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Naked Jane Bares All: A Tale of Triumph, Travails & Ta-Tas
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message 1: by Christie (new)

Christie Nadratowski In her book, Naked Jane Bares All, author Jane Schwartzberg reflects on her journey navigating through the ups and downs of having breast cancer, twice. Unashamed and unapologetic, she shows readers that it is ok to be both vulnerable and to fight OUT LOUD to “maintain her place in the world.”

Feel free to respond to one, some, or all of the discussion questions listed below. In your post, label each response with the question number to which you are responding. Engage in the discussion - take the time to connect with your peers. Take the opportunity to pose your own questions or comments, especially if there are other topics related to the book that you would like to discuss.

1. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an opportunity to be outspoken about breast cancer and how it affects us individually and as a community. Sharing our stories and experiences is a positive way to raise awareness and create a sense of community with others who may be experiencing a similar hardship or situation. Have you or someone close to you experienced a life altering event or illness? And if so, in what way did it impact you?

2. Ms. Schwartzberg found positive ways to cope with her illness by accepting her limitations and allowing herself grieve her diagnosis at her own pace. How do you and those around you cope with hardship? What do you think is helpful and what isn’t?

3. In the chapter, Mecca and the 52-minute lunch, Jane discusses her goal of meeting Larry David. Meeting Larry David gave Jane something positive to focus on during her recovery; it helped Jane envision her life beyond her cancer diagnosis. What are some goals that you have set for yourself as an incentive to get through a difficult time?

4. Throughout the book Jane alludes to the fact that we are often unaware of the burdens of others. Those that are dealing with life altering events often put on a brave face and pretend that nothing is wrong. Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve had to put on a brave face and the people around you were unaware of what you were going through?


message 2: by Khali (last edited Oct 20, 2017 09:56AM) (new) - added it

Khali Raymond | 15 comments Wow. It seems as if I have time to answer all of these questions. So, I will run all of them down.

1. I have known plenty of people who have suffered from terminal illnesses. I happen to have a sick mom, and sometimes she can have complications with her condition. She's also a breast cancer survivor. As I was reading the book, Ms. Schwartzberg's experience correlated to my mom's own experience with breast cancer, but she beat it early. Not too long ago, my beloved aunt passed away from cirrhosis of the liver. It has been real tough on my family and myself included. She passed on a few weeks ago. The death was unexpected. Nobody foresaw it until that moment that it actually happened. To see Ms. Schwartzberg's testimony living with cancer was a reminder that more people need to come forward and share their war stories with the public.

2. The ways that Ms. Schwartzberg found ways to cope with her illness was very inspirational. She kept giving herself positive affirmations and rewarding herself every time she got through a certain treatment. She kept making positive affirmations to herself. The way my people and I deal with hardship is by coming together, uniting. We try our best to remember the good times we had and use that to keep pushing through. It's a closely knit circle. Despite many differences you could have between someone else--love is common in everyone! Love is all we got!

3. Seeing Ms. Schwartzberg meet Larry David reminded me of the time that I met Mayor Ras Baraka. Well, we've known him in the community because he was the South Ward Councilman but that was my first time coming up to him as MAYOR Ras Baraka. It was September 2015 when I met him. He came to the high school I was attending at the time to speak to us. After it was all said and done, that's when I pulled him over to the side and revealed to him everything that I do with my art and it all became water under the bridge from there on. When I'm in a bind, I always remember that things will turn around. I constantly remind myself that everything is going to be great. I maintain my composure and with the distress that going through these tough times bring, I use it as motivation to push myself to higher goals and exceed expectations/limitations placed onto me.

4. I have to say that I have been in a constant bout with the situation of falling apart from the inside and nobody would know. I remember I had this feeling the strongest when I was making my transition from middle school to high school. I didn't know of the challenges that were going to be ahead. Everything I would hear about high school seemed so scary to me. During eighth grade year, I had a withdrawal of negative emotions, it was a constant internal battle. I was battling with a lot, but I put most of that in my work for my audience to see.

