Talking About Cancer

"(F)or friends and family it is important to know where our boundaries are - when we should step back, and when we should step in. It's hard to know what is right or wrong - there often just isn't that defining line. It is more a matter of respecting personal space, and understanding that it's all a learning curve."


"Understanding your emotions after a cancer diagnosis can be crucial to moving forward."


"In times of pain, frustration, and anger, sometimes the best medicine is laughter."

Friday, May 21, 2010

RIP Sherri

Posted by at 10:07 AM
Sherri passed away May 16th, 2010 from Inflammatory Breast Cancer. She fought hard, and with positivity and grace from the moment she was diagnosed in February 2009.

Our hearts are broken, and we pray that there is a cure for this horrible, cruel disease very very soon.

We love you, Sherri.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Talking About Cancer

Posted by at 8:29 AM

Ribbon of Pink is a great website devoted to helping those diagnosed with cancer find resources, and support. According to their site:

We hope that will become your "information central" - a place to come back to again and again for helpful tips on living healthy (both physically and mentally), advice to help stay cancer free and most of all, encouragement.

For those of us who are diagnosed with cancer it is important to know what we can, or should, expect of ourselves. How much do we need to share with others? Is it okay if I want to be alone? How do I go about the normal every day? And for friends and family it is important to know where our boundaries are - when we should step back, and when we should step in. It's hard to know what is right or wrong - there often just isn't that defining line. It is more a matter of respecting personal space, and understanding that it's all a learning curve.

Ribbon of Pink gives us ten tips for talking about cancer with your friends and family.

  1. Be honest. Don't be afraid to tell the people you love how they can help you. Giving them clear guidelines will let them know exactly what you need from them.

  2. As much as we all would love it if people could read our minds — it's never going to happen. Try not to assume that people know what you need or what the right thing to do is. This goes back to the first tip. Tell people how they can help.

  3. If you're not up for visits from caring friends and family, just say that you appreciate the concern but you would much rather see them when you're feeling better.

  4. Everyone deals with crisis in different ways. Some people are just better than others. For those who don't know what to say or do, try to accept their limitations and remember that they do truly care.

  5. There are going to be times when you just want to unload your feelings. Explaining to someone that you don't expect answers or solutions will help them know what you need and help you express yourself freely.

  6. Coping with the magnitude of breast cancer can put a lot of pressure on your relationships and/or reveal long-standing problems like poor communication and lack of trust, problems that are clearly not caused by cancer. Recognizing this may allow you to let go of old behaviors and focus on the here and now.

  7. Even the most thoughtful family and friends may be impatient for you to "get over" your cancer. Try not to let their expectations pressure you into ignoring your feelings. Breast cancer can be a traumatic experience. Remind them that you have to go through it at your own pace, in your own time.

  8. Getting through breast cancer requires immense strength- emotionally and physically. Give yourself permission to explore ways of enhancing your health and self-esteem. If the "old you" would have never tried yoga- don't let that stop you from trying it now.

  9. Don't be afraid to tap into a support network.

  10. Not talking is always an option. You don't have to divulge anything if you don't want to. If friends and family ask you to talk and you're just not up to it, tell them that you appreciate their concern but you're not ready to talk.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Posted by at 9:35 AM
Obviously there are all kinds of emotions associated with getting a diagnosis of cancer. Most of us can empathize, but unless you're in that situation it is difficult to really understand the feelings a person experiences.
And, it can be frustrating to try to find the words to explain how you're feeling to others.

Cancerbackup writes:

A diagnosis of cancer often means we experience a whole range of emotions. These may include shock, anxiety, sadness, relief, uncertainty and for some people, depression. This section gives information on some of the emotions you may have and aims to help you manage them. It includes suggestions of how you can help yourself as well as other sources of help and support.

On the left side of this page you will see a list of emotions one may experience when dealing with a cancer diagnosis. If nothing else, the coping strategies they discuss may help you through this time...and help you feel understood, and less alone.

This is impossible to do at the best of times - all the time. It's perfectly natural, and normal to feel awful, and depressed. When someone tells you to remain positive all the time, it can be frustrating:

Positive thinking means different things to different people. However, generally it is about facing up to the situation, and finding ways of coping with it. People do this in many ways. What works for one person may not work for another.

When you talk to people with cancer, even the most positive of them will admit to low times when they felt depressed and anxious. No one can be positive 100% of the time. It’s important that you don’t feel that you must always stay on top of things. Being positive doesn’t mean having to feel happy and cheerful all the time. It’s a positive thing to acknowledge and talk about your feelings – even when you’re feeling tired, worried, depressed or angry.
There may be times when you want to talk about a difficult topic like the chance of the cancer being cured or making a will. Comments about being positive are then not always helpful - in fact, they can be very upsetting.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Thank you!

Posted by at 6:53 PM
I see some serious ad clicking going on - thanks!

I'm going to be a little quiet on the website in the next week or so - though I do have an update going up tomorrow.

Please keep visiting, and spread the word on IBC!!!

Anita :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Posted by at 9:39 AM

Without a doubt, laughter is the best medicine. Here are some of the ways in which laughter helps us health-wise:

Hormones: Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), dopamine and growth hormone. It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins, and neurotransmitters. Laughter increases the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T cells. All this means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects of stress.

Physical Release: Have you ever felt like you "have to laugh or I'll cry"? Have you experienced the cleansed feeling after a good laugh? Laughter provides a physical and emotional release.

Internal Workout: A good belly laugh exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs and even works out the shoulders, leaving muscles more relaxed afterward. It even provides a good workout for the heart.

Social Benefits of Laughter: Laughter connects us with others. Also, laughter is contagious, so if you bring more laughter into your life, you can most likely help others around you to laugh more, and realize these benefits as well. By elevating the mood of those around you, you can reduce their stress levels, and perhaps improve the quality of social interaction you experience with them, reducing your stress level even more!

(from About)

And speaking of contagious laughter, put together a montage of clips; people laughing in response to other people laughing. They did this, of course, to promote Skype, but also to show how social media works by bringing people together, and sharing in the one human thing we all love to do: laugh.

It's okay to laugh. It's GOOD to laugh. Sometimes laughter really is the best medicine.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Abonita Scarf

Posted by at 7:16 AM

How cool are these scarves? (Read More for video)

From the designer:

Hello, my name is Bonita and I would like to share my story with you. After being diagnosed with invasive lobular breast cancer in December 2003 and undergoing chemotherapy, I lost all of my hair. My active lifestyle and flair for fashion made uncomfortable wigs and hats impractical. Eager to feel chic and beautiful again, I wanted to design a stylish and versatile accessory, inspired by the elegant look of colorful and fashionable head scarves many women in Hollywood had been wearing, that would provide women with a beautiful alternative during a difficult time. I knew that when I recovered I had to share my creation with women everywhere who were feeling what I had felt. With the help of my longtime friend Lori, ABonita Scarves® were created in an array of colors and patterns and designed to be worn four different ways. Today I am thrilled to say that I am healthy and happy!

I'm all for buying one, but I wonder how difficult they would be to make?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Posted by at 11:15 AM
Hi everyone.

Just a reminder to watch the ads, and click through. Revenue is generated when readers click on links. Not a lot so far (about $11, to be honest), but every click helps. I'll be adding other ad material other than content-related ads so that it's more well-rounded. As the webmaster I don't believe I'm really allowed "ethically" to click on ads - but nothing's stopping you!


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