Here’s my number, so call me maybe?
As we’re all discovering, spending weeks under quarantine can feel isolating. Singer and breast-cancer survivor, Rita Wilson — now recovering from COVID-19 in Australia with husband, Tom Hanks — has hit on a solution:Read More
“Going stir crazy? Have a suggestion for my Quarantunes playlist?” Wilson wrote on Instagram yesterday. “TEXT ME! (310) 299-9260 – I’m giving you my phone number!!” Given that celebrities jealously guard their privacy and their contact information, we at SurvivorNet were intrigued.
“Social Distancing Works!”
“And YES… It’s actually me,” Wilson reassures us. “Text me so I can let you know what I’m up to, when I’m in your city (once we can leave our houses), and so we can stay in touch.” But, she quickly corrects, not that kind of “touch”. “I mean, not ACTUALLY touch. Social distancing works!”
What Happens When You Call?
We decided to get in touch with Wilson. Because, hey, we have her “personal” cell phone number. A text message sent to (310) 299-9260 received this reply: “Hey guys! It’s Rita. Hi! Would love it if you click the link and add yourself to my phone so I know when you’re texting me and I can text you back!” Then we received her contact info below with an invitation to fill out our own contact form.
“I got you! Saved that is. Now you’re in my phone and I can keep you posted,” came her reply, once we submitted our contact info. Hmm. Is Rita Wilson now going to blow up our phone? Have we just invited an avalanche of spam texts?
The text was followed by an FYI: “…message frequency will vary. Your carrier’s Msg&Data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help, STOP to cancel.” We’ve only been friends for a few moments, and already Wilson’s laying out the fine print of our relationship. Sigh.
To our readers, we say, text at your own risk. But we can assure you: The number comes from Rita Wilson’s verified Instagram account and she, herself, appears in a video inviting fans to use the number it to contact her.
Update: Rita texted back again last night. “Thanks so much for texting me!” our new bestie wrote. “Trying to get through texts little by little from here in Australia!”
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Going stir crazy? Have a suggestion for my Quarantunes playlist? TEXT ME! (310) 299-9260 – I’m giving you my phone number!! And YES… It’s actually me. Text me so I can let you know what I’m up to, when I’m in your city (once we can leave our houses), and so we can stay in touch. I mean, not ACTUALLY touch. Social distancing works!
2015 Diagnosis: Invasive Lobular Carcinoma
Wilson revealed her cancer diagnosis five years ago in a statement in People Magazine. “I have taken a leave … to deal with a personal health issue,” she said at the time. “Last week, with my husband by my side, and with the love and support of family and friends, I underwent a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction for breast cancer after a diagnosis of invasive lobular carcinoma.”
Dr. Alana Welm, Investigator at the Hunstman Cancer Institute and Associate Professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences at the University of Utah, on finding the balance between screening and treatment.
Invasive lobular carcinoma is a type of breast cancer that begins in the glands of the breast that produce milk, which are called lobules. If the cancer is invasive, it has broken out of the lobules, and has the potential to spread to the lymph nodes and other parts of the body.
Before her cancer became invasive, Wilson’s carcinoma was monitored without further action. “I have had an underlying condition of LCIS, (lobular carcinoma in situ) which has been vigilantly monitored through yearly mammograms and breast MRIs.”
Stage 0 Breast Cancer
Though we can’t say exactly what Wilson’s diagnoses included, we do know that a lot of women are diagnosed with what’s called “stage zero breast cancer.” In order to reduce the fear around the very earliest stage breast-cancer, we want to make clear the definition and the debate around this diagnosis.
Stage zero breast cancer can be globular — confined to the gland that produces breast milk — or ductal — confined to the breast milk duct. But if it is stage zero, the carcinoma can’t get out of the lobule or duct. The two most important things to know about this type of cancer are that it doesn’t spread to other parts of the body, and the risk of death is essentially zero.
Some doctors don’t even consider it cancer, but rather a collection of abnormal cells or a pre-cancer, which is why some women opt for a watch-and-wait approach. But at major medical centers, standard treatment usually involves a lumpectomy and potentially radiation as well, a more aggressive treatment that does have side effects.
In less common cases, doctors will opt for more aggressive surgeries, based on the amount of carcinoma in the breast and other specific risk factors. Doctors may also want to remove the carcinoma if a biopsy reveals any evidence of more invasive carcinoma cells.
When Tumor Cells Become Pleomorphic
While monitoring her tumor, doctors discovered that Wilson’s cells were something slightly more troublesome than they initially thought. “After two surgical breast biopsies, PLCIS (pleomorphic carcinoma in situ) was discovered.” If it’s pleomorphic, the cells are able to change shape and size, and as a result, are more dangerous than cells that don’t really morph.
And after getting a second opinion, Wilson was told the cells were actually invasive. “A friend who had had breast cancer suggested I get a second opinion on my pathology and my gut told me that was the thing to do. A different pathologist found invasive lobular carcinoma. His diagnosis of cancer was confirmed by, yet, another pathologist.”
At the time, Wilson wanted to share the news so that others would be encouraged to get screened early. “I share this to educate others that a second opinion is critical to your health. You have nothing to lose if both opinions match up for the good, and everything to gain if something that was missed is found, which does happen. Early diagnosis is key.”