My ultimatum for this book, I have to say...it was very inspirational. It was very funny and intriguing, too. Witnessing Ms. Schwartzberg go through all of this and still have the courage to live her life, to me, that's living proof you can do and become anything, despite the outside factors. Naked Jane is a true prophecy.


message 3: by Michelle (new) - added it

Michelle | 2 comments 1&4. So my aunt's name was Debbie. Her daughter (my cousin) Erica is like my best friend. Debbie had breast cancer and sadly didn't make it. It was hard for me because I was so close to Debbie. I saw her as like a second mother to me. We went on vacations, had sleep overs, prayed together and I even told her my little secrets. There home was my second home. We always did things as a family. For me, it was so hard losing her so I can't imagine how Erica felt losing her mom and being the only child. She must've felt so alone but although I was hurting too, I put my feelings aside to be there for her. Always held her when she needed to be held, gave her a shoulder to cry on, tried to make her laugh any way I possibly could. It's so hard losing someone so close. And even though it was hard for Erica, she made sure I was alright too.

I enjoyed this reading. It made me wonder if this is how Debbie felt the whole time she had cancer.


Shayquana (shayquanaa) | 37 comments Mod
Hello everyone,
So this book brought a lot of emotions all wrapped up in one but I think she definitely “maintain her place in the world.”
1. I have in fact experience a life altering event- many. Yet, overcoming it made me believe in God even more. Knowing that things happen for a reason; and, even though we were or are given this time on earth, it could be taken away very quickly. And, regardless, if you think you are the healthiest person on earth or least healthy person on earth, an illness or life altering event can happen to anyone.
2. Even though Ms. Schwartzberg found her own ways to cope, no one coping method is perfect or created for one person (and it’s not helpful). People must have the willingness and strength to find or create a method that works perfectly (and I mean perfectly!) for them. My method of coping with hardship is facing it, excreting, communicating, being understandable, accepting the facts, along with other things; but, it depends on the hardship. Life is not perfect all the time but things do come and go, and you may need a different method for each.
3. How amazing was that for her to meet Larry David. Though, some goals that I have set for myself is to see the bright-sides to life because there are other people who are going through worst things than I am. Their demons are worst and their battles are harder.
4. I am glad that Jane push the fact that others do not see the burdens of others. Some may wear makeup or cover-ups, while others wear brave faces and pretend as thou nothing is wrong. I am always in situations every day and I know others are too. We have created such a completive world for each other where one must be materialistically better than the other. It’s as though no one cares about the heart anymore; kindness, compassion, generosity, teamwork, and more words have seemed to have gone out of business; while there may be a few, like myself, fighting to bring it back in business. All I could say is that, I hope to live long enough to see it there.


message 5: by Katherine (last edited Oct 25, 2017 02:06PM) (new)

Katherine Wu (katherinewu) | 26 comments Khali wrote: "Wow. It seems as if I have time to answer all of these questions. So, I will run all of them down.

1. I have known plenty of people who have suffered from terminal illnesses. I happen to have a si..."


Hi Khali,
I'm sorry to hear about your Aunt's sudden passing. While death is never easy, when a loved one dies after having suffered with an illness silently, the remaining loved ones can feel a lot of guilt and sadness that they were not able to show their love and support while the other was alive. It can also be so much harder for those who are still leaving to cope with this sudden and unexpected loss.

From what you write, that you feel that you are "falling apart from the inside and nobody would know", it makes me think that you keep a lot of your thoughts and concerns to yourself. If this is the case, consider that your friends and loved ones may not feel burdened if you were to share some of your concerns with them. You may discover some insights and learn some truths while at it. Your positivity and strength of hope are inspiring. Would you mind sharing more about your art and how it inspires you and helps you deal with what's going on in your life?

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us!

Best wishes,
Katherine Wu
Personal Counselor, Berkeley College Online
knw@berkeleycollege.edu


message 6: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Wu (katherinewu) | 26 comments Michelle wrote: "1&4. So my aunt's name was Debbie. Her daughter (my cousin) Erica is like my best friend. Debbie had breast cancer and sadly didn't make it. It was hard for me because I was so close to Debbie. I s..."

Hi Michelle,
I'm so sorry to learn of your loss. Your aunt sounded like she created a wonderful place for you and your cousin to share many happy time together and I'm sorry to learn of your loss. It sounds like you and your cousin have really supported each other, and perhaps still do. I don't know how long ago your aunt passed away or if you have spoken about your aunt's passing with your cousin much, but perhaps, when there is a right time, you could share with your cousin that you read this book and what the reactions you had. I make this suggestion in case you and your cousin (or the rest of your family) do not speak much about your aunt's passing. This could be something to discuss especially on the hard days--like birthdays and anniversaries.

