Top Breast Cancer Blogs of 2018

October is known for two things: Halloween and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It makes a lot of sense; both of these events are frightening in their own way. Unfortunately, when you are diagnosed with breast cancer, you can’t just dress up as a ghoul or goblin and demand free candy from strangers who think you look adorable (although honestly, wouldn’t that be great?). The scary part has only just begun. For a newly diagnosed patient, finding good blogs or resources can be life changing. You are not alone!

We have reached out to our three favorite breast cancer bloggers to ask a few questions about their journey in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. These women are powerful with their words, honest in their writing, and speak from the heart.  


Beauty Through The Beast 

Best breast cancer blogs beauty through the beastChiara wears our Pure Silk Square Scarf in this photo!

Why We Love This Blog:

Model, fundraiser, social media personality, former teacher, blogger, and breast cancer warrior Chiara D'Agostina writes about battling breast cancer in style on her blog Beauty Through The Beast (beautythroughthebeast.com). After six additional surgeries following her double mastectomy due to infected implants, Chiara decided to forgo implants in favor of going flat. Now, she fearlessly bears her scars and advocates for body positivity on her blog and Instagram. Chiara has been featured in numerous media publications, including the Wall Street Journal and Oprah Magazine. If you're looking for a blog that provides first hand stories and advice, resources, book recommendations, and fashion inspiration, you must check out Beauty Through The Beast! 

 

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Interview with Chiara D'Agostina:

Q- What was your inspiration behind starting your blog?

A- I felt alone and looked to connect with others going through a similar situation. In treatment, I didn’t go out much, so I relied on the computer and telephone. My friend suggested I create a project where I can express my feelings and what I’m going through, both as a catharsis and in hopes of reaching someone that may feel similarly alone. 

 

Q- How did you react to your initial diagnosis of breast cancer?

A- I was stunned, terrified, and I thought “Why me?” then, “Why not me?” I felt like a black cloak of doom covered me and I lost sight. All of a sudden all the bright-eyed wishes and hopes and ambitions I had felt ripped from my future. I became depressed, terrified, lost and anxious, like a deer in headlights. I developed a small sense of control when I became more active in my treatment.

 

Q- What has helped you most through your treatments?

A- Validation from social work oncologists, mental health professionals and some other thrivers that the ups and downs of going through this devastating diagnosis is normal and needs to be addressed. Also, I find comfort in holding children, playing with children and playing with my cats. Finally, in person and phone support groups at SHARE Cancer Support, Cancer Support Community, Cancer Care along with attending numerous breast cancer conferences and meeting other lovely thrivers that give me hope - has helped me tremendously. 

 

Q- What advice would you give to a recently diagnosed patient?

A- Get 2 notebooks—one for you to write in and the other for the person to take you to appointments so they can also take notes to help you remember and interpret what was said.  For every doctor you go to, ask for a copy of every piece of paper—scan results, discs, etc…you may want a second or third opinion and having your own copies can speed up the process. Bring someone with you to appointments. Unless your loved ones have gone through cancer, they may not understand and you may feel isolated—reach out to those who do understand. There’s plenty of support for you and your caregiver. You don’t have to go through this alone. One step at a time—each person is different and reacts to medications differently. Try not to compare yourself—the information can be so overwhelming and frightening. There are many clinical trials that are showing promising results, hold on to that hope!

 

Q- How did you react to and handle the hair loss associated with your treatments?

A- I was devastated when I lost my hair. It wasn’t the first time I shaved my head, the other times were for rebellion. Each time I felt like something that defined me as a woman, or as pretty, or would grab attention, was being stripped of me. At the age of 42, I didn’t want that. I spent lots of time and money on my hair, and as a tactile person, I love the feeling of hair on my face, neck and shoulders. I felt naked without the hair, alone, isolated. I’m told I have a “good head” for being bald—I tried to channel my inner Sinead O’Connor but I didn’t have her strength nor her determination. I felt defeated. I tried on wigs and felt fake and weird and angry that I felt the need to wear a fake rag on my head to go to Target to buy soap. I took it off and just wore hats. I questioned—am I wearing wigs for me or for others? Neither is wrong, it’s just an individual’s decision based on each circumstance! I eventually bought brightly colored wigs and wore those for fun.

 

Q- How has the experience of having breast cancer changed you?

A-Breast cancer has given me the opportunity to open my throat chakra and speak my truth no matter what. I’ve gained some friends, lost many friend and familial relationships, have received aide from caring strangers and have seen a few close friends die. I do things with purpose, I listen to my self and my body— I’m still very depressed and anxious and alone and scared. I don’t know how to do metastatic breast cancer gracefully, but somehow I continue to put one foot in front of the other. And when I get in my way, I try and think of all of you—we are in this together. Let’s hold hands as we go through this together. 

