, including cancer
In clinical trials, patients receive specific interventions according to a research plan, such as new drugs or devices, procedures, and even changes to patients’ behavior (diet). Researchers are always exploring different combinations of therapies, whether it be introducing a new drug or using a standard (approved) treatment in a new way to find the best and most effective approach to treating patients.

Should I participate in a clinical trial?

There are many different reasons why people decide to participate in clinical trials. In the past, it was mainly due to standard treatments not being as effective as they should be, or the side effects were too severe.  But today, due to the innovations in research and the effectiveness of new drugs with fewer side effects the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has updated their guidelines, where clinical trials are recommended as the best management for cancer patients.
Participating in clinical trials can present both benefits and risks, and it is important to stay informed, and to speak with your loved ones and doctors to decide if a clinical trial is right for you. 

5 benefits of participating in a clinical trial: 

  1. You will get access to the newest treatments
    You might receive access to the latest treatment options before they become available.
  2. You are carefully monitored by health care professionals
    You are carefully monitored by a medical team, every step of the way
  3. You play an important role in your healthcare
    You are taking an active role in your health
  4. You become a part of the future of medicine
    You are participating in research that could bring medical advances to cancer treatment
  5. You can receive free or low-cost treatment
    Clinical trials often (not always) cover costs related to research treatments

What are the eligibility criteria for trials?

In order to be able to join a clinical trial, a patient must meet a list of requirements (trial eligibility criteria), which include, among others: 

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Overall health
  • Treatment history 
  • Disease stage

Why is eligibility criteria important?

Eligibility criteria for trials are used to help identify patients with a specific disease profile that is intended for the investigated treatment in the trial. This is used by researchers to ensure patients do not have any outstanding conditions that may impact the trial results.

How do I find cancer clinical trials?

Finding clinical trials can be a long process, where less than 5% of cancer patients are enrolled in trials. This could be due to the lack of suitable patient-friendly tools that help identify trials that match current medical conditions. 

How can TrialJectory help?

We collect your disease profile and match it to trial eligibility criteria. We do the hard work for you, as we know how difficult it is to browse through those complicated medical terms and find the right match for you.
First, we provide you with a list of trials that are right for you. The next step is for you to review and share these options (if you would like)  with your doctors. From there, you decide which one you would like to apply to. We will then connect you to a trial site and help facilitate all communications in order to ensure you get access to the best treatment. 

I want to enroll in a trial, what do I do?

You have come to the right place, we are here to help. Our job is to make the process of finding a clinical trial simple, as we search clinical trials for you and match them with your individual disease profile. If you would like to get started, click here. Once you have been matched, we will help you apply to the trial, and get started. 

Who can I contact?

If you need assistance in learning more about the clinical trial process or have any questions, please contact our clinical team. You can click the Need Help button on the bottom right corner on our website or send us an email. We are here for you. 

Participate in a Clinical Trial: A Guide for Patients2020-07-12T14:13:35+00:00

Battling cancer through clinical trials

What’s New in Clinical Trials for Cancer Patients?

Clinical trials are a safe way to gain access to patient care alternatives that are being evaluated by top companies and health care organizations – they offer novel and potentially life-saving treatments to participants before those treatments become available on the open market. Understanding clinical trials is key to participating and possibly benefitting from these groundbreaking treatments.

So, what’s different these days?

Virtually everything is new in clinical trials: the drugs, science, innovation, and devices used in clinical trials are state-of-the-art. More importantly – a lot of the thinking around clinical trials has gone through a massive evolution , as well – you can now participate in trials earlier in your course of treatment than when was previously possible, which means that you can act more quickly to significantly improve your health. The control of which trials to use, and when, is now shifting toward the patient. It’s now up to you, or you, together with your doctor, to examine your options and decide when to take advantage of which trial, and you don’t have to wait as long as you used to. Clinical trials are not just a last resort!

Will I get better?

When it comes down to it, drugs in clinical trials are the most innovative and advanced drugs out there. The goal is to make you healthier. Current research points to excellent outcomes for clinical trial patients, surpassing the standard of care in many cases. That’s why doctors and patients today are encouraged to look at clinical trial opportunities at every step of the patient journey, starting immediately after diagnosis.

What about a placebo?

Placebo is rarely used on its own in oncology trials, and in the vast majority of cases, is used in addition to the standard of care. It is extremely rare for a patient in a clinical trial to receive placebo by itself.

Advanced Care

Quite simply, you get more TLC as a clinical trial patient – pharmaceutical companies and trial sponsors provide you, as a clinical trial participant, with the closest follow-up, monitoring, and supportive care, to ensure accurate assessment of treatment. This means you get the highest level of care available.

What’s the advantage of using TrialJectory?

We promise to make finding a clinical trial that suits you easier, not harder.

We understand what it means and feels like to be a cancer patient, and our goal is to help you get better – it’s as simple as that. We handle patient data with the utmost care and compliance and we are constantly improving our advanced algorithmic matching system to serve both patients and the innovative companies that aim to help them.

We have a database of more than 18,000 recruiting clinical trials. We use precise patient profile information you provide so that we can give you a personalized list of trials that match your profile. You’ll see options right away. With TrialJectory, you’ll find your match in about five minutes and get on your way to wellness.

Battling cancer through clinical trials2020-07-12T14:14:01+00:00