Sandra Mitchell’s Dream Team

“Hit me with your Best Shot…” the voice of 80’s rocker Pat Benatar fills our SUV on this late summer morning. My husband and I are driving through Beverly Hills, on our way to meet my surgical oncologist for the first time. “Knock me Down, it’s all in Vain. I’ll Get Right Back up on my Feet Again.” I’m singing along and feeling empowered. The glass buildings on Avenue of The Stars reach into the Los Angeles haze high above the traffic. My eyes follow the buildings and I stop singing. Instead now I am looking up and praying for God to work with me and through me to empower others. I reach across the leather seat and grasp my husbands’ hand.

It’s been three days since my cancer diagnosis. In those three days, I have moved from incredible sadness to optimism. I know that I will not fight this battle alone. I am assembling my team. A few hours after my diagnosis, Dr. Kristi Funk of Pink Lotus Breast Center texted me. Her message reads like this: “You will survive this. I already know it. : ) ”

drfunk Sandra Mitchells Dream Team

Dr. Kristi Funk (credit:

She’s a top notch oncology surgeon and she ends her message with a smiley face…how cool is that? I share the news of my diagnosis and tentative treatment plan with those close to me. My managing editor at work responds with this text:

“Kristi Funk is awesome.
Sandra Mitchell is awesome.
New Dream Team Forming.”

We arrive at Pink Lotus Breast Center and Dr. Funk huddles with us for 90 minutes. She shows us statistics and uses words like “irradiation” and “Oncotype.” She talks like the Ivy league grad she is and looks like a supermodel. And, like Phil Jackson she has her Zen moments. She suggests I consider Chinese Medicine as a supplement to the more traditional treatment and recovery. Kristi, you’ve just been signed as head coach!

My husband is giving me pep talks and we’re already discussing how we can use this journey to recovery to help others. My husband is a sensitive and positive man. He also is 6’6″ tall. His shoulders are broad enough to hold the entire cheerleading pyramid. He’ll be my cheer captain. There are others who have been drafted. My colleagues at The CBS News Broadcast Center who will jump into action when I am on the DL. I also have an incredibly deep bench…my many friends and faraway family members who I am confident will be there in my victorious days ahead…and on the days when there surely will be setbacks.

The Dream Team is assembled.

As for team uniforms….I’m thinking something with a pink ribbon would be nice!

More from Sandra Mitchell
  • Pat Harvey


    Three cheers for The Dream Team! You have so much to fight for…Sophie and your loving husband Neal will help you cross the finish line. You will win this battle…by divine order!

    I’m on team Sandy too! Down for the call…whatever you need!
    Love, Pat

  • Risa Wheat

    Keep being strong and optimistic. You are in for a fight, but you are not alone. You have the love and support of your family, friends and co-workers. We are all pulling for you. You and I have not met yet, but, I am on team Sandy too!
    My prayers and thoughts are with you. Please continue to keep posting and blogging and thinking positively.
    Warmest and best,
    Risa Wheat

  • Darryl Sherman


    The pure energy and strength of your aura is more than enough to fight any battle. You are an amazing and determined soul that will prevail. Countinue being a positive force which you have always been. Go Dream Team!

    Love, Darryl

  • mimi toberman

    Dear Sandra,
    You are such a fighter, you will win this battle!
    If there is anything I can do as a member of your Dream Team just say the word!
    Love, Mimi

  • Roy Da Costa

    Sandra, I Know In My Heart You Will Fight This.

  • Chris Maxwell

    Dear Sandra,

    Hang in there – we are rooting for you at the Skolnick household!!!
    You’ll win this one!!!

    All good thoughts,
    Chris Maxwell (aka Mrs. Paul Skolnick)

  • lynda vernon

    we all love u at kcal and kcbs. good things happen to good people. your in my prayers
    lynda vernon

  • Jackie Johnson


    You are going to beat this! You have all of our love, support and best wishes.

    Go Dream Team!

    God Bless you.



  • gary

    sandra my mom was diagnose with breast cancer 8 years ago she is alive and doing well today she is my hero as well as i see the hero in you stay strong sandra good times and rough time were all here for you the dream team is strong and growing big god bless you

  • Beatrice


    You will get through this! Kristi Funk is the best there is, and you have lots of love and support. If you need anything, just ask. I am close by.


  • Ryan Doyle


    You have my prayers and support! Can I be a part of the indestructible Dream Team representing Columbia Square and the awesome days from back then??

    It’s gonna’ take a LOT more than this to even start slowing you down my friend – God bless!!


  • Ryan Doyle


    You have my prayers and support! Can I be a part of the indestructible Dream Team representing Columbia Square and the awesome days from back then??

    God bless!!


