Reflecting on the “Let’s Talk About It” Series Video Shoot

20140912LTAIbehindscenesOur Young Women’s Initiative recently launched two videos as part of the “Let’s Talk About It” Video Series. Arin Ahlum Hanson, MPH, CHES, manager of the Young Women’s Initiative, wrote this post about the day of the shoot and working with the young women and video crew who helped create the additions to this series.

I always have a hard time sleeping the night before running the video shoot for the Young Women’s Initiative Let’s Talk About It Video Series. Yes, since I’m managing the project my brain is swimming with logistics, which does make it hard to relax. But I mainly can’t sleep because I’m so excited. I’ve quickly learned that these video shoots are one of my favorite work days of the year. I’m excited to meet the amazing young women from across the nation who have agreed to be a part of our video project and want to share their experience to help other young women cope with breast cancer.

Each year, the video interview participants seem to have no hesitations about arriving, meeting the group of strangers running the video shoot and then quickly launching into in-depth conversations about subjects that rarely get talked about openly.

This year’s April video shoot was no different. Assembly, the video production team, arrived with a 10-member crew and quickly set up the shoot in a small hotel room. Together, we spent the next 12 hours filming. Eight young women and three healthcare providers participated in the video shoot. Some of the young women were nervous when they arrived but relaxed once the interview started. Others had fun learning new make-up tricks from our stylist.

Our new videos in this series focus on body image and how breast cancer impacts one’s finances. The filmed conversations on these topics were lively and honest. Participants shared how they navigated life after breast cancer and what they learned and are continuing to learn from the experience. There were a few tears as women recalled the shock of diagnosis and some laughter about some of the absurdities of breast cancer. One woman shared her shock of learning that you don’t get to keep your nipples after having a mastectomy and how she is thinking about getting cat faces or heart tattoos to replace her nipples. Another young woman shared that she never told her parents about her credit card debt from all of the unexpected costs with breast cancer treatment because she did not want to worry them.

We walked away from the day having hours of great footage. I left feeling exhausted but humbled and amazed by the young women who were a part of the project. Their resiliency when faced with challenging situations and their humor and raw honesty with themselves and their communities was awe-inspiring.

Please share these new videos and join me in my gratitude for these young women who were willing to share their stories with LBBC and with other young women navigating a breast cancer diagnosis.

Watch our video on body image:

Check out our video on financial concerns:

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