Category Archives: Uncategorized

Both Sides Now: What Happens When a Nurse Becomes a Patient?

As an oncology clinical trial coordinator that ended up on the “wrong side of the bed” myself, I found Sherri’s column struck many familiar chords. Well worth a read.


Sherri blogs at Sherri blogs at

“Once a nurse, now a patient” is how Sherri Fillipo describes herself on her blog.  Sherri was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 just prior to her 50th birthday; her metastatic diagnosis followed in 2012 when she learned her cancer had spread to her liver. This past February, we spoke to Sherri about her guest post (“The Conversation“). We found her observations on end-of-life issues as well as her own recent treatment decisions very compelling. We asked Sherri to tell us more about life on both sides of the bed rail–and as you’ll see, she had some excellent insights! In Part One, Sherri reflects on knowing too much as a nurse and yet feeling overwhelmingly vulnerable as a patient; in Part Two she offers some practical tips for patients.–Katherine O’Brien, Secretary, MBCN

I was born and raised in North Carolina about four…

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In Memorium: Lisa Bonchek Adams

Vale to the lively Lisa. She travelled through the experience of metastatic breast cancer with defiance, strength and perseverance. She will be missed.

Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer


It is with deep sadness that I learned of the death of Lisa Adams on Friday, 6 March 2015.  While we never want to speak of winning or losing with cancer; the words of her family ring so true.

The thousands upon thousands who knew and loved Lisa Bonchek Adams; whether in person or via Facebook, Twitter, or her website and blog read around the world; whether up close or from afar; will find it hard to believe that her steely will and indomitable spirit were finally overcome by the disease she had lived with for so many years.

Lisa was a strong, fearless, passionate voice online – as Renn observed “she was a beacon of honesty. The transparency in her blogging was unsurpassed”; so it is up to us all to honor her legacy and keep her voice alive. Lisa specifically asked that anyone who wishes to honor her memory do so with a contribution to her fund for…

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A woman’s glory

reflections on the importance of hair

My Eyes Are Up Here

I like my hair. It is long, with soft curls, and dyed an appealing shade of reddish brown. I am in the last year of my 40’s and my hair is longer than it has ever been in my life. Even including the time in the 70’s, when I wore my long hair tied back with one of those over-sized yarn pony tail holders. Back then, I used to run around barefoot and spent a good deal of time climbing trees. For many years, my feet were very calloused and my hair consisted of a neighborhood of knots and tangles. I just used to brush the top layer of hair to provide a presentable appearance. Every once in a while, I would have to sit in a chair while my mom painstakingly separated the tangles and the knots. Ow! Ow! Ow!

By the time I was 12 or 13, I…

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Post-Treatment Depression

I totally agree with The Cancer Curmudgeon here. Owning my feelings has been key to me being able to start on the road to mental recovery after this experience. I still have days of depression or anger, and I “ride” them knowing that after everything I’ve been through I have a right to those feelings.


I’ve been seeing a few graphics and posts on the internet about May being Mental Health Awareness Month, and a few blurbs mention cancer’s impact on one’s mental health. These pieces reminded me of how lost and down, maybe even depressed, I felt after I completed treatment. For me, the worst part was, and still is, the anger I had/have about cancer. I wrote this post last summer about an epiphany I had, at which point I began to improve a great deal. I continue to improve thanks to the therapeutic aspects of writing it all out on this blog.

That said, I am certainly not suggesting my method of getting better is one that anyone else should try. In fact, I’d say the opposite. However, the past year of dipping my toe into the realm of social media tells me that I am not alone with many of my…

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A New Life of Accommodation

The Sarcastic Boob’s return to blogging – sharing the challenges of trying to balance all the “balls” of life when travelling through treatment and recovery. A must read!

The Sarcastic Boob

It has been a few months beyond a year that I started blogging. And to tell you the truth, it’s been a little difficult for me to get back into the swing after my latest hiatus. Blogging has been the portal through which I unburden myself of corrosive and heavy thoughts. However, right now it’s all I can do to try to empty my head.

When we are beset with a crisis of any kind we long to return to normal when it is over. All I ever thought about when I was home this summer was the day I would return to the office–if just to have the chance to bitch about the things that everyone else bitches about. A chance to be with people, nudge the mind, and be like everyone else. But in reality the return is not so easy because after going through this it is…

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“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.” George Bernard Shaw