Welcome to my CaringBridge website. Thank you for visiting. 2019 marks my 8th year surviving life-threatening breast cancer.
After battling chronic Lyme disease for years, I was diagnosed in 2011 with breast cancer and BRCA2 during a holy time honoring Saint Agatha of Sicily “The Patron Saint of Breast Cancer”. I sought help immediately after a miraculous dream. A giant lady appeared before me and warned me to get my breasts checked. I talk a lot in my journal of what I experienced along the way, since that time, in bits and pieces. If you wish to read more about it, please travel back in time to my journal’s beginnings. Thank you very much for reading and especially, if you were there, a part of my life, at that time.
I never knew breast cancer could be that complex. I had invasive lobular carcinoma (2.0 cm), multifocal, grade III (high grade); lobular carcinoma in situ (5.2 cm); ductal carcinoma in situ (2.8 cm), grade III (high grade); lymphatic vessel invasion, mets 1/1 sentinel node (cancer spread to the lymph nodes); ER+/PR+, HER2-; high Ki-67 (indicative of aggressive tumors).
Days after my final diagnosis from Cedars-Sinai, the morning after Valentine's Day, I had a partial mastectomy on my left breast performed at Pink Lotus Breast Center by Dr. Kristi Funk. Following, I met with my new oncologist, Dr. Robert Decker. And discussed my cancer treatments, which proved to be highly successful. I had a chemo-port inserted at Cedars-Sinai. And I underwent six months of chemo treatments, four cycles of Taxol and four cycles of Adriamycin and Cytoxan, at Tower Hematology Oncology. That was a tough time. I began my first cycle of chemotherapy when the 9.1 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown struck Japan, extremely tragic, all of it. My port was finally removed after chemo, after a blood clot that my dog sniffed out first! Then after receiving Lovenox injections for the clot, I had the big one, a bilateral skin-sparing mastectomy (NAC preservation) with breast reconstruction phase I with expanders and breast reconstruction phase II with silicone implants and mesh (nine months later) at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica. In between all that with having more lymph nodes removed, I had my first colonoscopy, continued with antibiotic and antineoplastic agent, Lupron and aromatase inhibitor hormone therapy, Femara. Also, a skin tumor was removed from my foot at Westside Surgery Center in Santa Monica, followed by bilateral strabismus repair surgery (2015) at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco to correct my long battle with double vision, a second eye muscle surgery (2016) to further keep it from reoccurring, and a third strabismus surgery (2017) all while being awake. Being an art model in my past sure helped with remaining still! After my markers for ovarian cancer rose into abnormal, I had another surgery at Cedars-Sinai, day before Valentine's Day, a complete hysterectomy with salpingo-oophorectomy. My cancer evaluation was done through the belly button. Thankfully, no cancer was visibly seen. But because of being BRCA positive, to reduce my high cancer risk further yet, my ovaries and tubes were removed, along with my uterus and cervix, 9" bikini incision, which that big red scar is completely faded/gone after five years. My surgeon said my pathology report was the largest report that she has ever seen of benign tumors. The largest tumor was 11 cm. After reading the findings, I was very grateful that I had surgery when I did. With all my chronic inflammation, multiple huge fibroids, my pattern associated with endometriosis, my age, and high risk cancer gene, I had a perfect breeding ground for cancer to begin at any time. I had my surgery at high time, performed at age 42, seven years past the new guidelines for BRCA carriers. Even after surgery, I still have a small risk of getting ovarian cancer, but it did reduce my overall risk. Interesting, one type of cyst, paratubal serous cyst (hydatid of Morgagni), is found in one-third of Italian women. Sadly these cysts may give rise to borderline malignancies and may attribute to pregnancy loss and miscarriages.
So far, I've had a good dozen surgeries all together on the journey to healing.