Thanks again for your post.
Best wishes,
Katherine Wu
Personal Counselor, Berkeley College Online
knw@berkeleycollege.edu


message 7: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Wu (katherinewu) | 26 comments Shayquana wrote: "Hello everyone,
So this book brought a lot of emotions all wrapped up in one but I think she definitely “maintain her place in the world.”
1. I have in fact experience a life altering event- many...."


Hi Shayquana,
You seem to have gained wisdom from your set of experiences that allows you to remain resilient and forward-facing no matter the circumstance. It sounds like you are able to remain grateful no matter the good or bad fortune that comes your way, knowing that things can change in either direction at any time. This allows you to bounce back no matter what. It also sounds like you accept reality without adding any additional meaning to the facts of the situation. Sometimes when bad things happen to people, people may make it about themselves or get caught up in their bad luck or bad fortune. It doesn't sound like you get stuck in these traps. Sometimes the cookie crumbles in a way that benefits us, and sometimes it doesn't. What would you say to those who seem never to have a break go their way?

Thanks so much for your participation!
Best wishes,
Katherine Wu
Personal Counselor, Berkeley College Online
knw@berkeleycollege.edu


message 8: by Adrianna (new) - added it

Adrianna Young | 2 comments 1.When someone asks me this question I remember my cousin who was diagnosed with muscle dystrophy at the age of only ten years old. She at the time was the same age as me and we were the best of friends but one day as she was running to get ice cream from an ice cream truck and she just collapsed. I could remember her crying telling me how recently she would drop something out of nowhere or fall and that she had a doctor’s appointment the next day because her parents were worried about her. I told her that she was just worrying about nothing but that was not the case. They found that she had a rare case of muscle dystrophy and the survival rate wasn’t high. When I heard that I wanted to scream and cry my eyes out because I possibly was going to lose my best friend but through the whole process of her going to the hospital her losing the ability to walk and at the end even talk she did not cry even once and that always stuck with me even till her last breath she will smile. Every time I remember this I remember to smile no matter how it bad I am feeling.

2.How others around me cope with hardship is by eating food that are not exactly good for you, going to church and by everyone coming around as a family and talking are hardships out. Going to church for me is helpful because it gives me piece and talking to my family also because it shows you are not alone and you have people that care and are willing to help you though these hardships that arise in everyone’s life. Know eating junk food does not really help. I mean it taste good now but at the end it just hurts you more.

3.Some of the goals I set that help me through a difficult time is reading a certain book or getting an A on a paper or working hard to get a promotion.

4.My family is what you call middle class a few years ago my dad lost his job and the money flow coming into the house was slim and thanksgiving was approaching my parents were worried that they would not have enough money to get food to give us on thanksgiving and they told me and my brother and it made me feel embarrassed so every time anyone asked me what I was going to have for thanksgiving I gave them a big lie of all the food I was going to have.


message 9: by Rosa (new)

Rosa Andrade | 77 comments Christie wrote: "In her book, Naked Jane Bares All, author Jane Schwartzberg reflects on her journey navigating through the ups and downs of having breast cancer, twice. Unashamed and unapologetic, she shows reader..."

Hello everyone,
I want to start off by thanking everyone who put this together for us. Great selection – very inspiring book to read and so much to learn from our fighter Jane. I hate Cancer. I hate everything about it – even hearing the word is enough to get me crying. However, I have learned that everything has a silver lining – even if it is a very small, tiny silver lining. If there is anything I have learned from those who I know that have dealt with the disease is that it helps you find a power within you to fight that you may not even realize you have until you are forced to look deep within you. That silver lining is something enough to turn everything around when faced with a life altering situation.

1. Honestly, where do I start? I think just about everyone in my family has something life altering they are dealing with. I have alopecia. For those who may not know, it is an autoimmune disease triggered by stressful reactions within the body. My white blood cells look to my hair follicles as if they are parasites trying to get it and attack them. It started when I was 12 and I still have it – there is no cure and the treatments have awful side effects. I decided a long time ago that bald is beautiful.

2. A couple of keys words: “Accepting” and “Own Pace”. The hardest part of anything is accepting what is going on. It does not happen from one day to the next and it will take time to comprehend the classic question: Why Me? However, it is the biggest bridge you will cross in any life-altering event. Once you understand what is happening, you can take the needed steps to address the situation.
After I got my alopecia diagnosis at 12, I was able to come up with a plan with the help of very close friends. Acceptance --- Knowledge --- Action. Once you accept that this happened, you can research what is it, what can be done and other options. Lastly, you put your plan into action.

