April 21, 2014
This week on the LBBC blog, we shine our light on Sue Rosen, a longtime supporter of LBBC and our signature education and fundraising event Yoga on the Steps: Philadelphia. She became aware of LBBC at the inaugural Yoga on the Steps event in 2002.
Wow! You have been part of Yoga on the Steps and LBBC for so long. Tell us more about what drew you to the event and how it affected your life.
I was at the first Yoga Unites, as it was called in the beginning. At the time I was still in treatment for my breast cancer, and was only peripherally acquainted with yoga. I attended the event, and it was a profound experience. I felt connected to myself and the possibility of being able to heal and become stronger through the practice of yoga. That is what I walked away from after my first Yoga, and it is what I have continued to incorporate in my life every single day since that first experience.
What motivates you and your team when you fundraise for Yoga on the Steps?
I think knowing that the money we ask for on behalf of LBBC is going to fund some of the best and most comprehensive resources for people diagnosed with breast cancer. I’ve used some of these services, like the Breast Cancer Helpline, and know from first-hand experience how they helped me. That LBBC makes these resources available for anyone free of charge is also very important and that there are such a large range of services for women of all ages and all stages of breast cancer.
Read the rest of this entry »
April 18, 2014
Regular LBBC blogger and helpline volunteer, Ronda Walker Weaver is back after reading a post by LBBC staff member Lynn Folkman about the changes a breast cancer diagnosis will bring about in a person’s day to day life. Here, Ronda discusses both the negative and positive effects her journey with breast cancer has had upon her daily life…
During my 4th week of chemo (2nd treatment) I went to dinner with 2 friends. I clearly remember telling them, “I hope I hurry and learn all I need to from this cancer journey, so I don’t have to learn it again. I need to be as focused on this process as possible.” And both of my friends saying, “I think your cancer and treatment will be something you’ll continue to learn from, long after the treatments are finished.” A light bulb went on in my head, and I knew they were speaking the truth. While my cancer treatment was the sprint, my cancer healing and processing is the marathon.
After reading Lynn Folkman’s blog post this past week (originally posted 3/31/14) and her comment about healing being an ongoing process, I realized I am not the only one who feels this. The only difference is that Lynn is 5 years out, and I’m 9 months. However, I certainly am not the same person as before my diagnosis. Read the rest of this entry »
April 16, 2014
Recently LBBC hosted a party to honor our very generous and dedicated volunteers. We awarded various individuals with specific volunteer honors for their hard work in helping to further the LBBC mission of connecting people with trusted breast cancer information and a community of support. Liz Barker was one of these individuals and here was her take on the evening’s festivities…
Living Beyond Breast Cancer just had their Volunteer Appreciation Awards dinner this past week. It was at a brand new concept restaurant in Bala Cynwyd, Pa. called honeygrow.
I was delighted and honored to be chosen as an award recipient by LBBC for doing something that comes natural to me – helping for and caring about others. Read the rest of this entry »
April 14, 2014
Today, we introduce you to Caryn Kaplan, a long time LBBC supporter who recently was presented with our Anne Klein Volunteer of the Year Award. Caryn has been diagnosed with breast cancer three times, most recently learning of a metastazation from her breast to her liver and bones. Despite this, she continues to find ways her life has been positively impacted.
“The phone rang….. My doctor confirmed that the lump was malignant. The next thing I knew I was having a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy. The biopsy came back that the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes. Stage II, breast cancer. My life had changed forever….”