• Feb. 15, 2011: Left Partial Mastectomy Axillary Tail and Axillary Sentinel Lymph Node and good # of nodes Removal, Pink Lotus Breast Center, Dr. Kristi Funk
• March 2011: Chemo/Power Port Insertion, Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Doran Kim
• August 2011: Chemo/Power Port Removal, Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Doran Kim
• Sept. 27, 2011: Bilateral Skin-Sparing Mastectomy (NAC preservation), St. John’s, Dr. Kristi Funk
• Sept. 27, 2011: Breast Reconstruction Phase I (tissue expanders), St. John’s Health Center, Dr. Chia Chi Kao
• June 2012: Breast Reconstruction Phase II (MENTOR® MemoryGel® silicone implants, “surgical mesh”), St. John’s Health Center, Dr. Chia Chi Kao
• Feb. 13, 2014: Complete Hysterectomy with Salpingo-Oophorectomy, Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Bobbie Rimel (longest report of benign tumors!)
• July 2015: Skin tumor removed, Westside Surgery Center, Dr. Chia Chi Kao
• August 2015: Bilateral Strabismus Repair Surgery, California Pacific Medical Center, Dr. Alan B. Scott
• May 2016: Right (Eye) Strabismus Repair, California Pacific Medical Center, Dr. Alan B. Scott
• March 2017: Left (Eye) Strabismus Repair, California Pacific Medical Center, Dr. Alan B. Scott
• First surgery in my youth: Removal of a benign tumor on my back. Dr. Zernich, Aliquippa Hospital
• March 2011-June 2011: Taxol, Tower Hematology Oncology, Dr. Decker
• June 2011-August 2011: Adriamycin and Cytoxan, Tower Hematology Oncology, Dr. Decker
• August 2011-Sept. 2011: Lovenox injections (Bloodclot)
• Sept. 2011-Oct. 2012: Lupron injections (22.5 mg) and Femara
• March 2010-2017: Long-term antibiotics (Doxy, Minicycline, Levaquin, and others), on and off, Dr. Ralph Potkin, Dr. Jeff Harris in Malibu
• 2014-2015: Botox 4x and Bupivacaine 2x injections into eye muscles, Dr. Alan B. Scott
• 2016: Lactulose, SSKI
•2016-2017: Nature Throid
•Jan. 2011: sentinel lymph node (biopsy) dissection
•Feb. & Sept. 2011: axillary lymph node dissection (post breast cancer lymphedema)
•Feb. 2014: lymph node removal (post hysterectomy lymphedema)
•March 2012: colonoscopy, Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Beth Moore (no polyps)
•March 2017: colonoscopy, Dr. Joel Feinstein (no polyps)
I'm deeply touched by the empathy, concern, respect, and care of my Healthcare Team:
• Surgical Breast Specialist. Founder & Director of Pink Lotus Breast Center: Kristi M. Funk MD FACS, Surgery Coordinator Lilly Garzona, Heather Onnigian, & Staff: Jacqueline, Jamie, & others
• Oncologist. Clinical Professor of Medicine: Robert W. Decker MD & Staff: Estelle & others
• Pathologists: Farnaz Dadmanesh MD; Richard B Mertens MD, Assistant Monica R Phillips MD
• Anesthesiologist: Pamela Starnes MD, Michael Wallace MD
• Reconstructive Breast Surgeon. Founder of Koan Center: Chia Chi Kao MD, Medical Staff: Kelly Mulligan, Zamora Archuleta Clinic Nurse, Sandy Ferreri RN, Anna Gudino
• Power Port: Dr. Doran Kim
• Internal Medicine. Director Malibu Hyperbarics Medical Center: Ralph Potkin MD FACP FCCP & Staff...RN: Katrina, Laura
• Gynecologic Oncologist-Surgeon: Dr. Bobbie Rimel; Medical Team - Dr. Andrew Li, Dr. Susan Park, Dr. Jennifer Chue, Dr. Yalda Afshar, Recovery: Kathleen Caparossa
• Anesthesiologist: Maria Angelica De Castro
• Surgical Pathologist: Denise A. Barbato MD, Assis. Susan J. Parson MD
• Cytopathology Report Pathologist: Shikha Bose MD, Cytotech - Helen Evans CT (ASCP)
• GYN: Dr. Stephen C Rabin MD, Nancy Goldman MD, Ronald Leuchter MD, & Staff
• Dr. Joel Feinstein, Gastrointestinalist; Sylvia - Staff
• Family Doctor: Dr. Jeff Harris & Staff: Heather & Marlana
• Dr. Barry Ludwig, Neurologist; Anna & Staff
• Colon & Rectal Surgeon: Beth A Moore MD FACS & Staff
• Neuro-Ophthalmologist: Swaraj Bose MD & assistant Donna
• Daniel Rovner MD & Staff
• Genetic Counselor: Ora Gordon MD, Tali Geva
• Clinical Trials: Hayley Russ, PhD, Beth Karlan, MD
• Eye Medical Trial: Dr. Alan B. Scott, Dr. Ken Danh
