This blog was created while Lisa (Siobhan) was recovering in the MGH ICU after neurosurgery. She had a 1.5″ diameter tumor removed from her cerebellum. I created this site because keeping people informed of her progress was becoming unmanageable using emails and phone calls.

The posts from Jan 12-18, 2012 were originally emails and have been re-posted here, with minor edits and the appropriate dates.

A lot of people know that Lisa goes by Siobhan. To keep things simple, I will refer to her as Lisa in all my posts. I am solely responsible for the content of this site and the posts. Lisa and I have kept intentionally ignorant of brain tumors so that we did not in some cosmic way cause one to happen. Since they occurred anyway, the learning curve has been steep, and I apologize upfront for any confusing or conflicting content.

Thank you all for your love, prayers, and support at this difficult time.

God bless – Scott


The Progression of Lisa’s disease

Click here to see an illustrated timeline of Lisa’s fight against breast cancer.

Lisa had Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. That means that her cancer started out in her breast and then spread to other parts of her body. The cancer in her lungs, is not lung cancer, its breast cancer that metastasized to her lungs.

Lisa was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer, HER2 Neu positive, in 2005.

Even with aggressive chemo-therapies, surgeries, and radiation treatments it spread to her bones, lungs, and lymph nodes by 2009.

On January 12, 2012, an MRI of her brain confirmed that it had metastasized to her brain, “The MRI of shows what we were worried about, there are a couple tumors there.”

In April, 2012, a biopsy of her parotid gland showed that it had also spread to there.

In May, 2012, Lisa began receiving T-DM1, a “super” herceptin, as part of a phase II clinical trial. T-DM1 worked for nine treatments, about six months, before her disease showed marked progression and she was dropped from the T-DM1 trial. (In February, 2012, the FDA approved T-DM1 for treatment of HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. The trademark name is Kadcyla.)

In Dec, 2012, Lisa began receiving GDC-0032, as part of a phase I clinical trial.

June 2013: GDC-0032 worked well for Lisa and kept her disease from progressing. After nearly seven-28/day cycles, treatment was stopped due to her developing colitis a known side-effect of the drug.

June 27, 2013: Lisa was admitted to an in-home hospice program.

August 25, 2013: Lisa passed away.


6 Responses to About

  1. Amber Chambers says:

    Dear Lisa, Scott, Ana and Elena,

    I am sending your family strength, love, LOTS of hugs, and every ounce of positive energy I can muster up! I hope Lisa’s recovery goes as quickly and smoothly as possible.

    Much love to you all,


  2. Allen Hollander says:

    Scott . . . .Thanks for writing this blog and sharing what’s going on. Wishing Lisa, you and the girls all the best for a bright, fast-healing future. And . . I love the photos!


    • Jackie Dubiel says:

      Scott, Lisa, and Girls,

      I pray for you all daily and send hugs, love and God’s Blessings to you all. I am amazed at your recovery so far Lisa, but not surprised….I knew you’re dad….strong people seem to run in this family. I enjoy this blog, wonderful job you’re doing Scott, enjoy the picutres as well. Thank you making it.
      Sent with love and butterflies,

  3. Alan Pendley says:


    Lisa and I were classmates at MIT in materials science as undergrads–class of ’81. She is, was and always will be one of the sweetest people I have met —brilliant and disciplined too.

    Today I thought of a remote sensing question having to do with an exotic class of semiconductors and it occurred to me that Lisa would be the best person to answer that question. So I set out to look for her and found your blog. I am very sorry to hear about your collective struggles with cancer. My wife had cancer about five years ago and is living in remission currently. In spite of the limited utility of relative strangers offering up all sorts of useless advice about cancer, I saw this TED MED talk just a few days ago and I think you two may find it very relevant indeed.

    Please convey my very warmest regards to Lisa and your entire family.

    Alan Pendley

  4. Danny McInnes and Janet says:

    From all in England and Scotland we are thinking of you all. We pray and send lots of hugs always in our thoughts

  5. Dana Sanderson says:

    Lisa and I were friends in high school, Scott, but lost touch when we went to college except for sporadic updates. I saw today’s post via a Facebook page for alumni of Notre Dame Academy. I’m grateful to Lisa Cesare for posting since I might not have known about Lisa’s cancer otherwise. Please tell her I wrote, that I think of her warmth, her mischief, her beauty, and of course her intelligence.
    The thought of her is one of the few happy memories I have of high school. I’m a better person for having known her. I’ve been down this lonely road too many times, but one thing I’ve learned because of it is: we are all connected, and our loved ones’ leave-taking of their most familiar physical form doesn’t mean they leave us if we continue to look for them. I live this knowledge every day. My prayers are with you and yours, Dana Galullo Sanderson

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