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The Silver Pen

The Angelina Jolie Pitt Factor

Hollye Harrington Jacobs | Posted 05.24.2015 | Healthy Living
Hollye Harrington Jacobs

Best of all, Jolie Pitt acknowledges how difficult it is to make decisions such as these. Heaven knows that I know this, both personally as a patient and professionally as a nurse.

Playing Reverse Dodge Ball After a Cancer Diagnosis

Hollye Harrington Jacobs | Posted 07.20.2013 | Healthy Living
Hollye Harrington Jacobs

We have two choices about how we handle painful life experiences: from a place of fear or optimism. When I was sick I chose (and it was a very active, decisive choice) optimism in the form of Silver Linings.

Who Cares For The Caregiver?

Hollye Harrington Jacobs | Posted 04.04.2013 | Healthy Living
Hollye Harrington Jacobs

As a nurse-turned-patient, I can say with 150 percent confidence that being a caregiver involves some of the hardest work in the world. In fact, I can't overstate how difficult being a caregiver is. It is painstakingly difficult, physically, emotionally, socially, psychologically and, it must be said, financially.

Coping With the Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Hollye Harrington Jacobs | Posted 03.06.2013 | Healthy Living
Hollye Harrington Jacobs

After my fourth round of chemotherapy, I went into what I now refer to as "The Funk Zone." What helped me the most was my ability to put on my nurse's cap (being a nurse was definitely a Silver Lining during my treatment) and assign myself some healthy coping mechanisms.

Cancer Is Not a Gift

Hollye Harrington Jacobs | Posted 02.20.2013 | Healthy Living
Hollye Harrington Jacobs

The Silver Linings that I have experienced (and continue to experience!) during my cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery help me get through each and every day. I have a tremendous amount of gratitude for the Silver Linings, but you'll never, ever, not in a million years hear me refer to cancer as a gift.

Activities to Do With Children When a Parent Has Cancer

Hollye Harrington Jacobs | Posted 02.06.2013 | Parents
Hollye Harrington Jacobs

When I was diagnosed with cancer, my first thought wasn't about me. Rather (as is the case with most parents), I wondered how on earth I could be a good mom to my daughter who, at the time, was almost 5.

What Having Breast Cancer Has Taught Me

Hollye Harrington Jacobs | Posted 12.26.2012 | Healthy Living
Hollye Harrington Jacobs

When I was diagnosed with cancer two years ago this month, I never asked "Why?" Instead, I wondered, "What am I supposed to learn from this experience?" As it turns out, one of the Silver Linings of my experience with breast cancer was learning some valuable life lessons.

Finding Silver Linings During Breast Cancer

Hollye Harrington Jacobs | Posted 12.23.2012 | Healthy Living
Hollye Harrington Jacobs

Pain and sadness are important and valuable feelings that need to be processed during and after any rotten experience. The beauty of Silver Linings is that they don't take away the rain. Rather, they provide an umbrella.

What To Say (Or Not To Say) To Someone With Breast Cancer

Hollye Harrington Jacobs | Posted 12.11.2012 | Healthy Living
Hollye Harrington Jacobs

My intention with these suggestions is to acknowledge how breast cancer patients feel when (well-intended) things are said and to offer positive Silver Lined ways to interact with people who are coping with the dreaded disease.

How To Talk With Children About A Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Hollye Harrington Jacobs | Posted 12.02.2012 | Healthy Living
Hollye Harrington Jacobs

Including children (of all ages!) in the disease process and treatments, though emotionally burdensome and painful, will ultimately be the greatest gift parents can give their children.

Top 10 Movies To Watch During Chemo

Hollye Harrington Jacobs | Posted 11.20.2012 | Healthy Living
Hollye Harrington Jacobs

The two to three hours spent in chemo are absolutely no fun. There was a Silver Lining though, when I reminded myself that I could watch feel-good, no-brainer movies either on my laptop or iPad.

The Clutter That Comes With Chemo

Hollye Harrington Jacobs | Posted 09.18.2012 | Healthy Living
Hollye Harrington Jacobs

Chemo Clutter has many different descriptors: chemo brain, chemo confusion, mind fog. All are terms that describe impairments in cognition resulting (at least in part) from chemo.

Waiting for a Cancer Diagnosis

Hollye Harrington Jacobs | Posted 09.11.2012 | Healthy Living
Hollye Harrington Jacobs

Waiting for a diagnosis is extraordinarily difficult because it brings up an array of feelings that are hard to hold: anxiety, fear, sadness, frustration, impatience, and powerlessness, to name a few.

Oncology + Palliative Care = Winning Team

Hollye Harrington Jacobs | Posted 08.27.2012 | Healthy Living
Hollye Harrington Jacobs

One big misnomer in our culture is that doctors (solely) develop a patient's plan of care. No. No. No. This could not be farther from the truth! Patients have a real responsibility to be fully engaged in the development (and revision) of a plan of care.

Decision Making in Breast Cancer

Hollye Harrington Jacobs | Posted 08.14.2012 | Healthy Living
Hollye Harrington Jacobs

As a nurse and social worker, I have a unique perspective on decision making because I approach it "from the other side of the bed." I put my professional hat on and ponder: How would I handle this situation if I were counseling a patient?

Breast Cancer's Trip to Isolation Island

Hollye Harrington Jacobs | Posted 05.07.2012 | Healthy Living
Hollye Harrington Jacobs

The scope and intensity of these feelings of isolation and subsequent emotional pain fluctuate from day to day. More often than not, though, they carry me closer to invaluable inner resources. These are resources that I never knew I had.

Hospice: A Child's Goodbye

Hollye Harrington Jacobs | Posted 02.29.2012 | Parents
Hollye Harrington Jacobs

Saying goodbye to a dying relative or friend -- what to talk about, when and how -- doesn't (usually) come naturally. Especially when children are involved.

Dreaming of Sleep During Chemotherapy Treatment

Hollye Harrington Jacobs | Posted 01.31.2012 | Healthy Living
Hollye Harrington Jacobs

Last week, my oncologist told me that if he could get rid of one of my side effects, it would be the insomnia. He told me that this cumulative fatigue is exacerbating all of my other symptoms. How many sheep can a girl count?

Helping Teens When a Parent Has Cancer

Hollye Harrington Jacobs | Posted 01.15.2012 | Parents
Hollye Harrington Jacobs

The teenage years are a roller coaster of ups and downs under normal circumstances. A cancer diagnosis all but throws the roller coaster off its track. The silver lining is that there are people to help.

How To Support A Friend With Cancer

Hollye Harrington Jacobs | Posted 01.06.2012 | Healthy Living
Hollye Harrington Jacobs

As I was mentally preparing for chemotherapy infusion #4 (out of 6) for breast cancer, a dear friend emailed a very timely question: How does one Keep Calm And Carry On when a dear friend is diagnosed with breast cancer?