• Eye Surgeon (Bilateral Strabismus Repair): Dr. Alan B. Scott, Pre-op Nurse, Post-op RN Marina, OR Nurse Jennifer, Cede, and Mike V, secretary Amilene
• Dr. Brackmann, ENT-otolaryngologist; Staff
• ONC Nurse: Marylou Ehret RN
• NP: Mary Grace, Angela, Paige Woodward
• Lymphedema Therapist: Jenni Nicolla, Women's Physical Therapy
• Sirach Acupuncture. Sung C. Cho L.Ac, Dipl.Ac.
• Nutritionist: Jody
• Dentists: Izabella Kolodner DDS & Staff & Modern Dental: Dr. Houman Baratian
• Dermatologist: Gene Rubinstein MD & Staff
• Doggie Daycare: VCA Kennel Club Resort & Spa - Karen & Friends
• Hairstylist: Etsuko of Pia Hair Salon
• My Husband & my boy Sonny. My Parents. Family & Friends: Endless!
My breast cancer began growing under the radar shortly after toxic dust exposure from 9/11 in NYC, acc. to my breast cancer surgeon. I had lived directly across from the WTC towers, across the Hudson River, in Jersey City. I traveled into Manhattan almost daily, and lived shortly after this monstrous tragedy in Lower East Side. It was a very scary and emotional time. I truly thank our heroes of 9/11 from the bottom of my heart. Much love and prayers to everyone that endured that terrifying day and its aftermath. Also, I grew up near our country's first big nuclear power plant. I read online there was a "secret fallout" during that time in history when I was born (March 1971). Biggest infant deaths in my hometown and around the area. [Please research: "Shippingport Fallout"] It is a big shame that we weren't warned, especially all within a 30 mile radius. 50x greater than the typical levels of a world fallout, and equivalent to the levels of nuclear bomb sites like out in Nevada. There were extremely high readings in our waters, rivers, fish, soil, milk ... contaminated with cesium 137, strontium 90, iodine 131. My dad even reminded me of all the steel mills and what was dumped into the Ohio River on a weekly basis. We were all exposed to toxins 100s of 1,000s x the state and federal limits. Furthermore, following my 8th birthday, there was the Three Mile Island Meltdown. Some other things that may have contributed to my diagnosis ... Lyme disease, a chronic autoimmune illness. Quite a few times venturing out to Long Island ... not far from Plum Island where the deadliest germs on the planet are ... I discovered that later, of course. But one can acquire it anywhere now on the face on the earth. There was a thing, too, that I read about push-up bras having formaldehyde in it. I threw out dozens of my bras and mostly now go braless. I'm a very free soul (haha, but seriously).
What may contributed to my breast cancer as well is ... well, stress, big city living for a long time. The fall of 2015 became our 7th move in Los Angeles, matching the moves in New York City, and my 29th move in my lifetime. [I grew up in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania "Chapel Valley" and went to college for Fine Art at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. After graduating, I lived in the Carolinas, Florida, and Arizona. I worked a lot of really nice (odd) jobs, until I began modeling for a good decade.] Not to mention, the stress, beyond all the moving, of managing breast cancer and chronic illnesses, and suffering many heartaches. I've overcome quite a bit, but I still struggle with constant ringing in the ears and this I have accepted. I just turn the music on. What other stuff... Oh, there was living super close to airports all my life .... power lines ... growing up in the plastic revolution. Just tons of chemical, biological, and other bad stuff that we're all exposed to on a day-to-day basis ... art, beauty, cleaning products and so on and so on. Our air is not the healthiest either here at the Port of Los Angeles and not the safest. We are nearby to a oil refinery, too. They continue to spray a lot in the air “stuff in question”. And what about our food, pesticides, our water...
