Reporting Sandra Mitchell
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Hollye Jacobs found hope after receiving devastating news.
Diagnosed with breast cancer, Jacobs started writing as she looked for a silver lining. To that end, in March, her blog will be turned into a book called, of course, “The Silver Lining,”
“This is the book that I really wish that I had when I was going through cancer. It is a lifeline,” she explained.
At the age of 39 – the Southern California mother, wife, and nurse – was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Stabbing pains in the middle of the night to her right breast prompted a trip to her gynecologist.
“And he said, ‘You have four lesions to your right breast and three in your left and I want to do a biopsy this afternoon for what I highly suspect to be breast cancer,’” she recalled.
“I was healthy, happy, vegan-eating. I ran marathons and I had absolutely no family history,” she said.
As a hospice nurse and social worker, Jacobs had a professional background in helping others work through devastating news like this.
“I put on my nurse’s hat and I reminded myself that patients typically forget everything they hear after hearing the words, ‘You may have cancer,’” she said.
So she pulled out her journal and started writing down what the doctor had to say.
Soon after, Jacobs sent out an email to family and friends explaining her diagnosis.
“The feedback in response to that was absolutely incredible and overwhelming because what I realized was I couldn’t respond to all of these loving, well intentioned emails,” she said.
She thought writing a blog would be the best way to communicate her experience and help others and so, “The Silver Pen” was born and the writing never stopped.
“I didn’t hold back. I write in a pretty unedited way,” she said.
And she says she always looked for the silver lining.
“There was one day, in particular, when I said, ‘Ok, Ms. Silver Lining, where’s the Silver Lining now because you’re lying on your bathroom floor and you can’t get to your bed right over there,’” she explained. “And Buz [my dog] came in and he literally curled up into a little ball right next to me. ‘Ok, there’s a Silver Lining.’”
From a double mastectomy to reconstruction, she documented it all, including radiation and chemotherapy.
Jacobs says silver linings don’t miraculously get you out of bed but they do offer balance and perspective on difficult days.
“It’s not in a Pollyannaish sort-of way … it’s not that at all,” she said.
Some days, Jacobs says she blogs about fashion, parenting, travel and her favorite books and recipes.
“Because the truth of the matter is I didn’t want to write about cancer or read about it every day,” she said.
For more information on “The Silver Pen,” click here.