By Your Side:Being a Caregiver for Someone with Breast Cancer


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

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

Those interested in contributing an essay, photo story, or video for inclusion in the special issue sent a brief summary (< 250 words) to by the deadline of July 31, 2015.


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