Prior to my cancer diagnosis, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, chronic Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, microscopic hematuria, vitamin D deficiency, fibroids, cysts, and migraines. Following my diagnosis (malignant neoplasms of auxiliary tail of left breast) with: phlebitis, thrombophlebitis (blood clot), chronic sinusitis, chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome, endocrine gland disorder (dx 2 yrs. after getting breast implants), sixth cranial nerve palsies, diplopia (chemodenervation of extraocular muscle, chemical destruction of eye nerve), tinnitus, rotator cuff syndrome, breast cancer-related lymphedema, heavy metals toxicities (lead, gadolinium, cesium, uranium, thallium), elevated ammonia and B12, low iodine, magnesium and vitamin D deficiencies, family-related high cholesterol, deep white brain lesions, (2) benign liver tumors (from silicone implants, too?), dermatofibroma (... possibly due to chronic arsenic exposure from Dr. Paul Dantzig's research ... removed less than a year later. Acc. to the study, removing the dermatofibroma reduced my breast cancer risk/recurrence by 60%!), petechiae (reaction to Levaquin), cherry angiomas (likely due to iodine defeciency and bromine toxicity, treated), (3) benign breast tumors, hematoma (5 yrs. took to disappear.), Lyme, again, plus B.henselae-Mycoplasma co-infections, which I'm told that so many of us, almost all of us have by now. Oh, and developed hypothyroidism (Nature-Throid; now Synthroid). And I learned of a rare inner right ear abnormality that I have ... Also, I experienced breast implant complications: hernia, fat necrosis, and breast implant illness or BII.
All in all, most have been successfully treated by my doctors and me working exceptionally hard at overcoming it all. But still suffer since 2012 in ways, especially from severe tinnitus and it may ALL come from breast implant illness. To tell you the truth, I need a vacation! This has consumed all of me ... surviving.
I recommend to all my relatives to take MTHFR DNA Test A1298C and through my father's bloodline to take Single site BRACAnalysis: BRCA2 sequencing 8525delC.
For more info: Myriad Tests
This is a long term project as BRCA2 increases risk for cancers beyond breast/ovarian/fallopian tube: pancreatic, colon, malignant melanoma, etc.
Even though the BRCA2 [8525delC] ethnicity is still listed "unknown" by many well known organizations, including the American Medical Association (JAMA, Vol. 294, No. 15) — that same deletion (of hereditary early onset male and female breast cancer, ovarian, and prostrate cancer) — (in studies) has been found to run in a few families of the Irish (West of Ireland) and French descent. On the OMIM [Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man] website — lists 8525delC as "French". The organization was initiated by Dr. Victor A. McKusick in the early 1960s and created in 1985 by the National Library of Medicine and the William H. Welch Medical Library at Johns Hopkins. A decade later, it was developed for the World Wide Web by NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information), and authored and edited at the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, under the direction of Dr. Ada Hamosh. It is an authoritative compendium of human genes and genetic phenotypes that is free and updated daily. It contains information on all known disorders and over 12,000 genes.
