I have a confession.
I've lived in Roanoke for 9+ years and have NEVER been to the Greek Festival.
I've done interviews, wrote stories, but never actually attended- until this weekend.
First off, tens of thousands of people attend this annual event.
And, on Saturday, even with a decent downpour, they came out again.
WDBJ7 was a sponsor of the event, so assorted employees worked the front gate throughout the weekend.
I was there Saturday afternoon and WOW!
Thank you to all the people that came out and stopped to say, "HI!"
I had fun talking with everyone and handing out candy & pencils (eat the candy, not the pencils :)
And I can't mention the festival without mentioning the food.
My new favorite thing- spanakopita!!!  (It's filo dough, spinach, feta and olive oil.)
I think I might be able to replicate it, I'll keep you updated :)

Oh, and other developments- I've been rockin' the 'faux hawk' (like a mohawk, but not very high. It also might be compared to a cupie doll's hair! )
My hair is growing lots, but when not in a mini mohawk, looks like a flat top (not a good look for me hahaha!)
I have feeling you'll be seeing lot of different hair styles from me over the coming months, so please- bear with me! :)
Maybe we should have a contest .. 'Style Susan's hair.. ' - I'll see what promotions thinks about that one!

Have a good one! ~sjb




After a little hiatus, the 'Blog-horich' is back.  It has been an interesting summer.

Before I get into that, I want to take a moment to thank everyone. 
The number of emails, cards, facebook message, kind words and prayers that I have received from you, the viewers, has been amazing, overwhelming, touching and frankly, a HUGE part of my recovery. 
Yes, that's right- RECOVERY!  I am CANCER-FREE!!!! :)

I finished chemo in June. 
I had a CT-scan in July and got my results back - they were CLEAN! 

Since then: I've had my port removed (a port is a quarter sized medical appliance placed under the skin.  It's how my chemo was administered), I've taken off my wig (for anchoring) and my hat (for reporting) and my hair is beginning to grow back. 
I'm feeling better and more like myself everyday. 
There are still some side-effects.
I can be hard on myself sometimes (I'm just ready to be 100% in energy, fitness, etc.), but I just have to remember to give "me" a break! (sometimes easier said than done! :)
Besides my impatience, I'm doing really well and am definitely on the upswing.

I don't want to belabor, or for that matter- belittle my journey- BUT, I think the biggest thing I've taken away from this experience that I'd like to share is: tell the people in your life just how much they matter to you. 
I've had a couple "Susie Survival Parties" (one in Roanoke & one in MD) and I've gotten to see friends I haven't seen in years.
Why is it we wait to tell people how we feel or spend time with the people we really like??? 
The simple answer is: we think we have more time. 
While I'm cancer-free and am healthy, I got a wake up call- tomorrow isn't promised. 
So, that being said, go hug your loved ones.
Tell your friends you're glad they're in your life- because very easily that can change.




You may have seen or heard my promo.
I have cancer.
The story airs Monday night at 6 o'clock.
This is a little weird for me.
I'm not used to "being" the story.
I'm a reporter, I tell other people's stories.
I struggled with this decision.
So, bottomline, WHY am I coming out with this?

Okay, a couple of reasons:

1. I was gone about 6-weeks. I had hundreds of messages on social media with people asking about me & when I would return.  Others sent letters, cards & emails. Many called to find out if I still worked for the station.  I try to respond to every message I get, so I felt like there was an obligation on my part to be honest.

2. When I returned to work I talked with a couple of women who I have done a lot of stories with over the years.  Both of these women had dealt with my same cancer and I had NEVER known it.  I thought to myself, 'WOW, here are two women who have gone through this and survived.'  It made me feel a lot better.

3. Eventually I'll be taking off this wig (especially with it getting warmer!)  I want to warn viewers this could be happening.  (I think I may have mentioned how a viewer called screaming about a colleague wearing a hat while he went through cancer treatments.  I'd like to avoid this.)

So, all these things being said, you don't just have to be a woman or going through cancer to get something from my story.
My message is simple.
- I didn't have symptoms, but I maintained my yearly check-ups.
By doing that, I really feel like I've saved my life.
- If you have a doctor and he's/she's not giving you the time for questions or addressing your concerns- find another doctor.
Remember, your doctor should want you to get a second opinion.  Don't worry about hurting feelings, we're talking about your life.
- But, that being said, you don't need a best friend, you need a skilled doctor who's at the top of his/her game.
Bring your patience.  In that waiting room, you can bet everyone is going through something, whether they look sick or not.

I'll be hosting a web chat at noon on Monday, May 6th.
The story will air at 6p.m. (Monday, May 6th)

I hope you'll join me.



Isn't the internet something?

Wow, all of a sudden I've gone from broadcasting to Southwest Virginia to going around the country, even the world (where a Croatian newspaper said I was head of the station- hello promotion! someone better warn my boss! :)

Maybe you saw it that Saturday morning more than 3-weeks ago, maybe you've seen it since?  It's about a Northern Virginia cat owner who is helping her furry friend lose weight by taking her to the spa for swimming.  The video shows a cat. IN a lifejacket.  At that point, I get the giggles on live tv. I'm not sure if it has ever happened to you, where you try to stop laughing, but it builds and builds, and well, before you know it you can barely breathe?  Now- imagine that scenario, but on LIVE tv.  Yep, that's my 30-seconds of "fame." Oh, the topper? At the end, it comes back to me, on camera where I snort (yes, snort- OY!!) and slap the desk.

Since the video went viral I've had people from all over the country comment how I hate overweight people, fat cats, the sick, exercise, how I could use more exercise, etc., etc., etc. - you name it, it has been sent to me.

First off, I wasn't making fun of this cat, people or anyone.  A cat in a lifejacket is unusual (really, when is the last time your cat put on a life jacket and went for a swim?) Secondly, the copy indicated the cat dislikes physical activity.  People, as a cat owner, I can tell you that is nearly every cat in the world.  The look on the kitty's face was not joy.  And the topper, after 6-months of what must be torture for this little thing, she's only lost one-pound.  It seems a bit unfair, no?  But, I trust that this cat's owner knows best (once again, I did not put this animal in the water.)

As for me, an important "What Not to Wear" moment - if you've got a chest, do NOT wear a flowy top, especially if you're only being seen from the waist up -oh, and button your jacket.  Memo received, memorized, processed, etc.

For those who live in the Roanoke Valley, you know the 'DBJ weekend morning show is a place for news, sports, weather and a little fun.  This was a segment near the end of an hour-long show.  In no way did I mean any disrespect to the viewers, cats, their owners or anyone battling their weight.  Please forgive me if you were offended by this video.  That was not my intent.