Mindful Monday

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Weekly Round Up

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Time for this week’s round-up of the best of the blog posts which I’ve read over the past week. These are the posts that have moved me, taught me something, inspired me, and which… Continue reading

A Note On Perfectionism

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This one goes out to all of my blogging friends who haven’t blogged in a while, particularly those who wait for inspiration (and perfection) to strike. I know what this is like –… Continue reading

When Mother’s Day Hurts

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  Today is Mother’s Day in Ireland, the fourth year without my mother. Each year I write a blog post on how hard this day is for me. This year I hesitated to write… Continue reading

We Are All Patients. Yes And No.

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Originally posted on Future Patient – musings on patient-led healthcare:
We Are All Patients. Yes and No A response to Dr Mike Smith, Co-Chair, Patients Association I asked the Patients Association on Twitter…

Body image, Self-Compassion and Psychological Adjustment Survey

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Breasts have been a symbol of femininity and sexuality since civilization began, so it is not surprising that having breast cancer is not just an attack on your body but also your body… Continue reading

In Memorium: Lisa Bonchek Adams

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  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… Continue reading

Planning Your Digital Legacy

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There’s a growing awareness of our digital legacy – the online footprint we leave behind after we die. I still get birthday notifications for a Facebook friend who passed away four years ago.… Continue reading

Medicine X: Ignite Talk

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One of my most nerve-racking, but nevertheless thrilling moments was taking to the stage at Stanford Medicine X last September to deliver my Ignite talk.  In it, I spoke about my favorite theme… Continue reading

Motivation Monday

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Wrapping Up Infertility Week

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  It’s time to wrap up this special week of guest posts with deep gratitude to Justine, Laurel, Sharon, Stacey, Catherine and Chloe for generously taking part.  In each of their heartfelt stories,… Continue reading

Justine’s Story: Changing the Definition of Acceptance

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I am a survivor of infertility. I am a thriver of infertility, anxiety and depression. My recovery means making the daily choices to manage the lifelong losses of infertility and the consequences of… Continue reading

Laurel’s Story

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They say that having cancer changes you. Not just in the obvious visible ways—but fundamentally, as a person and on the deepest of levels. Since my initial breast cancer diagnosis in 2010 I’ve… Continue reading

Adopting After Cancer: A Love Story

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I was first diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer at age 29, way back in 1988. The protocol at that time was to tell women to wait 5 years before getting pregnant or,… Continue reading

Chloë’s Story: Fertility and the Single Girl

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I’ll be honest from the outset. I’m single, with no children, and I’m 40 in June, and I accept that this current absence of love for another person affects the way I view… Continue reading

Catherine’s Story: The Children of my Daydreams

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  Years ago, and I mean nearly ten years ago, my husband – then boyfriend – and I would lay in bed on a Saturday morning and not get out till about noon.… Continue reading

A Constant Reminder: Stacey’s Story

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When was the first day of your last period? That’s the question the nurse asked me at my annual gynecological exam on Friday. Here’s what I said: I don’t get my period anymore.… Continue reading

Infertility Support Week

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Today I want to take an opportunity to let you know what you can expect on the JBBC blog for this coming week.  This is a subject very close to my heart. Of all the… Continue reading

Weekly Round Up: The World Cancer Day Edition

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Time for this week’s round-up of the best of the blog posts which I’ve read over the past week. These are the posts that have moved me, taught me something, inspired me, and which… Continue reading

Study finds disparities in women’s knowledge about their own breast cancer

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Here’s an interesting new study from Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute which has found a surprising lack of knowledge among breast cancer patients about the basic characteristics of their disease— how advanced… Continue reading

World Cancer Day 2015

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Today is World Cancer Day, an opportunity to raise awareness that there is much that can be done at an individual, community and governmental level, to harness the solutions that exist across the… Continue reading

Reflections On My Sixth Blogoversary

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This day six years ago I started Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer with the aim of coming to a greater understanding of the impact of a cancer diagnosis as we journey beyond the treatment phase.  I… Continue reading

Not Blogging? What’s Stopping You?

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I’ve previously mentioned Rebecca Hogue’s initiative to teach an online course on blogging the cancer journey. Last week Rebecca asked the question: what is stopping you from blogging?  My first obvious thought was nothing is… Continue reading

Writing For The Future: Recording Conversations At The End Of Life

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  It is my great pleasure to introduce you to today’s guest writer Rachel Smith. Rachel is the family service co-ordinator for Cancer  Focus Northern Ireland.  Before reading Rachel’s guest post on the impact on… Continue reading

Blogging My Way Through Breast Cancer… And Beyond

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I’m excited to be taking part in Rebecca Hogue’s initiative to teach an online course on blogging the cancer journey. The course begins in March and currently Rebecca is putting together the course material.… Continue reading

Take The First Step

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Is Dying Of Cancer Really The Best Way To Die?