My father, who tested positive for 8525delC, was diagnosed with prostrate cancer in 2002 at age 64, after his triple bypass (open heart), a double hernia, and gallbladder operations. He had radioactive seed implantation on the prostrate, recommended by his doctor who got it, too. He was in severe burning pain every second for a year and a half, and said, "I was praying to the Rain Gods everyday to take it away!" My father's PSA levels have been low (less than 1) since treatment, 17 years and counting. Also, he was successfully treated for skin cancer in 2012. He has no strong health advice on his survivorship, just do whatever you have to do, keep your mind thinking and your body going, and be happy, at least try. For him, it's still being able to drink his beers daily! Both of us feel that the BRCA2 gene runs through his mother Pearl's side, who passed away of breast and gynecological cancers before Thanksgiving 1998. Her doctor never tested her for the BRCA gene. Perhaps, her treatment would have been more aggressive, and she would have survived longer. Her mother, Grace Lowe, died in her early 40s, what we suspect ovarian cancer. At that time, the family was told dropsy (massive fluid buildup in the abdomen), but may have been ovarian dropsy from ovarian cancer. And if anyone is interested further in my family's genetics, what I have discovered along the way, please see the very end.
To continue, I have been a participant in cancer programs and various other medical studies since 2012: I'm a participant in Cedars-Sinai Gilda Radner Hereditary Cancer Program and Novel Markers Trial, Cedars-Sinai's Tissue Bank Study, Love/Avon Army of Women's breast cancer and uterine cancer studies, Young Women's Health History Study (The study team includes researchers from Michigan State University, Keck School of Medicine USC, Wayne State University/School of Medicine, plus an advisory committee of breast cancer advocates, as well as scientific advisors from the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, and Boston University), and University of California San Diego "Fluoroquinolone Effects Study". I, also, had enrolled in an eye medical study headed by Dr. Alan B. Scott ("The Father of Botox") in San Francisco. Since April 2012, I suffered with progressing, daily double vision "cross-eyed", esotropia (and exotropia just for a short duration). I have needed a new eye prescription/prism every 4-6 weeks (and the back thought of breast cancer metastasizing to the brain). My eyesight was restored to normal after participating in this eye study "The Bupivacaine Project" in August 2014 (my first two injections of Botox). That was the most incredible day ever! But it returned to seeing double two months later (to prism 20). After my second — four big injections into my eye muscles with Botox and Bupivacaine, my single vision was restored, once again. My eyes felt stronger yet! However, my double vision returned slowly to seeing double, again, in May 2015. I was not a part of the greater success of the trial, seeing normal for at least 4-5 years. The only solution left to correct the 3.5 year long double vision was eye muscle repair surgery on both eyes. It was a success to the end of the year. Then, my double vision began slowly returning. It was corrected a second time with eye muscle repair surgery in May of 2016, five times all together, three strabismus surgeries with six injections in three years time. By the end of 2016, my double vision slowly returned. I had a third surgery in March 2017. By this time, five years later from when my double vision began, no one can tell of my eye condition, as my eyes are currently tracking together well. The treatment has really helped phenomenally with my eye alignment.
My artwork "Sands Beyond Time" and "The Hope in Me" had been traveling throughout 2013-2015 in cancer art exhibitions, over 400 cancer centers, hospitals, patient advocacy events throughout US and Puerto Rico, presented by Lilly USA, LLC, NCCS; also included in Lilly Oncology 2012 and 2014 Art Books. I took part in our nation's first art exhibit on Lyme disease [Ticked Off Art 2014, Maple Grove Art Center] and donated my work "Eye Imagine (a World as One)" to the Minnesota Lyme Association. At the time, I was imagining to see one (image) and here I am! A Miracle! I was given a slim chance to come back, but miraculously did with the help of a few Angels. I honored my nurse, Marylou Ehret, in an essay, which was selected for the sixth volume of Extraordinary Healers: CURE Readers Honor Oncology Nurses. Chapter 4: Life & Laughter; as well as featured in the Spring 2013 ed. of CURE magazine. And given the gift of my artwork "Reach for the Cure", a token of my appreciation to my oncologist Dr. Decker. Even though, he deserves much more for giving me years on my life! I couldn't have fought this eating organic food alone. Too, twice, I was featured in Women's Health Magazine “Surviving Breast Cancer: Living With Cancer” — http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/breast-cancer-survivors.
