The social network for women facing breast cancer.

Written by NancyW

A couple of years ago, the New York Times published an article about how hard it is to make friends as an adult. Especially, after getting married, having kids, and basically hitting the majority of ‘adult’ milestones.

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A few years ago, I was over 40, and fit the stereotype of someone happy with all of my relationships cultivated over the years. Who needs to make new friends when you have strong social ties already? After all, I had my strong network friends and family, life was great! Then suddenly, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Just like that, I felt immediately alone. Even within my close knit community of friends and family, I didn’t feel connected in the same way. I loved everyone, and I know everyone loved and wanted to care for me, but I still felt isolated with cancer.

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Like thousands of women before me, I Googled the breast cancer treatment paths I was about to embark on with my team of providers. Eventually, I found MyBCTeam, a social network for women like me. I met some of the most amazing and strong women on the site. But one woman and I especially hit it off. Her name is Kristen McCormick.  We were both diagnosed around the same time, surgeries around the same time, married our high school sweethearts, both have an older son and younger daughter around the same age. Kristen lives in New York and I live in Chicago. We became instant friends — the best of friends. We were on each other’s teams on MyBCTeam. We became friends on Facebook, we called each other and texted each other. The only thing missing: we NEVER met in person. For three years, throughout our breast cancer treatments, and recovery, we talked about the possibility of meeting up, but our health issues, money and just life in general stalled our best intentions to meet face to face, until recently.

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When I learned Kristen was doing the Making Strides’ breast cancer walk in Staten Island,  I told my husband I would love to surprise her in person, and do the walk with her. So with the help of my husband and Kristen’s family, we made it happen. My husband and I flew to NYC. We headed straight to Kristen’s home and surprised her that evening.  I can’t explain the giddiness. The sheer excitement I felt to meet the person who has helped me and who I have helped through some of life’s crazy ups and downs was overwhelming and thrilling at once.

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For some, adult milestones involve getting married, buying a home, having children, etc. For me and Kristen, our paths crossed on MyBCTeam where we faced and shared breast cancer treatment milestones. We found ourselves connecting with and supporting someone who understood better than even our closest friends and family. The treatment and survivor milestones (it’s been three years since we were diagnosed!) we faced together has been indescribable. I don’t want to suggest that my friends and family didn’t play a role in helping me. Of course, they did. It was a very scary time for me and my family and with their help and the help of my other amazing friends we made it through. I have always tried to stress to my kids as bad as they think the situation was we needed to stay focused on all of the positives. While I wish my breast cancer never happened, the major positive was befriending an incredible person I would never had met if I had not been diagnosed. Thank you, Kristen. You can’t put a price on good friends that you meet and keep in life. And the friends you meet and keep through a health crisis are particularly valuable throughout a lifetime.

Friends and family usually mean well. It’s fair to say they always mean well when they hear that you have breast cancer. But sometimes, how they respond comes across…a little awkward. Share if you’ve been there.

MyBCTeam is the social network for women facing breast cancer. Sometimes strangers who have been in your shoes feel closer than friends and family.

The following is a personal story written by Kristy, an ambassador of MyBCTeam, the social network for women facing breast cancer. Below she shares how when planning to begin a family, her breast cancer journey began. If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, go to MyBCTeam. and connect with other women who ‘get it’. Thousands of women from all over the country are here to share not only their stories, but their daily lives: the good days and bad days of living with breast cancer. Read more at www.MyBCTeam.com

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When I was younger, I used to fear death. “What happens to us?” “What if I never see you again?” I used to ask my parents questions all of the time. One night when I was having trouble sleeping my Dad said to me, “Kristy, we are all going to die. It’s a fact of life, but if you spend the rest of your life worrying about when it’s going to happen then what kind of life have you lived?” read more…

The following is a personal story from Nancy, an ambassador of MyBCTeam, the social network for women facing breast cancer. Below she shares her story through an inspirational and emotional poem she wrote. If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, go to www.MyBCTeam.com and connect with other women who ‘get it.’ Thousands of women from all over the country are here to share not only their stories, but their daily lives: the good days and bad days of living with breast cancer. 

nancy pinto

Nancy and her husband on a recent trip to Puerto Rico.

He held his breath

She blurted: I should have this lump checked out
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The below post is from the Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation. Amy Niles, Director of Patient Advocacy and Professional Relations, shares with MyBCTeam the resources and services that PAN can offer to those who are underinsured. If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, go to MyBCTeam and connect with other women who “get it”.  Thousands of women from all over the country are here to share not only their stories, but their daily lives: the good days and bad days of living with breast cancer.

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For thousands of breast cancer patients, including many members of the MyBCTeam Nurse Assisting Patient Undergoing Mammogramcommunity, one of the first questions regarding treatment and quality of life is, “How will I pay for this?” Patients who have been just getting by or even those who consider themselves fully financially stable often find themselves unable to afford the out-of-pocket costs associated with their prescribed medications. For many, the Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation may be able to help.
read more…

The following is a personal story written by Kristy, an ambassador of MyBCTeam, the social network for women facing breast cancer. Below she shares how when planning to begin a family, her breast cancer journey began. If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, go to MyBCTeam and connect with other women who ‘get it’.  Thousands of women from all over the country are here to share not only their stories, but their daily lives: the good days and bad days of living with breast cancer.

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When I was asked to do this blog, I wasn’t quite sure where to begin. I guess that I’ll begin where any good story begins…the beginning.kristy_photo

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Well, maybe not the very beginning, 19 years of me growing up is a pretty average story. The beginning of this story starts in October of 1998. I was 19-years-old. At the time, I was trying to set a friend up with a co-worker and wasn’t even thinking about love for myself.
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The following is a personal story written by Amy, an ambassador of MyBCTeam, the social network for women facing breast cancer. Below she shares how focusing on her diet and the foods she eats gave her back control over her life. If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, go to MyBCTeam and connect with other women who ‘get it.’ Thousands of women from all over the country are here to share not only their stories, but their daily lives: the good days and bad days of living with breast cancer. 

 

Being diagnosed with cancer is a life altering experience. I felt so out of control that I desperately needed to find something thatAmy I could control. My diet was one of the few things I could think of that may have a serious impact on my survival and something I had some control over. I made a decision to rethink what to put in my body. From what I’ve read, cancer thrives in a low oxygen, acidic environment which occurs in a body that does not distribute oxygen well (lack of exercise) and one that consumes a lot of processed, fried, nutrient deficient with excess sugar, fat and salt. Eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish will create a more alkaline environment and starve the cancer cells from proliferation. So here are some useful tips on eating healthy and why I try hard so to do so.
read more…

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