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An article written by Richard Smith which appeared yesterday in the BMJ blog has sparked some controversy.  The provocative title of the blog:  Dying of cancer is the best death was enough to raise dissent among… Continue reading

A Rough Guide To Spotting Bad Science

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I know I’ve written about this before on the blog, but today I came across two infographics which are worth sharing on how to spot medical quackery.  Ben Goldacre, author of Bad Science, classifies… Continue reading

What Advice Would You Give To A Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer Patient?

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  I’ve just been reading 10 Tips From a 26-Year Breast Cancer Survivor in the Huffington Post. In the article Lisa Marie Wilson shares advice from her grandmother, who, aged 57, was diagnosed with breast… Continue reading

Draw Me

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I am so thrilled with these drawings done by Monica Lalanda, an emergency physician in Spain, and as you can see a very talented illustrator. Monica came to the DotMED conference last week at which I was… Continue reading

Where health and creativity intersect

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Originally posted on Jacquie Garton-Smith:
Being a doctor and a writer, it’s probably no surprise that I am interested in how two of my passions overlap. There are clear links between creativity and…

Rx Narrative: Story As Medicine #dotmed14

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Last Friday I had the great pleasure of presenting at DotMED The Creative Medicine Conference, on the role of story in medicine.  I spoke about how healthcare is at heart a narrative activity and… Continue reading

Factors Affecting The Quality of Life in Cancer Survivors

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Cancer survivors face unique short-term and long-term challenges to physical and mental health, family functioning, and maintenance of a healthy lifestyle [1, 2].  Long-term and late effects of cancer treatment may arise during… Continue reading

Every seriously ill person needs to develop a style for their illness

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In preparation for an upcoming presentation on the value of stories in medicine, I’ve been doing lots of reading. I came across this quote from writer, Anatole Broyard, literary critic and editor for The… Continue reading

Sex and Intimacy After Breast Cancer: Susan’s Story

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Originally posted on Living Beyond Breast Cancer's Blog:
There are many ways a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment can impact your sexual life. In anticipation of our new publication, Breast Cancer inFocus:…

A Nice Surprise

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  I broke off my mammoth weekly task of curating the weekly round-up to find my name on this list of influential epatients and patient advocates. You’ll recognize some familiar faces, stalwarts of the… Continue reading

Fighting Battles And The Language Of Cancer

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Media portrayals of cancer as “a battle to be fought”, and its focus on ‘brave fighters’ beating the odds, can lead to feelings of guilt and failure in people with a terminal diagnosis,… Continue reading

Writing to Heal

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“Simply speaking the truth heals” ~ Dr Rachel Naomi Remen For nearly 20 years, Dr. James W. Pennebaker has been giving people an assignment: write down your deepest feelings about an emotional upheaval… Continue reading

Knit your way to health

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Knitting has had a make–over. It’s no longer associated with old ladies; it’s become a trendy thing to own up to, with countless blogs, websites and YouTube videos devoted to the art of… Continue reading

Now I Become Myself

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Now I Become Myself Now I become myself. It’s taken Time, many years and places; I have been dissolved and shaken, Worn other people’s faces, Run madly, as if Time were there, Terribly old, crying a warning,… Continue reading

I Will Not Die An Unlived Life

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I will not die an unlived life.  I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow… Continue reading

Post-Treatment Questions to Ask Your Oncologist  

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Today’s guest article is provided by Healthline. Healthline’s mission is to make the people of the world healthier through the power of information. When you’re diagnosed with cancer, all you can think about is… Continue reading

Parenting With Cancer? Then Read This.

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I’ve known Sarah Mendoza via her blog and our Twitter chats for a number of years. She was a guest author on the blog three years ago, when she wrote about her experience… Continue reading

New Hope for Fertility Preservation In Breast Cancer Patients

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Good news for young women with a diagnosis of breast cancer. Adding a hormone-suppressing drug to chemotherapy helps avert premature menopause in hormone-insensitive breast cancer patients, according to a recent clinical trial that some… Continue reading

The Cancer Olympics

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Survivor. When I was in treatment, I used to look at that word with longing.  I thought, if I was ever so lucky to be a survivor, I would consider that phase so… Continue reading

Remembering Ismena

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Ismena, we will miss your beautiful spirit from our lives, but part of your spirit lives on in each of us who were privileged to know you.

Head Up; Heart Strong #MedX

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  As I waited nervously back-stage to deliver my Ignite speech at the Stanford Medicine X conference last week, I watched the speaker before me on the monitor. His name was Matthew Dudley,… Continue reading

Weekly Round Up

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Time for this week’s round-up of the best of the blog posts which I’ve read over the past week. These are the posts that have moved me, taught me something, inspired me, and which… Continue reading

Greetings On St Patrick’s Day

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  Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Motivation Monday

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Weekly Round Up: The Finding Beauty Edition

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Time for this week’s round-up of the best of the blog posts which I’ve read over the past week. These are the posts that have moved me, taught me something, inspired me, and which… Continue reading