All in all, I've managed side effects from my treatments to my best ability through alternative medicines, nutrition, exercise, meditation, and therapy (dreamwork, past-life regression, art, poetry, pet, journaling). In my first year of diagnosis, I ran into some complications. On Memorial Day and Christmas, I was admitted into the ER with complications. Severely hemorrhaged on my last cycle of Taxol, developed a blood clot on my last cycle of A/C, as I had mentioned prior. Lucky me, my dog sniffed out first before I sensed it! And I got left arm lymphedema (no cure, less than 30% breast cancer patients acquire lifelong). Now, it's managed. I have lived with chronic double vision and tinnitus after taking Levaquin, my 4th Lupron shot (eight months after my last chemo treatment). I went into overnight chemical menopause (age 40) and surgical menopause (age 42). I have chelated from heavy metal toxicities, and relapsed with Lyme Disease before and after my double mastectomy and reconstruction phase I and II. I still have pretty bad flare-ups, but I do get it under control by the Love of God. Overall, I have been following western and eastern medical philosophies for healing. I just take it day by day. And some days are much better than others!
I married my sweetheart on Patron Saint of Breast Cancer Day 2013, after a 2-year postponement. A day that I will never forget! I had severe double vision, partially cross-eyed (yeah, stinks on your big day!), and my hair was just starting to growing back after chemo... (I donated 14" of my hair before chemo to Charity.) My sweetie made me feel so beautiful through it all, though, pretty fortunate. We met in the heart of NYC back in the late fall of 2004 on "Breaking Vegas" and experienced so much together. He has been so supportive through all my changes. He came with me to all my chemo treatments, hospital stays, through many surgeries, everywhere! He's my Rock, and I am really blessed. I could not imagine doing this alone. I lost a several cousins to cancer during my battle, and that was so hard to get through mentally. I had learned a lot through the breast cancer battle. Especially how to let go of my pride and not shut myself off from friends and family. I realized that I was not able to resolve these problems on my own and let others see my weaknesses. Guide me through troubled times, which was not easy. I applied for disability my first year that I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I was rejected. And my husband and I somehow managed by doing with less and downsizing to a smaller apartment. My school friends from my hometown started a website: Time to Lend a Hand. I'm humbly grateful for their love and support in the money they raised in the very beginning of my breast cancer battle and to those generous souls who gave from the heart ... much love. And also, much love, to my husband's colleagues in the TV commercial industry, too, and to all my family's support in my breast cancer survivorship. It's still a really big struggle, though, and I pray that I can return all the love and support back, if I hadn't already. I have been very fortunate that my parents could come stay and help during my big surgeries. And equally blessed from other loved ones to get house visits, phone calls, greeting cards, letters, gifts, photographs, and emails.
A big thank you for reading My Story! I hope that it wasn't too painful to get through. I'm not so good at writing about my health in such great factual details, but it has been very healing. I, also, write poetry that you can find online under "Sonya Rose Poetry". And besides making art, I create a lot of videos of variety that you can catch on YouTube. My past portfolio of work is found on my website - http://www.sonyarose.com ...
I hope to update it soon and share new projects! I reinstated my union membership with SAG-AFTRA and already had a few acting jobs. I've been hit pretty hard with my health and I'm just beginning to see the Light. I couldn't be more fortunate to be here. Experience life and share some of it. Get “Mommy Bear” hugs from my sweet Sonny ... kisses from my sweetie.
Have a great day, a great night, everyone! May peace and blessings fill you always.
My gift for you, a blessing:
May God give you…
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.
For those interested ... I made a recent discovery with our family's ancient DNA, my mtDNA, [X2b] from my mother's mother side of the family: X2b is connected to the Iron Age “princely burials” from Baden-Württemberg, Germany [Late Hallstatt and Early Latene societies]. The study was supported by the Graduate School "Human Development in Landscapes" of Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel. Bone specimens of thirty-eight skeletal remains were collected from five sites: Asperg Grafenbühl, Mühlacker Heidenwäldle, Hirschlanden, Ludwigsburg, and Schodeingen. DNA was extracted for ancient DNA analysis. The researchers obtained mitochondrial DNA from seventeen individuals that showed nine different haplogroups including — X2b. This Haplogroup goes way back, over 15,000 years. And the group X itself possibly goes back all together 45,000 years. X2b wraps all the way around the world from Scotland to Morocco and eastward to Siberia and even into North America. In Jean Manco's excellent compendium, X2b is also listed as being present in Neolithic Portugal (3,400 years BC), and the highest percentage of people with X2b in the present day are from the Galilee region of northern Israel.