Where Caryn’s story all began…
Sandra and Burt Specter, 53 years ago, on May 12th 1960 gave birth a new baby girl. Yes, that’s me, they named me Caryn Lynn, after my great great Aunt Clara. It is then when I met my big brother Bradley Paul, my senior of 3 years. We happily lived in the section of Northeast Phila, Oxford Circle. We were all quite content there. My parent father, a retail merchant, selling men’s wear in his store in Kensington and my mom taking on odd jobs to fill her time. After 12 years of living on Algon Ave, my brother about to start high school, my parents had decided they wanted us to move to a place in which they believed the schools were better for my brother and me. Then, as soon as we knew it we were moving to Cherry Hill, New Jersey. That is where is finished we both finished our primary education. My father now commuting back and forth to Philly to run his store, and by now my mother had opened up a string of women’s boutiques. It was now off to college for my brother and then me. My brother a graduate of what once was Philadelphia Textiles and now goes under the name Philadelphia University. Three years later, I was off to Syracuse University, graduating in 1982 with a degree in Retail Buying and Management. I got a job right out of college, at a department store formally named Bamberger’s, which is now known as Macy’s. I started out in their buying/management training program, and quickly rose to assistant buyer. At Bamberger’s, I joined my brother and met my now sister-in-law (yes, we all traveled that same retail route), Stephanie. Stephanie and I became instant friends and I introduced her to my brother and one year later they were married. Read the rest of this entry »
April 7, 2014
LBBC blogger Jenny Burkholder shares her thoughts on the novel Oz, by Nancy Eimers and how she feels it relates to her personal story and journey with breast cancer…
The last time I saw Jessica alive, we had just watched our 3 and 4 year old daughters perform in their winter concert. Our daughters, like all of the other preschool students, were adorable, and the whole audience melted when they paraded onto the stage sang songs in Spanish. At the time, we were both bald, clearly cancer patients. At that point, I was Stage II and done with chemo and treatment; she was Stage IV and dying. As we walked out into the winter cold, we talked about cancer. At one point she said to me, “If licking the sidewalk would cure me of cancer, I would do it.”
In her 2011 book, Oz, Nancy Eimers, one of my former poetry teachers, imagines a conversation in a parking lot with her friend and colleague, Julie. The poem titled, “Long Gone Conversation about Cancer” is –for Julie. Julie died in 2008 after a 16-year battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
In the first two stanzas, Eimers writes, “The certain dark of a parking lot/not going anywhere: yeah we have to go/and maybe there’s even/ a future awaiting us like two tin cans/on the ends of a string,/maybe we’re both worried soon there won’t be anything/rippling in the string/but we stay a little while.” The image of these two women, lingering in a dark parking lot, a parking lot that will exist after both have driven away, after one has died, is beautiful and heartbreaking. Read the rest of this entry »
April 3, 2014
Meet Deborah Seagull, PhD, a therapist who helps people diagnosed with cancer and their families cope with the illness. Dr. Seagull wrote this post for the LBBC blog on coping with complex emotions after breast cancer, including fears of recurrence. Dr. Seagull is also the speaker for our upcoming community meeting, Survivorship: A Road Map, taking place this Monday, April 7, 6-8 p.m. at the Philadelphia Marriott West in West Conshohocken, Pa.
Fear of recurrence is something that most individuals diagnosed with breast cancer struggle with. Oddly, many times it doesn’t matter if it is an early- or late-stage cancer, the fear of the cancer coming back or metastasizing is forefront in the minds of many women. It can be overwhelming, as oncologists can give statistics and likelihoods, but no one can ever give you certainty. Read the rest of this entry »
April 2, 2014
LBBC would like to welcome Lori who is sharing her breast cancer journey with us today. If you or anyone you know has been recently diagnosed with any stage of breast cancer please visit lbbc.org/guides for more information about our Newly Diagnosed publications.
In an instant, life’s journey took me to an unexpected path. A routine mammogram changed everything. On May 9, 2013, Mother’s Day weekend, I was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), often considered the earliest form of breast cancer, in my left breast. It was not a palpable tumor that I could feel with self-exam. After hearing the biopsy results, I was terrified and in shock. Breast cancer is not in my family history and I live a healthy lifestyle. I cook balanced meals, grow many of my own vegetables and shop the farmers market. For the past 25 years, I’ve done cardio and aerobic exercise four times a week.
For five fearful days, I didn’t know how serious it was or what my treatment would involve. When things are uncertain, the mind often finds a way to gravitate to the worst-case scenario. When I met with a breast surgeon, the first thing he said to me was, “You will be okay. You caught this early, this is treatable, and you have options.” Hearing his words snapped me out of my negative thoughts. I could see a future, I would be okay and I could do what I needed to do. Read the rest of this entry »