BCC Special Issue - By Your Side: Being A Caregiver

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MuddyBoots“Breast cancer is like an earthquake: it starts in an epicenter, in which the damages are high. Then, inevitably and rapidly, seismic waves hit nearby areas. Cancer not only upsets the lives of those receiving the diagnosis, but also that of parents, daughters and sons, partners, relatives and friends, who suddenly become caregivers. This special issue of the Breast Cancer Consortium Quarterly is about them.”

— Grazia de Michele and Cinzia Greco, Special Issue Editors


This special issue of the Breast Cancer Consortium Quarterly edited by Grazia de Michele and Cinzia Greco shares the experiences of caregivers, those who live and love in the wake of another person’s cancer diagnosis. The difficulty, grief, and suffering that are part of caregiving are, with rare exceptions, absent from dominant cancer narratives. Here, we give them voice.

Once again, we release our special issue on October 13th to honor Metastatic (stage 4) Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Stage 4 breast cancer (breast cancer that has spread to elsewhere in the body, usually the bones, liver, lungs, or brain) is a progressive disease that is currently incurable and for which treatment is lifelong. Anyone can be diagnosed with “mets,” regardless of the stage of an initial diagnosis or the number of years after original treatments ended. It is stage 4 breast cancer that is life-threatening and responsible for the steady number of breast cancer deaths every year. We join with those who work to increase the attention, understanding, research, and resources for metastatic breast cancer.

The heartfelt contributions in this special issue offer all of us a deeper understanding of what it means to take care of those we love when they are facing what may be one of the most difficult times in their lives: the love, the labor, the uplifts, the grief, the truth.

Table of Contents

  • INTRODUCTION by Grazia de Michele and Cinzia Greco, p. 1
  • ROLLING AND STROLLING by Alice Ayers, p. 4
  • DICTIONARIES, CATS, ENCYCLOPEDIAS by Marco Peano, p. 9
  • THE WIFE OF A MAN WITH METASTATIC BREAST CANCER by Linda Holden, p. 12
  • HARD ON THE BODY, HARD ON THE SOUL by Kelly D., p. 14
  • CARING FOR OUR DAUGHTER by Yvonne Jones-Gill, p. 18
  • I WASN’T A CAREGIVER by Anthony M., p. 23
  • DIARY OF A CAREGIVER by Diane Fine, p. 26
  • BIOGRAPHIES, p. 31

“By Your Side” is formatted as a PDF for you to print easily and share. Click here to download the full special issue.

Contact the special issue editors at byyourside@gmail.com.


Breast Cancer Consortium is an independent, international network focused on breast cancer, critical health literacy, and evidence-based medicine.

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“Pink Ribbon Blues”

Paperback includes a new Introduction on fundraising controversies and a color insert with images of, and reactions to, the pinking of breast cancer (2012).


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* GAYLE IN THE MEDIA *

"Seeing clearly through the pink haze" Toronto Sun

*Sad face*: Being happy does not help you live longer" New Scientist

How should we address breast cancer when norms continually change? The Guardian

Your Fun 'No Bra Day' Photos Are Overshadowing Terminal Breast Cancer Patients Broadly

Backlash against “pinkwashing” of breast cancer awareness campaigns BMJ

Breast Cancer to Rise 50 Percent by 2030? Hey, Not So Fast! Health News Review

Breast Cancer: The Flaws in the Cause iafrica.com

How to Make the Biggest Impact With Your Breast Cancer Donations Money

The Very Pink, Very Controversial Business of Breast Cancer Awareness Racked

NFL, Pink Ribbons Not Enough to Win over Women CNN

3 Questions We Need to Answer for Breast Cancer Awareness Month Chronicle of Philanthropy

The problem with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Women's Health Magazine

Pink Ribbon Envy: Living with an Uncool Cancer The Nib

A Year After Bombings, Some Say 'Boston Strong' Has Gone Overboard NPR, All Things Considered

Canadian Mammogram Study KCRW, NPR Affiliate

Time to Debunk the Mammography Myth CNN

Breast Cancer: Awareness, Activism & Pinkwashing NPR Charlotte

Buying Pink Al Jazeera's The Stream Watch »

The Pink Backlash Orlando Sentinel

Why Jolie's Test Costs So Much CNN

Preventative Mastectomies: Disease and Deception BlogTalkRadio

Angelina Jolie and the 'Breast Cancer Gene' KCRW

Our Feel-Good War on Breast Cancer The New York Times Magazine.

The Story Behind the Pink Ribbon Campaign Sisters Talk Radio

WISH Interview Women's International Summit for Health

Making Cancer About The Patient, Not The Body Part CBS Pittsburgh

Sexy breast cancer campaigns anger many patients USA Today

The perils of pink The Daily

Komen pink campaign creates breast-cancer blues for some Dallas Morning News

A yellow flag for the NFL's pink New York Daily

Gayle Sulik named #7 in SharecareNow’s Top 10 Online Influencers in Breast Cancer

Breast cancer cancer causes so easily derailed Philly Inquirer

Komen Charity Under Microscope for Funding, Science Reuters

The Fight Against Cancer - And Abortion? Salon.com

Susan G. Komen For the Cure defunds Planned Parenthood. In Deep with Angie Coiro

Amid Breast Cancer Month, Is there Pink Fatigue? NPR's All Things Considered

How is Breast Cancer Culture Undermining Women's Health? America’s Radio News Network

Pink Ribbon Culture and Breast Cancer The Kojo Nnamdi Show

The Big Business of Breast Cancer
Marie Claire

Does Breast Cancer Awareness Month Crowd Out Other Diseases? Slate

Pink Inc. Has Many Starting to See Red The Sacramento Bee

Get Your Pink Off Ottawa Citizen

Komen Pink Ribbons Raise Green and Questions USA Today

** MORE MEDIA LINKS **
** MORE RADIO INTERVIEWS **