Susan Niebur with friends May 2011

Toddler Planet is written by Susan Niebur, a four time inflammatory breast cancer survivor/ astrophysicist/ mom of two happy little boys, ages 4 & 6.

At 34, I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. A harrowing 6 months of chemo, 35 treatments of radiation, and a double mastectomy followed. The double mastectomy revealed Paget’s disease in my left breast, a tiny cancer that is almost always associated with a larger cancer in the same breast within a few years.  We really dodged a bullet by taking that one out preventatively!

My first recurrence was in March 2010, with more surgery, 35 more radiation treatments, and 4 more months of chemo, starting just after I participated in BlogHer’s Community Keynote.

When a fourth cancer – this one in lymph nodes in the tissue around my lungs and heart – was found in January 2011, I entered treatment again, a clinical trial of Femara + Nexavar, supported by family, friends, and an army of princesses. The treatment (and prayer!) worked, and the nodes are disappearing, but the cancer is now in my bones, and now I’m living with metastatic breast cancer — “bone mets.”

Throughout my treatment, with a little help from my friends, I’ve talked about IBC and the need for research on over 400 blogs, on CNN.com, in Parents, in Health, in the Washington Post and other newspapers, and on Fox 5.

As I continue to fight and adjust to this new normal, I spend my days raising my kids and working on contract to NASA, studying the Discovery missions for lessons learned. I highlight new work and career milestones of the Women in Planetary Science at one blog and I help share lessons learned in the Mothers With Cancer community at another.  I’m a proud founding member of The DC Moms Blog and a former contributor to DC Metro Moms, part of the now-defunct SV Moms Blog.  You can reach me on twitter at @WhyMommy or @WomenPlanetSci, comment here, or send me email — and welcome to Toddler Planet.No Princess Alone button


All that survives after our death are publications and people.

So look carefully after the words you write, the thoughts and publications you create, and how you love others.  For these are the only things that will remain.

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20 Responses to About

  1. […] love this.  Susan loves this too, and posted it on her site as her mantra.  I hope she doesn’t mind my sharing it […]

  2. […] today I read this from the lovely Susan of Toddler Planet. I met her last year at BlogHer10 and all I can say is her presence in the room you are in is as […]

  3. […] her “About” section Whymommy has this as her […]

  4. Anita Sohus says:

    Susan, you deserve (need!) some laughter! Be careful, though, you are likely to laugh REALLY hard:
    Safety Guidelines for Science Teachers Conference:

    Click to access SessionSafetyGuidelines.pdf

    Much love and keep hugging and kissing your wonderful family!

  5. Alexandra says:

    This mantra, you’ve given me something that will keep me awake tonight.

    In a very pivotal way.

    God bless you.

  6. Diana Martin says:

    Hi – I am a friend of Jean W. and after reading her blog, I went onto yours. I am so impressed that you do so much. I thought I was a supermom(power naps a must), but you are a super supermom! One of my closest friends had breast cancer and my son and I plan to walk in May for the Avon walk. Anyway, we will be thinking of you…Diana Martin

  7. Catherine says:

    RIP Susan. You mantra is wonderfully inspiring and will forever be my guiding light. Thankyou for being you. Catherine Crout-Habel, Australia

  8. […] stop the tears, sadness and overall feelings of loss of a woman I’d never even met in person. A woman whose blog I started following years ago, very soon after she was first diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast […]

  9. […] morning I dedicated my yoga practice to Susan Niebur, an amazing digital sister and #dsfierceliving shero who inspires me tremendously.  Afte yoga, I […]

  10. […] morning I dedicated my yoga practice to Susan Niebur, an amazing digital sister and #dsfierceliving shero who inspires me tremendously.  Afte yoga, I […]

  11. […] first discovered Susan Niebur a few months after Emma was born. I had been blogging for a while, but was just tuning into the […]

  12. […] was adamant that what matters in life – what survives – is what we put into the world: publications […]

  13. manesiro says:

    These words are precious heritage. I am trying to read all that Susan wrote in her blog. I think there is Eternal Consciousness, a Loving Consciousness and we survive after this life and exist as Consciousness and some sort of appearance described aptly as ‘astral body’ by Swami Yoganand in ‘An autobiography of a Yogi’.

  14. […] change lives. Susan believed – and stated openly, in our conversation last spring and in the mantra posted on her blog – that all that survives us is what we put into the world: our words and […]

  15. […] Though we miss your sweet face. […]

  16. […] “All that survives after our death are publications and people. […]

  17. Marylin says:

    Be health care too hot to resist.

  18. […] So look carefully after the words you write, the thoughts and publications you create, and how you love others.  For these are the only things that will remain.  -Susan Niebur […]

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