Interesting, once I woke up from a dream where I shouted "Inishkea! Inishkea!" I had researched all throughout the Internet and discovered Inishkea is Inishkea Islands in Ireland, and very interesting, my dad's Paternal DNA R1b1a2 runs right through Ireland, right off the coast, by Inishkea Islands! But this gene goes much further back. R1b1a2 is believed to have originated about 9,500 years ago in the Black Sea region. And may go back even further to 17,000 years, according to other researchers. My dad said that he always figured this, mainly because of how dark his skin can get in a short amount of time in the sun and by his keloid scars. It's just interesting to discover being related to King Tut, the boy pharaoh who ascended the Egyptian throne at the age of nine. I'm really blown away that he had the same genetic profile as my dad and also, sadly lost his father, too, at around the same age. My sister thinks someone is selling me fake diamonds here, but Swiss geneticists confirmed up to 70% of British men and half of all Western European men are related to the Pharaoh Tutankhamun. When I was just a teen, in our history class, we could pick any topic in the world (any!) and I picked King Tut. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. I, also, picked topics like time travel, time warps, dreams, the mind, outer space, etc. You know, all that pretty interesting stuff!
My dad's mtDNA is H3 and maybe greater than 15,000 years and found in Galician and Basques populations. They created magnificent cave paintings from Altamira (Spain) and Lascaux (France). That must be where my artist side comes from. I left one artwork "Together in Spirit" that resembled largely cave work, three horses running together, in NYC, hanging in a studio. I believe my father's mother's family line followed the path up the Atlantic seaboard after the Ice Age to present-day France and the British Isles.
There is list online compiled of Kings and Queens who have the same mtDNA H3, as my dad. subclade of haplogroup (hg) H, which is also included, and Y-DNA (R1b1a2), subclade of haplogroup R1b, which is listed, as well, along with other R1b subclades. It’s so enormous. My head spun. I counted over 150 Royalty. Here is a list compiled of Kings and Queens who had the exact same maternal DNA of my dad =>H3 (mtDNA):
• Queen of Denmark: Juliana Maria of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (1729-1796)
• Emperors & Empress of Austria: Maria Theresa (1717-1780)
• Joseph II (1741-1790)
• Emperor Ferdinand I (1793-1875)
• Frederick William II of Prussia
• Emperor Charles I (1887-1922)
• Leopold II of Habsburg (1747-1792)
• Kings of Saxony: Frederick Augustus II (1797-1854)
• Kings of the Netherlands & Grand Duke of Luxembourg: William I (1772-1843)
• Marie-Louise of France (1812-1850)
• Marie-Antoinette (1755-1793)
• Marie Louise of Austria (1791-1847)
• Kings & Queens of the French: Maria Amalia of the Two Sicilies (1782-1866)
• Kings of Italy: Victor Emmanuel II (1820-1878)
• Maria Christina of the Two Sicilies (1779–1849)
• Kings & Queens of the French: Maria Amalia of the Two Sicilies (1782-1866)
• Maria Theresa of Tuscany (1801-1855)
• John of Saxony (1801-1873)
• Frederick Augustus II of Saxony
• Maria Josepha of Saxony (1803-1829)
• Emperors & Empress of Brazil: Maria Leopoldina of Austria (1797-1826)
• Emperors & Empress Carlota of Mexico: Empress Charlotte of Belgium (1840-1927)
• Queen of the Belgiums: Louise of Orléans
• Leopold II of the Belgiums
• Tsars & Empress of Russia: Peter II (1715-1730)
• Napoleon II
On 23andMe, in the last 200 years, it lists my genetic roots (DNA relatives) all from Europe, with an overwhelming great majority in Northwestern Europe. The countries are: Scotland, England, Ireland, France, and Germany. And 23andMe listed further the specific cities/towns and regions in these countries. The city where my strongest roots are in Scotland is Glasgow: Scottish western Lowland. Well, with my last name Atkinson, this comes as no real surprise. A John Atkinson painted some really beautiful landscapes of Glasgow Victorian Docks in the late 1800's. I began as a landscape painter in my teens. It came natural to me. So, painting and water life flows through me very much, too. My dreams of walking along the docks and even lying in lush green hills might have been ancestral memories from Scotland.