3. I didn’t really set any goals for myself but what I did was give myself time. I paced myself in my image transitions. I had really long hair down my back when it started to fall. I think cut it to shoulder length to see if it will strengthen itself. I then cut it really short and purchased my first wig. That was uncomfortable so I started using scarfs. After scarfs I moved to hats and then from hats I have transitioned to nothing. I will still use my any of my wigs depending on the event but mostly I try to go without anything on my head because it allows the skin to breathe. I am ashamed to say that it took about 15 years to gather the strength to actually work with my wigs or a hat but I finally did it. That is why I am big advocate of “Pace Yourself”. Do not do something because someone tells you do but rather do it because it feels right with you.

4. Every day!!! My fiancé says that is my signature. I can put on this brave face in the face of almost anything and then cry to my pillow or in the privacy of our space. I am very attentive of what others are feeling and what they need and often put myself last. Most recent example of this actually snuck up on me. My uncle passed end of June. I didn’t cry the day he passed, I didn’t cry at the wake, or the mass or the burial because my family was falling apart and needed someone to keep everything together. I am not cold because I did get the choking knots in the throat but I was able to hold it in. We have had a mass every month since he passed. Everyone is crying except me. It wasn’t until a random day last week that I just lost it and finally let it all out.

-Rosa


message 10: by Sanela (new)

Sanela | 10 comments Question 4. Yes I have been somewhere and no one knew what I was going through at that time. It was as if I was in another world but my body was there as a doll.

It's hard to manage something that nobody knows what is going on. I've gotten use to managing my feelings around people where I try to not show I am going through something.

I always tell my family and friends, it's good to be considerate of others, you just never know what they are going through.

Best,
Sanela


message 11: by Celina (new)

Celina Huaman | 4 comments Question 1: Yes recently my aunt was diagnosed with stage 4 of pancreatic cancer. She is someone that is very close with me. I consider her my second mother. The day they told us that she had cancer and stage 4 I cried. Not in front of her because I did not want her to feel like she was worth any less because she is not. I cried because at first when you hear cancer you automatically think death. I thought something bad was going to happen to her. Just because she had cancer does not make her and less than anyone else. It actually makes her a better person because she is a fighter she is someone that has to continue to fight and do what she thinks is best. I was worried because she has 3 young daughter 1 is 18 and the other 2 are 17 one of the 17 years old is Special needed. Seeing her lose so much weight and getting depressed because she felt at that time that she was not worth the same or that everyone was embarrassed of her hit me and hard. At that time I was a senior in high school and as much as I wanted to help her it started getting more and more difficult. I had a lot more assignments due for school and I was working 30-35 hours a week. I could not miss school because I would start to fall behind. If i missed 4 days than I would automatically fail.
One day I was sitting down in ShopRite's lunchroom and started to think, I was thinking of what I should do. I can stay in this job and not have time for my aunt or I can leave this job help my aunt out more and then when she is ready and feels strong I can find another job or come back. That day after break I went and spoke with my manager as I was telling him what was going on I broke down. I had all that pain stored inside of me. He broke down too once he felt the pain I was feeling. He told me no one your age should be put in a situation where they have to choose their family or their job. He said by you choosing your family you show me you are an amazing person. It shows me that you do not leave your family behind that you care for them that you would do anything for them. I told him yes because I know they would do it for me in a heartbeat. If I was the one in the situation I know my aunt would have done the same. There are many times that in life we are put with situation to show people what kind of person we are. He told me whenever you like you can come back if you desire because this is not something that you are doing because you feel like doing but because you have the responsibility too. Currently right now I am working a seasonal job at Target but I do plan on going back to Shoprite after.
I am proud to say my aunt is still facing cancer but it has helped her grow as a person. She is not depressed anymore and sees life as a blessing. She is doing a lot better and the tumor has reduced to less than 1/2 the size that it was when she bega.


message 12: by Alain (new) - added it

Alain Scott (poshalain) | 13 comments I admit, it has been such a personal struggle for me to get through this book and I still haven't been able to. Reading Jane's story made me realize how much I still am dealing with my own hurt and disappointment over losing an aunt to the same struggle.

