With love, humor and compassion, Debbie Galant talks about what it's like to live with breast cancer. What she learned along the way amount to solutions for what can be a desperate, lonely experience.
From the first shock of her first diagnosis to sometimes wrenching, sometimes funny conversations with her doctors and family, Debbie gives us valuable lessons about how to survive and recover, physically and emotionally.
"You are pitched into this world of fear... this incredible world of fear," she tells us. "You're making a lot of decisions in that period, but you're really in a primal place."
Her journey includes how to "de-code" her oncologist, and learn from a nurse-navigator to dealing with her own emotional roller-coaster ride. She also talks about a vital ingredient: humor.
"Going into a doctor's appointment with a sense of humor, as opposed to a sense of dread, really helped."
Debbie, her husband Warren Levinson, and son Noah tell their story in the podcast, "Chemo Files" - is a deeply personal account of her months of dealing with cancer. She is Associate Director of New Media Initiatives and runs NJ News Commons at Montclair State University, New Jersey.
If you would like more information about understanding breast cancer and learning more about communities that can help, these websites may be helpful:
- A.B.C.D (after breast cancer diagnosis) ( 800-977-4121 ): Free one-to-one mentoring for every step of your journey. Speak with a breast cancer survivor. Get accurate, reliable information & support
- Articles on breast cancer: Myths and Treatment