In Ireland, my paternal DNA revealed these specific Irish Counties: Donegal, Dublin, Cork, Kerry, Galway, Tipperary, Mayo, Kilkenny, and Roscommon. And my dad has additionally: Clare and Monaghan. The lineage is to have originated long ago, 9,500 years ago in the Black Sea region. And may go back further yet. Oh, I discovered that I have a little Scandinavian in me, too, from the 1700 to 1800’s. And there was a Scandinavian settlement on the west coast of Ireland. The people from Inishkea knew how to survive in the most difficult and unimaginable situations as possible. There are burial grounds near the harbor there ... with stones of Celtic designs linking monks (of early Christian times) who once lived on Inishkea Islands for seclusion and solitude.
My strongest roots in England were located in Greater London and Merseyside ... along with (in order) Greater Manchester, County Durham, West Yorkshire, Tyne & Wear, West Midlands, Middlesborough, and North Yorkshire. My dad has additionally Lancashire and Suffolk in his DNA. My paternal grandfather was said to a Welshman. And that makes sense because a large population of the Welsh lived in Liverpool, sometimes referred to as “Capital of North Wales”. And in Ireland, the strongest roots are in Belfast (Northwest Ireland), Home of the Titanic. They built the historic ship there. The maiden voyage of Titanic was originally planned to depart from Liverpool in April 1912, port of registration and home of White Star Line. Why it changed plans to depart from Southampton, we might never know the real truth.
In my father and my DNA from France, we both have the same two of thirteen French regions: Île-de-France (north-central France) • Paris (Home of Notre Dame, Mona Lisa, and so much more) and Grand Est known for charming storybook villages.
I am not surprised on the DNA findings on grandparents from Germany in the past two hundred years. My grandfather's family, Basel, moved around a lot, all over in Bavaria, in different villages. My great grandfather was a teacher and got transferred quite a bit. My grandmother, Oma Rosa, was raised by a Priest and his sister. She lived with them in a town called Brebersdorf. My Opa's family moved to Brebersdorf. This is where my grandparents met and fell in love. After marrying, they moved together to a farm village called Unsleben. They owned a very successful family business, one of the most popular restaurants in town. My mother told me that they fled from Unsleben to Bamberg. Then to Münnerstadt, where my mother was born in a convent. I found that pretty interesting. My dad with his twin sister was born in an attic. And they both were so tiny and almost died. But this part of the story was really destiny... Before my mother's family moved to Bad Neustadt, where I visited often my relatives in the 1970s and 1980s, my grandparents moved to Mellrichstadt. They lived here just before WW2 broke out. After the war, it became the last town before East Germany. To think that my mother's family could have been trapped on the other side of the country... would mean that I would not have been born. My mother would have never met my father. It's just something to think about and be grateful for...
I even have a little Italian in me, too. According to my DNA, I have grandparents from Italy who lived 1700-1820. The same time frame, I had grandparents who were from Scandinavia. Interesting to discover I have Ashkenazi Jewish DNA in my blood, but my dad does not. It must come from my mom's side from Germany. I had grandparents who were Jewish born somewhere in 1700-1790. In the 18th century, there were two million Jews in the world and my grandparents who lived at that time were in that number. 10,000 lived in Prague alone. It was always my Opa’s dream to visit Prague, The Heart of Europe, and take my Oma there. But he passed away far too young and fast of cancer. I would love to go there, especially at Christmas time! I would definitely take a photo of my Opa and Oma with me! I am so blessed to have so many angels in heaven and here on earth. And to be given so many gifts from God above, lifelong visions and dreams.