September 20th marked four years since I lost an aunt to the disease, remembering her as I read every page only made it more difficult for me. My aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer and proceeded to have both her breast removed (like Jane). she was doing well for a while but it returned in such an aggressive manner and had spread to her bones. we lost her on Friday September 20th 2013... she fought to the end.

of course the void created by losing her hasn't nd can't be replaced, we just have learnt to live with th void created, taking lessons from her remarkable journey of selflessness.

Jane's address to the Church was my initial feeling point in reading the book, I as I identified so many similarities in her story and my aunt's experience.

Like Jane, my aunt had found, rather continued to serve in many ways the communities in which she operated; NGO, her church and community outreach through education and empowerment. she would strap her hand and still show up (on time) for her soup kitchen outreach to the less fortunate, faithfully she reported to her prayer group meetings and remained a constant source of strength and encouragement. Even after she had gotten too weak and the inevitable was about to happen, she bounced back, for a day or two,long enough to make her calls to everyone and spoke wisdom to them, two days later she gently and quietly slipped from time to eternity:-(

I definitely related to Jane's account, sometimes it is just theway presence of someone that's needed to help you cope, words aren't always necessary.

I have also found that unwavering support and love are critical in dealing with the journey with cancer or any difficulty me in my case the time after loosing someone who's impacted your life in a remarkable way.

I'm not done, but I how to continue, for the sake and memory of my dear aunt, at least


message 13: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Wu (katherinewu) | 26 comments Adrianna wrote: "1.When someone asks me this question I remember my cousin who was diagnosed with muscle dystrophy at the age of only ten years old. She at the time was the same age as me and we were the best of fr..."

Hello Adrianna,

Thank you for telling us about your cousin and for your lovely post. How difficult that must have been for her and for you and the rest of your family to watch the disease affect her body and spirit. What do you think helped her to keep smiling in spite of it all? If you had only little, every day things in life to take joy from, what do you think they would be for you?

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us.
Best wishes,
Katherine Wu
Personal Counselor, Berkeley College Online
knw@berkeleycollege.edu


message 14: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Wu (katherinewu) | 26 comments Rosa wrote: "Christie wrote: "In her book, Naked Jane Bares All, author Jane Schwartzberg reflects on her journey navigating through the ups and downs of having breast cancer, twice. Unashamed and unapologetic,..."

Hi Rosa,

I was moved by reading the steps you took during your image transition and by you giving yourself the lovely gift of time. What patience you have and inner strength! True "acceptance" can take a whole lifetime or never be achieved by some. so perhaps 15 years to truly comfortable with your own self and accepting of your own condition may not be such a long time.

Thank you again for sharing your story with us.

Best wishes,
Katherine Wu
Personal Counselor, Berkeley College Online
knw@berkeleycollege.edu


message 15: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Wu (katherinewu) | 26 comments Sanela wrote: "Question 4. Yes I have been somewhere and no one knew what I was going through at that time. It was as if I was in another world but my body was there as a doll.

It's hard to manage something tha..."


Hi Sanela,

I am so sorry to hear of this experience you had. People can have this out-of-body experience as a way to deal with something horrible that is happening. These events are often traumatizing and so many people go through life suffering in silence. I hope you have someone whom you can trust and turn to deal with difficult times. If not, please know that I am here to offer you my support or to connect you to resources that can.

Best wishes,
Katherine Wu
Personal Counselor, Berkeley College Online
knw@berkeleycollege.edu


message 16: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Wu (katherinewu) | 26 comments Celina wrote: "Question 1: Yes recently my aunt was diagnosed with stage 4 of pancreatic cancer. She is someone that is very close with me. I consider her my second mother. The day they told us that she had cance..."

Hello Celina,
The love and loyalty you have for your aunt shines throughout your story. Being there for you aunt was very important to you to show your love. It could also help you cope by giving you an active role in caring for her. I hope she continues to be well!
Thanks so much for your participation!
Katherine Wu
Personal Counselor, Berkeley College Online
knw@berkeleycollege.edu


message 17: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Wu (katherinewu) | 26 comments Alain wrote: "I admit, it has been such a personal struggle for me to get through this book and I still haven't been able to. Reading Jane's story made me realize how much I still am dealing with my own hurt and..."

