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Like Mother (in Law), Like Daughter (in Law)

By on June 11th, 2014 Categories: Treatment & Side Effects

When I was facing a bilateral mastectomy, I had a wonderful role model — my mother-in-law, Reggie, who lived without breasts (and without reconstruction) for over 50 years. Reggie was a striking woman with dark wavy hair and flawless skin. She wore loose, flowing apparel, often accented by colorful scarves. The loose clothes were necessitated by severe lymphedema that developed in one arm after surgery …

Book Review: How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who’s Sick

By on May 28th, 2014 Categories: Community Knowledge

Peruse any bookstore. Inspiring stories of triumph over cancer and tales of subsequent total life transformation abound. Heck, check out the hospital room window ledge, the oncologist’s waiting room, or the coffee table of anyone diagnosed with cancer and you will almost certainly find piles of these “go get ‘em” books bequeathed to patients by their well-intentioned friends upon hearing of their diagnosis.

When faced …

Our Friends Answer: How Did You First Discover the Breast Cancer?

By on May 14th, 2014 Categories: Community Knowledge, Symptoms & Diagnosis

 

A few months ago, we asked our friends on Facebook this question:

If you were diagnosed with breast cancer, how did you first discover it? Was it through a routine screening, breast self-exam, or something else?

One hundred and seven women responded — thank you, friends! We found the responses compelling, and want to share them with you:

 

  • 53 breast cancers (49.5%)

What This Cancer Mom Learned From Her Kids

By on May 1st, 2014 Categories: Day-to-Day Matters

The day in May 2006 when our older daughter turned nine, my husband rather wistfully commented, “That’s it, half of her life with us is now over. Before we know it, she’ll be off to college.” I remember laughing and thinking this was a rather melancholy way to think about the kids. We were so in the thick of our parenting life, and with a …

Writing & Healing: Using Mindfulness and Creativity to Become Whole Again

By on April 16th, 2014 Categories: The Breast Cancer Journey

My first diagnosis of breast cancer was a surprise. I was too young. There was no breast cancer in the family, but this rational defense didn’t stop what was to be: four diagnoses and eight surgeries and treatments from 1993-1998, dominating and changing my life.

I am two decades away from that first biopsy surgery. Looking back, and especially looking back through my writing, helps …

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