Facing a double mastectomy with grace takes courage. Facing one with courage and joy is extraordinary.
But that’s exactly what Deborah Cohan did yesterday right before she went into surgery to have her breasts removed. Cohan, an Ob/Gyn and mom of two, held a dance party with her medical team in the operating room of Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco.
This inspiring 6-minute-long video, posted on YouTube, shows Cohan busting some serious moves as she wiggles and twerks to Beyonce’s hit “Get Me Bodied.” Cohan requested that friends and family make videos of themselves dancing to Bey too so that she could watch them during her recovery. “I have visions of a healing video montage,” she wrote. “Nothing brings me greater joy than catalyzing others to dance, move, be in their bodies. Are you with me people?”
They were. You can check out videos of Deborah’s fans shaking their booties in solidarity on her CaringBridge page.
Deborah, we wish you a speedy recovery. And can we go clubbing with you when you’re all better?
Also on HuffPost:
Relationships Can Help Boost Cancer Survival ...
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/23/married-cancer-survival-marriage-death_n_3977278.html" target="_blank">A just-published study</a> published in the <em>Journal of Clinical Oncology</em> suggests that marriage may help improve cancer survival rates. According to the findings, men and women who were married were about 20 percent less likely to die of cancer during the three-year study period, regardless of how advanced the disease was (although it's worth noting that the benefits appeared to be stronger for men). The "why" isn't clear, and the study does not establish cause and effect, but researchers hypothesize that having someone who cares for you and who helps you understand your diagnosis might be behind the connection. And it's not the first study to show a link; <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/13/breast-cancer-study-strong-social-ties-improve-survival_n_2122697.html" target="_blank">a paper published in November 2012 </a>found that socially isolated women were more likely to die of breast cancer than their counterparts with close social ties.
... And They Can Help You Cope With Cancer.
Last spring, the same researchers who looked at how social ties may influence breast cancer survival published a study that found that breast cancer patients who regularly have positive social interactions -- and who have strong support overall -- are better able to deal with the associated emotional stress and pain <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/11/friends-breast-cancer-pain-social-ties-quality-of-life_n_3238447.html" target="_blank">of cancer</a>. "Social support helps with physical symptoms," study researcher Candyce Kroenke, an investigator with Kaiser Permanent's Division of Research said <a href="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-05/kp-faf050613.php" target="_blank">in a statement</a>.
Being Social Can Combat Cognitive Decline ...
<a href="http://healthland.time.com/2011/05/02/friends-with-benefits-being-highly-social-cuts-dementia-risk-by-70/" target="_blank">As <em>Time</em> reports</a>, a 2011 study that followed a group of more than 1,000 older adults, (whose average age was roughly 80) found that the most social seniors had a 70 percent reduction in their rates of cognitive decline over several years, versus their least social counterparts.<a href="http://healthland.time.com/2011/05/02/friends-with-benefits-being-highly-social-cuts-dementia-risk-by-70/" target="_blank"> According to <em>Time,</em> </a>the same team of researchers previously found that sociability also decreased the likelihood of becoming physically disabled.
... And Strong Social Ties Can Boost Longevity.
A 2010 review of roughly 150 studies measuring the frequency of human interaction and health outcomes, found that having strong social connections can improve a person's odds of survival by 50 percent. Conversely, so-called "low social interaction" was found to be more harmful than not exercising, twice as harmful as obesity, and the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day <a href="http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/07/29/relationships-are-important-for-longevity/16177.html" target="_blank">Psych Central reported</a>. Why? “When someone is connected to a group and feels responsibility for other people, that sense of purpose and meaning translates to taking better care of themselves and taking fewer risks,” one of the study authors told that publication.
Friends Can Help You Lose Weight.
When it comes to relationships and weight, the overall picture is a bit complicated: Some studies suggest that <a href="http://www.today.com/id/44226744/ns/health/44451566#.Ujx3W2R36mt" target="_blank">women are likely to gain weight after getting married</a>. But as <em><a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/friendships-influence-weight-loss-gain-study-article-1.1117650" target="_blank">The Daily News</a></em> reports, a 2012 study found that friendships can influence weight in more positive ways. High school students were more likely to lose weight, or gain it at a slower rate, if they had a slimmer group of friends. However, that same study also found the opposite to be true: students with friends heavier than they were were more likely to gain weight. What we take away from this is that surrounding yourself with people who have healthy lifestyle habits can help you emulate them. Worry less about how small or large your waistline is, and more about using your social connections to motivate yourself to exercise and eat well.
Motherhood Can Make You Act Healthier.
<a href="http://www.babycenter.com/0_how-being-a-mom-can-make-you-healthier_1438536.bc?page=2" target="_blank">A BabyCenter poll</a> of more than 20,000 moms found that once women entered into motherhood, 83 percent said they ate more healthfully, or were trying to improve their diets, while 65 percent said they were exercising more (or planned to) and 69 percent said they were keeping a closer eye on their mental health. That last one is extremely important, as motherhood can also have negative effects on women's mental health, namely, through postpartum depression. According to the <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/depression/" target="_blank">Centers for Disease Control and Prevention</a>, between 8 and 19 percent of women report experiencing frequent postpartum depression symptoms.
Marriage Can Help Your Heart (In More Ways Than One).
<a href="http://www.livescience.com/22557-marriage-heart-health.html" target="_blank">As LiveScience reports,</a> a preliminary study presented last August found a link between marriage and reduced cardiovascular risk factors, like high blood pressure, among women specifically. And the longer the marriage, the bigger the benefits appeared to be: Every 10 years of continuous marriage was tied to a 13 percent decrease in cardiovascular risk, <a href="http://www.livescience.com/22557-marriage-heart-health.html" target="_blank">LiveScience explains</a>.