Laughter as Medicine: Breast Cancer and Humor
Our MBC Life
by Our MBClife
2w ago
Living with breast cancer is obviously no joke, especially late-stage breast cancer. But, once the shock of diagnosis is absorbed and initial treatment more or less done, humor can become part of your tool kit to deal with the worry of living with this disease.   The late Beth Caldwell, a 38-year-old metastatic breast cancer patient advocate from Seattle, said, “If you don’t laugh, you’re going to cry your eyes out…it just makes things less awful. As someone who will live with disease for the rest of my life, to never laugh again would be horrific. The jokes make me feel better. The ..read more
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In Memory of Lisa Laudico
Our MBC Life
by Our MBClife
2w ago
Our hearts are overflowing with both grief and gratitude as we ramp up production on the fifth season of Our MBC Life. On August 6, Lisa Laudico, the creator and driving force behind the podcast series, died peacefully at the age of 56, surrounded by her family. It is a profound loss for the MBC community, felt nowhere more keenly than among the Our MBC Life team and SHARE staff and volunteers. But even as we mourn, we are grateful for the comfort and inspiration we find in Lisa’s amazing legacy. “Lisa was a natural leader, and her passion for raising diverse voices and uniting those living w ..read more
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We are Surviving
Our MBC Life
by Our MBClife
1y ago
I know it’s cliché to say everything happens for a reason, but in my case with breast cancer, it certainly feels that way. I wouldn’t say that I was misdiagnosed in my late 20’s, I just didn’t know what it meant to advocate.  I had recently moved to Boston, landed a great job in higher education and enjoyed life in my South End brownstone studio. I remember my boyfriend inquiring about a pea-size lump on my breast asked me if I felt it too. My response was, “yes, it has always been there”, and we went about life as if to say, we’re not going to worry about it. Why would I? I knew my bo ..read more
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I am NOT Cancer
Our MBC Life
by Our MBClife
1y ago
Foreword Ilene Kaminsky, Writer and Poet, Blogger: Cancer Bus, MBC Patient Advocate, Participant: SHARE's MBC Support Group , Guest: Our MBC Life Podcast The Healing Power of Writing “When the words, ‘I am sorry but you’ve got metastatic breast cancer,’ echo in your ears for the first time, the air gets sucked out of the room. We can’t hear much of anything else. The disease takes so much from us but it cannot take our voices. Our words speak from deep places and our expressions of the emotional impact of MBC take many forms - including poetry. And poetry connects us by using an economy of wo ..read more
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Barbara Bigelow: One Tough Unicorn
Our MBC Life
by Our MBClife
1y ago
About Me: I have been married to the love of my life, Tim, for 38 years and we have two beautiful daughters and one grandson. Kelsey is an ER nurse, and Bridget is a health and wellness guru. I am a licensed school psychologist at the high school level, needless to say, I love kids! 19 Years Ago: I was diagnosed with breast cancer after my two older sisters had also been diagnosed. (No, we do NOT have the BRACA gene). I took a year off from life to have a lumpectomy, sentinel node biopsy, ancillary node dissection, chemotherapy with AC for six rounds and seven weeks of radiation. Shortl ..read more
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update from 3 Black Docs
Our MBC Life
by Our MBClife
2y ago
During our inaugural season we were fortunate to meet and interview an outstanding group  of people: researchers and clinicians, patients and caregivers, presidents and directors of large organizations with national reach and small local nonprofits.  I remember with great fondness each of these encounters and as production editor, found it painful to cut even a single syllable from what was said. The Best of 3 Black Docs episode, an abridged version of the original pod featuring Dr. Karen Winkfield, Dr. Zanetta Lamar, and Dr. Tiffany Avery, was the hardest one to do. The three brilli ..read more
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“We will not go back to normal.”
Our MBC Life
by Our MBClife
2y ago
How happy are we that this year is coming to an end?  In April of this year, I discovered the words and work of the author, social justice activist, and founder of The Body is Not An Apology, Sonya Renee Taylor.  She wrote: “We will not go back to normal. Normal never was. Our pre-corona existence was not normal other than we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate and lack. We should not long to return my friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. One that fits all of humanity and n ..read more
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Audio Remembrance Quilt
Our MBC Life
by Our MBClife
2y ago
A little over a year ago, my friend Tanya went to an MBC retreat in Upstate New York.  She came back excited and full of stories about a special memorial ceremony on the final day to remember those who had died from MBC in the past year.  I am not doing it justice, but suffice it to say that it involved a memorial tree and stones with the names of the deceased. My friend was 37 years old.  She very much wanted to have children, but knew that  with the MBC diagnosis this was not to be.  Over the two years of our close friendship, we had many long heart-to-heart chats. W ..read more
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Finding Joy While Living with MBC
Our MBC Life
by Our MBClife
2y ago
As a person living with MBC, I frequently get asked  “How can you be so happy when you have Stage IV cancer?” To be honest, I’m often not happy. I’m frequently sad, mad, frustrated and scared. Does that mean I’m just pretending to be happy all the time? That is an emphatic NO. Most of the time I am Joyful - not happy. But how do you even have Joy while living with MBC? To do this you need to learn the difference between Happiness and Joy.  Happiness is based on external circumstances. It is a destination …. a pot of gold. You’ve heard people say I’ll be happy when I get a new jo ..read more
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Skipping Down Fifth Avenue
Our MBC Life
by Our MBClife
2y ago
One of my favorite movies was Hannah and Her Sisters.  I was reminded of it when we celebrated my aunt’s birthday on the Upper East Side that day in 2013.  We were at one of those polished bistros with white tablecloths and big floral arrangements.  I took some selfies in a mirror, maybe to post on a dating website.  My hair was back in a pony-tale.  Big smile.  I was 41 and felt happy and hopeful. I had no idea what was brewing in my body.  After lunch, I walked outside, looked up and recognized one of the building fac ..read more
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