Dear Alain,

I am so sorry to learn of your loss. I can't begin to imagine how difficult it must be to read another person's accounting of a struggle that reminds you so vividly of your own loss and of the "void" you write about so eloquently. If reading this book helps you mourn and process your own loss, then all by means continue to read. If it is too much, then I hope you do not force yourself to do this, thinking it's the only way you can commemorate your aunt. Perhaps you could write down some of the feelings and thoughts that are weighing on your spirit and your body. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

Katherine Wu
Personal Counselor, Berkeley College Online
knw@berkeleycollege.edu


Aleah (aleah_perez) | 5 comments Question #1: In February of this year, my aunt was diagnosed with stage 3 triple negative breast cancer. Being that no one in my family has or had cancer, this unexpected event take a toll on the family especially my aunt. After many doctor appointments, tests and a lot of chemotherapy, my aunt is now recovering from her double mastectomy to prepare her body for her hysterectomy. This has impacted my life more than I thought it would. Watching someone you love being beaten down by an illness is painful especially when you feel like there is nothing you can do to help. I took a lot of time and made many sacrifices to take her to appointments and accompany her in her long days of chemotherapy. Although I can talk about how this impacted me negatively, I rather focus on the positive. Seeing my aunt fight and be so strong, it has taught me that life is way too short and not guaranteed so you must be appreciative of all the blessings you have surrounding you and life you life to the fullness.
Question #2: Coping with a hardship is difficult for, in my opinion, everyone. Every situation is different and so the grieving process and the coping process varies. When going through a hardship, I usually go about my life adjusting to whatever it may be. This helps by allowing yourself to fight through the grief or sadness but it can also be a downfall. If you just go about your life, you may push yourself to avoid the grief and cause many mental issues within yourself.
Question #3: A goal I have made for myself when going through a difficult time is to stay and deal with the issue rather than run from it. I want to learn how to properly cope and adjust when times are difficult rather than acting un-bothered and avoiding the situation.
Question #4: This question touched home a little for me but it is also an important one. A time I had to put on a brave face during a difficult time was last year in April of 2016 when I lost my daughter. She was only a couple days old but had heart issues due to being premature. Grieving a child is not something that you can come to terms with easily or quickly. All the days that I am thinking about her more than usual and am feeling sad, I put on a brave face for those that may not understand or to avoid the questions that will asked about my experience. Sometimes it is just plain easier to just act fine then explain why you are feeling the way you are feeling.

Naked Jane Bares All was an amazing book, one that I will definitely read again. Jane Schwartzberg did an impeccable job at describing her journey and made me feel like I was right there beside her.


message 19: by Katherine (new) - added it

Katherine Pineda | 2 comments 1) my dad & grandma both had cancer at the same time. We didn’t Know how far along it was until they had the surgery . It was a scary to go through because we had no idea what was going to happen. At the time i was in high school & the only thing i was thinking of he isn’t going to be here to watch me graduate. But i would keep a strong face & not show him i was scared or see me cry because if i felt this way he probably felt worse & i didn’t want him to worry more then he should of

2) I honestly find the support of your family is very important when your going through hardship & it’s better to cut all the negativity out of your life because the more you let it in the more you’ll let it bring you down.

4) i had to put a brave face when my dad had cancer for my little sister because at the time she was really & didn’t really understand what was going on & she was very close to our dad because she’s the baby & she’s daddy’s little girl ( not saying she still isn’t she’s just much older now & isnt as close to him as before). I didn’t want her to be sad or think bad. I wanted her to be positive that everything was going to be okay.

P.s both my grandma & father had colon cancer at the same time we didn’t know until she had gone into surgery what she was going for. The doctor told my father & uncle that it could be genetic so they both went to get checked because they don’t do the colonoscopy until your in your 50s. My dads doctor didn’t want to do because he said he was at 50 yet but my dad told him about my grandmother & what her doctor said. His doctor listened & thank god he did because they found it early he didn’t need chemo & my grandmother didn’t either. They are both alive now & they have to get checked yearly.


message 20: by Carlos (new)

Carlos | 3 comments 1. My mother was diagnosed with tendonitis in both her hands last year and It was a very tough to experience that with her. According to Medical News Today, Tendinitis usually happens when overuse or injury puts strain on the tendons. My mom was born and raised in Dominican Republic, as a child she was taught to always clean and through most of her adult life she has been a home health aide for both young kids and the elderly. She has worked a lot with her hands, cooking and cleaning and that has had a huge effect on the tendons in her hands. My mother has always been very proud. She likes to do things herself and seeing her struggle after her surgery was very hard to see. It was like seeing my wonder woman in need, I always looked as my mom as the strongest woman I’ve known. She wasn’t able to button her pants or do simple things with her hands and she just turned 50 this year. The experience has helped me appreciate her more and I visit her more often to make sure she is doing okay.