I stopped working as a high school Italian teacher and now I attend breast cancer conferences to learn and connect and see how I can help spread the word about resources and information. I enjoy reaching out a hand and listening to someone’s story and having a human connection. In the end, it isn’t about  how much stuff you have, or me—it’s about the connections you’ve made and the memories. I love collecting memories :)

 


Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer 

Best breast cancer blogs - Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer

Why We Love This Blog: 

Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer (stupiddumbbreastcancer.com) is Ann Marie Giannino-Otis’ candid, meaningful, and hilarious blog. With a name like "Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer," how could you expect any less? As Ann Marie shares her story, gives first hand advice for dealing with breast cancer, and discusses important women's issues, you'll feel like you're talking to a friend. Diagnosed with breast cancer as a young woman with young children, Ann Marie gives a unique and relatable perspective. In the effort to promote awareness and early detection, Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer has contributed over $750,000 to a variety of breast cancer organizations. 

 

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Interview with Anne Marie Giannino-Otis

Q- What was your inspiration behind starting your blog?

A- I wanted a space that my family could read about my DX and I would not be bombed with calls. I was shocked to see so many relating to my posts. From Ireland to Asia they would message me.

 

Q- How did you feel about you initial diagnosis of breast cancer?

A- I was confused because my reality was altered. I thought cancer was easy because of ads and marketing. I was scared to tell my kids because they would have their innocence taken away and I hated that.

 

Q- What helped you cope during your treatments?

A- A corn bag in the fridge after radiation was the BEST!! It was so soothing.

 

Q- What one piece of advice would you give to a recently diagnosed patient?

A- Do not look back, you are not going that way. Do not look forward, it is too uncertain. Stay in the moment.

 


Nancy’s Point 

Best breast cancer blogs Nancy's Point

Why We Love This Blog:

Nancy Stordahl writes the bold blog, Nancy’s Point (NancysPoint.com). We love Nancy's fearless ability to call out social issues surrounding breast cancer; this is a blog that will make you feel heard and validated, and get you thinking. She shares her breast cancer experience as well as her experience as a caregiver to her mother who died from metastatic breast cancer, giving a touching testimony. She also gives advice, tells others what they can expect, shares helpful resources, and even gives book recommendations. Nancy is the author of three books: Getting Past the Fear: A Guide to Help You Mentally Prepare for Chemotherapy; Cancer Was Not a Gift & It Didn’t Make Me a Better Person; and Facing Your Mastectomy & Making Reconstruction Decisions.

Best Breast Cancer Blogs Nancy's Point

Interview with Nancy Stordahl:

Q- What inspired you to write a breast cancer blog?

A- My mother’s experience inspired me. She was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer in 2004. In 2007, her cancer metastasized. She died in 2008. I decided to share the unvarnished truth about that experience from a daughter’s perspective and had planned on writing a book and blog about it. Then, wham, along came my diagnosis in 2010. I share candidly about all of it on my blog. I refuse to sugarcoat about awareness; most people are aware. Let’s get to what really matters - improving and saving the lives of those living with mbc.

Q- Such a terrifying situation to watch your mother pass away from cancer, let alone being diagnosed with cancer merely two years later. We had to know, how did you feel about your initial diagnosis?

A- No one expects to hear the words, ‘you have cancer’. I didn’t either. So yes, I was shocked. Even though I had learned my mother was brca2+ (after her diagnosis), I never expected to be diagnosed, at least not so soon.

 

Q- What helped you cope during your treatments?

A- My journal and my pen. Besides the support of my family (including my dogs), journaling helped keep me sane. I kid you not, it did. I highly recommend it.

 

Q- How did you react to and handle the hair loss associated with your treatments?

A- I hated it. It was hard, really hard. And it really irked me when I’d hear things like, it’s only hair or it’ll grow back. I write about hair a lot on the blog too! Losing your hair is a big deal, and it’s OK to admit it.

 

Q- What one piece of advice would you give to a recently diagnosed patient?

A- In addition to your family, seek out support from others. This could be via a face-to-face support group, an online support group, blogs or friends. It’s vital to have others to commiserate with, learn from and vent and share with. Sometimes you have to hold back a little with those closest to you. Finding additional support from others with whom you can be completely candid is so incredibly helpful. Besides helping you, this also takes some of the load off your loved ones. And you don’t feel you need ‘to do cancer’ a certain way. Be real. Be you. It’s enough. (Sorry, that’s two things, but I couldn’t leave the latter out!)

 


 

These women are full of amazing advice, and reading their blogs is nothing short of inspirational. The combination of humor, emotion, and power makes these blogs incredible, and it’s no secret why we have chosen them as our favorite blogs about breast cancer.

A huge thank you to these incredible women who utilize their passion to help others through sharing their own personal experience. Hopefully, you too will be able to find some humor, joy, and inspiration through these women and their personal journeys.

 

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