Archive for the ‘Blog Back’ Category

Blog Back: Healing and Embracing Change After Breast Cancer

March 31, 2014

LynnFolkmanLynn Folkman, manager of our volunteer programs, wrote her Blog Back post  about her personal growth after reaching her 5-year “cancerversary.”  Read her story and check out our past Blog Back columns.

“Feels like some kind of wild ride but it’s turning out just to be life going absolutely perfectly.”

Every morning, while having my espresso, I view a piece of artwork with the above statement and allow it to resonate in me.

In March 2009, I was diagnosed with stage I ER, PR and HER2-positive breast cancer. I have always been a believer that things happen for a reason. Although certainly at the time, I could think of no good reason why breast cancer and chemotherapy would be on that list. As 2014 began, I was rapidly approaching my 5-year mark and found myself filled with a variety of emotions: joy, sadness, anxiety and fear. (more…)

Blog Back: Finding Meaning Through Spiritual Questions and Evaluation

February 17, 2014

AshleyBurczak“Blog Back” is our monthly column that featuring thoughts and stories from the Living Beyond Breast Cancer staff. This month’s columnist is Ashley Burczak, MDiv, LBBC’s volunteer coordinator. In this blog post, Ashley discusses spirituality, including how it is different, yet not mutually exclusive from religion, what it has the potential to do and the kind of spiritual questions you may ask yourself during your breast cancer journey.

When people hear the word “spirituality,” they often think of religion, but spirituality is really a much broader term. It refers to anything that you feel gives your life meaning, and even to the questions you are asking about meaning—questions like “what is important to me?” and “am I living my life the way I want to?” I believe that everyone has some way of making meaning in life, and that means that everyone has spirituality, even if they identify as completely nonreligious.

Many people, when initially asked whether a breast cancer diagnosis brought up any spiritual questions for them, will say that it didn’t. They may answer this way because they don’t consider themselves religious and don’t think that they could have a spiritual life without a religious faith or belief in supernatural phenomena, or because they are very religious, and think of “spiritual questions” as indicating doubt in their faith—something they try hard to avoid.

In truth, I haven’t spoken to many people with a cancer diagnosis who haven’t had some kind of spiritual issue come up in the course of diagnosis and treatment. A diagnosis of a life-threatening illness brings up the reality of death, and facing death has a way of making us reevaluate life, whether we have strong faith or no faith at all. (more…)

Blog Back: Reflecting on the Past, Looking to the Future

December 29, 2013

20140106AmyGrillo2 copyIn light of the holiday season, Amy Grillo, associate director of educational programs, wrote her “Blog Back” column on her work experience and Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s growth since she first joined us more than 10 years ago. She looks forward to the upcoming work that will help us fulfill our mission in 2014. 

Thirteen years ago I joined the staff of Living Beyond Breast Cancer. Its initial mission drew me in like a moth to a flame – empowering all women to live as long as possible with the best quality of life. That was inspiring to me. Inspiring in the “roll up your sleeves and get to work” making a difference sort of way! Since that time, LBBC has grown exponentially and has even developed a new mission statement. Our new mission, developed just this summer, is to connect people with trusted breast cancer information and a community of support. Another mission much worthy of hands-on action and inspiration! After all, and unfortunately, there’s still so much work to do. (more…)

Blog Back: A Welcome Shift in Access to Healthcare Coverage

October 31, 2013

Welcome to October’s “Blog Back” column, a recent feature on the blog where the Living Beyond Breast Cancer staff write about their thoughts and experiences for you. This month’s columnist is Michelle Bielko, our Editor and Manager, Publications. In this “Blog Back” post, Michelle writes about her experience working on the Cancer Insurance Checklist, and what the shifting access in healthcare coverage means to her. 

As a volunteer emergency department liaison at a community hospital, too often I’ve overheard an individual in the throes of an emergent medical injury or illness exclaim with panic, “I don’t have health insurance. Will you still treat me?”, upon approaching the check-in desk. In those milliseconds before a patient registrar offers assurance that emergency care will be given regardless of insurance status, that individual often looks as if she or he fears hearing another set of words instead: “I’m sorry. In that case, we cannot treat you” — as if turning around and walking out the doors might be expected of her or him at a time of urgent medical need. (more…)

Blog Back: On Helping to Shape the New Mission and Vision

September 17, 2013


Shaffer-Anna_mediumWelcome to “Blog Back,” a new monthly column where the Living Beyond Breast Cancer staff  change up the LBBC Blog and write about their thoughts and experiences for you. Our September columnist is Anna Shaffer, our Editor and Manager, Web Content. Anna joined LBBC in 2005, and has seen the national nonprofit grow in many ways. In this edition of “Blog Back,” Anna writes about her experience collaborating with fellow staff and the board of directors to revise LBBC’s mission and vision statements. 

A couple of months ago, I was privileged to participate in a board and staff retreat to brainstorm a new mission and vision statement for LBBC. It made me think not only about how much the organization has grown since I became part of the staff in 2005, but also about what drew me to work for LBBC in first place: our focus on providing the education and support a woman needs after she is diagnosed with breast cancer.



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