  • fan

    I like your attitude, I too was sad when I read your artical a few days ago, but now I’m glad you are super optimistic now. Me too 4 u .

    My best 2 u.
    Someday maybe this disease will cease to excist.

  • Ron


    I am just a fan, but I wish you a healthy recovery, as soon as humanly possible. I look forward to your return, so that I can again enjoy your smiling face and FANTASTIC attitude !!! YOU ARE the BEST !!

  • Nick Boscia Durlester


    I remember how encouraging you were when you interviewed my daughter, Ally, and me last October when we were promoting my book, Beyond the Pink Moon, which chronicles my journey after being diagnosed with breast cancer. You were so positive and uplifting as you asked me pointed questions about my story. Life certainly takes unexpected twists and turns.

    Kristi Funk was my “head coach” also. You are in the best of hands!!! Just wanted you to know I am sending tons of positive energy your way. Please reach at to me at any point if you need an ear. Would love to be on your cheer team. Keep calm and carry on!

    Nicki Boscia Durlester

  • traci blumenthal

    you will beat this. i am a 3 year cancer survivor and my journey started with Kristi Funk, as soon as I met Kristi, I knew i had a friend for life and that i would be ok.
    sending you positive thoughts and a hug. and as nicki, I am here for you too. Just keep the laughter and the attitude, and then you will be signing…Helen Reddy’s song “I am Woman” .
    traci blumenthal

  • Kimberly & Scott

    Count us in for Team Sandy!!! You are so strong and with Nehl and Sophie in your corner, we know you can beat this! We’re here for you and we’re going to be there when you’re celebrating a BIG victory over cancer.

  • D.h. Strontium

    bless you and keep you

  • Ron

    @rich: They did post your comments and in case you didn’t notice, this site is titled CBS Los And I for one, am very happy that she posted her personal info here, because I don’t follow other social media sites. She is loved by many and fortunately, your view is in the minority.

    • Ron

      @rich: again, you are entitled to your opinion, but I do believe that there is a benefit from Sandra offering this information to her viewers, friends and family.
      1) Those that may have a similar diagnosis may be fearful of and unfamiliar with the medical process. That is where Sandra’s comments can put a familiar face with the upcoming procedure. This personalization may put the reader/prospective patient more at ease. 2) People who are not social media savy, like me, would not be able to benefit from her information, if it was only posted on the usual social media sites. 3) Positive comments and wishes for Sandra, can have a positive effect and have her realize that there are many people pulling for her quick recovery.

      So, I think that Sandra’s disclosure of her personal medical condition on this site is appropriate and beneficial.

  • Lynn Urban

    Dear Sandy, Thank you for choosing to share your experience with others. You have the potential for reaching thousands of women who are afraid and alone facing this daunting battle. You will find that by helping others you are giving yourself the greatest gift of all. After being given less than a 5% chance of survival and two battles with this desease, I’m still here, almost twenty years later! You have great doctors, a loving husband and family and that’s half the battle right there. Good luck to you and stay strong. Remember that by sharing, you’re helping so many women in their own fight. When all else fails, eat lots of icecream!!! Lynn

  • Nicki Boscia Durlester


    Just found out you’re from Lancaster, PA. I graduated from F & M. Fellow Pennsylvanians and the Funk connection. Kindred spirits indeed!

    Thank you for having the courage to share your story in the midst of your own diagnosis and treatment. Extraordinary! Always right here for you.



  • angela bobal

    Big Time love from your family in North Carolina! We are in your corner and will be cheering you on from across the miles. YOU are strong. YOU will beat this and we will all be here to help you though. Whatever you need. Anytime.Keep your head up and your eyes on the goal. We all believe in you and you are never ever alone. Love you, Sandy.

  • Coptodd

    Go Team Mitchell!
    Kick this cancer right in its ass…
    Sending good vibes from 919

    We love and miss you,

  • Jackie Scarbrough

    Sandra, your posting is so brave and will help so many. I’m a 12 year survivor and warrior. After recovery I bought a Harley Davidson and took up skydiving. I learned that if there was something you wanted to do someday, don’t wait. Do it! Now I’m out there living large!

    Peace and Light,
    Jackie Scarbrough

  • Heather

    “We’re here. You might as well win.” That’s what a dear friend of mine always used to say about our boys’ hockey team when we were cheering them on from the stands in the rink. She’s a competitive sort. It was this theme I grasped after I was diagnosed with cancer and began drafting my best possible team. It’s also the name of my blog … … where I’ve prepared full colour commentary on my experience. I’m now about a year and a half post formal treatments (surgery/chemo/rads) and I’m still here. Still winning. Every day.

    You have the fighting spirit. That’s good! FU Cancer!

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