2. Ms. Schwartzberg was so strong for enduring her experiences the way that she did. She had such a kick-ass attitude about overcoming her obstacles and I really admire that. In my family, we kind of cope with hardships on our own. No one really admits that they are facing a hardship. I’ve learned that it’s not healthy to bottle up those emotions and I always look to close friends and my faith to help me weather life’s ever-changing seasons. I know that I am a strong individual but even the strongest person has their breaking point and we all need someone to lean on sometimes.

3. I try my best to stay positive when things seem to go wrong. I believe that there is always some good right around the corner. Reading this question made me realize that I don’t set up enough goals as an incentive to get through a difficult time. I will think about that a little further.

4. I’ve done through important life events that have come my way. I didn’t do it purposely, but because I had no clue how to handle my own emotions. It’s difficult trying to explain to someone else your emotions and what you are experiencing when you’re not really sure what you feel. Certain events take you on a rollercoaster ride and instead of letting it break me down and me be pessimistic every day, I choose to try to make the most out of the situation. I will admit that when I feel some type of way it shows in my face and I’m really bad at hiding my emotions. So most times when somethings up with me, my closest friends and family will know.


message 21: by Yvonne (new)

Yvonne Sylvestre (lessonstobelearned) | 3 comments You are amazing Ms. Jane you have this strength and built this power. I honor your ability to never give up I've tried to not give up for eight years on something that was mentally breaking me down emotionally making me feel like I shouldn't be existing but I kept giving up on myself I began to agree with everything that was being said to me. I curl up and died inside I was no one became a no one. My family kept crying my mother kept begging for me to get out of what was deteriorating my life, then my kids came and told me something that whip wind out of me. I woke up and said I'm a survivor I have to fix myself for my kids. Sometimes some people cant survive what attacks them because they don't try to they just give up. But you Ms. Jane Is what I call the Survival Queen you are an Admiration. I Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story.


Shayquana (shayquanaa) | 37 comments Mod
Katherine wrote: "Michelle wrote: "1&4. So my aunt's name was Debbie. Her daughter (my cousin) Erica is like my best friend. Debbie had breast cancer and sadly didn't make it. It was hard for me because I was so clo..."

Hi Katherine,

It’s good to hear that coming from you. Sometimes I wonder if I have in fact gained wisdom knowing that the closes people to me have past. Yet, my experience does in fact allow me to remain strong regardless of the circumstances. I am indeed grateful no matter what and I think we all can agree that life is not perfect so we should take the good with the bad.

And, reality cannot be changed in an instant, things can happen in life with a blink of an eye. People shouldn’t get caught up in their bad luck or bad fortune, life is just too short. I do indeed get stuck in traps but I quickly find ways to cope with it (some coping skills naturally flow more than others) and I guess I cope better than most people normally would; so maybe it’s just practice.

But you’re right the cookie crumbles in a way that benefits us, and sometimes it doesn't. But I say to those people it doesn’t, prepare for the worst even in your enjoyment because life is not eternal on earth, meaning, don’t just except the happiness without wanted to believe that sadness is yet to come- Deal With It.

People can also become so sad that death as an option for all humans the moment we were born, but we are living to die. So, it’s up to us to embrace this one life that we all know, we have to live, and hold on real tight; cherish it, respect it, and love it. It’s simply not forever, but we should enjoy it as long as it is to last; and, every second of it because things can in fact happen within a blink of an eye.


message 23: by Blizelle (new)

Blizelle (blizelle-t) | 5 comments Hello everyone,

I wanted to address question number two. It amazes me how Ms. Schwartzberg have this strong sense of fighting spirit even if she's in the phase of troubled times and pain. I truly admire her positive outlook on life and her strength to carry on. Whenever I face tough times, the way I deal it is through praying, thinking positive thoughts and accepting the fact that "it is what it is" and that I have no ability to runaway or hide from it. In addition, when people around me are experiencing hardships, I tend to encourage them to keep going and be strong on this journey.


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