Keeping Loved Ones in the Loop

TON January 2016 Vol 9 No 1 - The Patient's Voice
Meg Barbor, MPH

Dealing with a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming not just for the person diagnosed, but for his or her family and friends as well. Attempting to keep loved ones updated while going through treatment and keeping up with the rigors of daily life can be incredibly exhausting for patients. But according to Jamie Holloway, PhD, a breast cancer researcher turned stay-at-home mom turned breast cancer survivor, sharing her story through the use of an online platform has been useful and cathartic.

Dr Holloway decided to start a blog after her diagnosis of triple-negative breast cancer at the age of 35, and she initially used it to update her family and friends on her progress. "There are so many wonderful people in my life who just wanted to know how I was doing," she said. "And it gets a little tiresome to have to repeat the same story over and over, especially when it's an emotionally fatiguing story to tell."

However, after she finished treatment, Dr Holloway's blog began to evolve into an encouraging resource tool for others faced with a cancer diagnosis. She said she has always been impressed with the voice that breast cancer patient advocates have, and she felt there was a huge need for them to have strong science behind that voice. "It's been very heartening for me-to think that my story could be hopeful or helpful for anyone else," she said.

"The sheer volume of interaction that I've been able to have with other people as a result of my blog has blown my mind," she added. "And it has certainly opened the door for me to not only share my story, but to share a little bit about the bigger picture of breast cancer and the importance of research in making a difference in the lives of patients."

Visit Jamie Holloway's blog at www.runlipstickchemo.com, and read "How to Share Your Story," her contribution to the American Association for Cancer Research "How-to" series.

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Last modified: February 16, 2016