How I Am Thriving After Breast Cancer

30 Aug

A post by Barbara Jacoby

I suppose that for me the most important thing that I discovered as a two-time breast cancer “surthriver” was that I did not want to be defined by this disease.  I didn’t want people who learned of my cancer to look at me with pity or to feel sorry for me.  Heck, I didn’t feel sorry for myself so why should anyone else?  Personally, I didn’t even want to think about it.  I just wanted to go on with life and the fewer people that knew about the cancer, the better.  I was a very private person and my business was my business so I was not interested in reaching out to anyone for help or guidance.  After all, they didn’t know me so they couldn’t possibly know how I felt or what was best for me.

I continued to work my regular job and enjoyed each day more than I could ever have imagined.  I was so grateful for life and being fortunate enough to have had incredible people around me who not only saved my life with surgery and treatments but who supported me through every step of recovery.   But most importantly, my husband suggested that I write a blog and he would create a website for it.  He knew that I loved to write and he wanted to give me an outlet to put into words what I was feeling and thinking.  I finally agreed to do so just as something to do in my spare time but what has evolved is beyond anything that I could have imagined.

I don’t remember exactly when I decided to cross the line into the cancer zone but I will never forget the response that I received after doing so.  I started to receive responses from people all over the world who were cancer survivors, who were caregivers and who were family and friends of others who were going through all types of cancer.  They were so thankful and grateful for my opening up and sharing things from my perspective.  Some were inspired and felt that they had been given their own freedom to discuss their disease.  Some were questioning me with regard to what they should do and say around those who had cancer.  And then there were those who were the little ones who just wanted to write to someone about the fact that their parent or grandparent had cancer and they were so scared about it.

This gave me a whole new life and a way to help to realize one of my life goals, that of being able to help others.  The cancer has changed my life forever but in so many positive ways that I could never begin to express.  Therefore, I guess I can honestly say that I am grateful for having had cancer as my life is so much better for the experience.


Barbara was born and raised in Williamsport, PA (Home of Little League Baseball).  She moved to California in the 80′s where she met my husband of 15 years.  In July of 2007 she found a lump under her breast that turned out to be breast cancer and had a lumpectomy.  Just four months later, cancer was discovered again resulting in her choosing to have a double mastectomy.  She has lost many members of her family to cancer.  Her father died of lung and brain cancer and in 2008 after a lengthy battle, her baby brother died of renal cancer also known as kidney cancer.  She is also a survivor of domestic violence. She wants to  share stories of her life to let others know that when facing life challenging situations, they are not alone.  Another important fact is that she loves martinis, ice cream (chocolate of course), and peanut butter.  Please don’t tell anybody, but sometimes that is her dinner.
The inspiration for this website comes from the inspirational music CD that my husband Kirk and I created together called Let Life Happen.

Barbara Jacoby
(818) 308-LIFE (5433)


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