On “Supernanny”: A Mom Dies of Breast Cancer

The TV show Supernanny is my secret addiction. I love seeing Supernanny Jo Frost sweep in and fix dysfunctional families in an hour. But last week’s show about Gary Evans and his three little boys trying to cope after the death of wife and mom Jennifer left me in tears, seeing six-year-old Michael hiding under his bed crying “to me, this is the end of the world.”

Triple Negative Breast Cancer

A breast cancer diagnosis of “triple negative” can leave you—as it did me—feeling helpless and clueless. The received wisdom is that Triple Negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a particularly threatening cancer type for which there is seldom a good outcome. But as usual, received wisdom is not the whole truth.

Meet Eileen

I first met Eileen at the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (MBCN) conference in Baltimore last year. She stood out from the crowd, partly because of her fabulous shoes but also because she was incredibly vivacious. Eileen’s story was compelling to me and I asked her to write about her experience. She told me she had just written something and sent it along. What I discovered were select journal entries from her original diagnosis in 2008. What I love about this is how Eileen expresses her concerns and fears in what she calls “Thought for the day”, and how her personality, determination and actions are expressed in “What I know for sure”. Recently, at NBCC, I ran into Eileen and her daughter who is an emerging leader. Eileen danced the entire night ( I have proof) and had what looked like a hell of a lot of fun doing it. “This” she said, pointing to herself, “is the face of metastatic breast cancer”. -Christine Benjamin

Roberta Hufnagel, Metastatic Support Group Facilitator

I’m a social worker and psychotherapist and I’m now 70 years old. I was just 36 when told I needed a mastectomy and a year of chemo. I learned about SHARE 5 years later and became a group facilitator soon after. In 1986 SHARE began the only metastatic breast cancer support group in NYC, and perhaps the only one in the country. I became the facilitator and have led the group ever since. SHARE now offers three groups, for women living with metastatic breast cancer. Two groups (which I facilitate) meet weekly and the third group meets monthly. Two of the groups meet in SHARE’s NYC office and the other group is conducted via conference call. The phone group enables women to have the advantages of peer support if they are either too far from Manhattan or are unable to come into the office.

Robin’s Story

In 2008 I was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer at the age of 27. This is not something that you expect to hear at this age. After talking with Dr. Makhoul at UAMS and getting a plan I was ready to hit this head on. I knew that I was fighting this disease for my two boys at home that were 6 and 3. I wanted to fight harder so I could be around to watch them grow up.

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