A breast cancer survivor with the BRCA 1 gene, Cara underwent surgery, intensive chemo, and an elective hysterectomy. She shares her OTB Story on how she stayed motivated and strong during the toughest battle of her life. Read more >
Born and raised in the South Bronx, NYC, I grew up in a community plagued with crime and poverty. Tragedies in my life sparked a desire to make a difference in my community. I live by the words “You are a fighter and you will make it.” It’s important for children in my community to have role models and I hope that I will be able to inspire and influence them just like other doctors inspired me. Read more >
Recently, we had a discussion with several cancer survivors and allies about how they feel about the words “battle” and “warrior.” Both words are commonly used in referring to people with cancer, however, they are actually quite controversial. We know that the language we use to speak about people with cancer, like everything else, is so important, not just because it’s part of our mission to inspire women with cancer, but also because it’s important for everyone to understand the implication their words can have. If you’ve been curious as to how cancer survivors and allies feel about these words, here’s what some of the folks we chatted with had to say. Wendy shared that the terms make her feel incredibly uncomfortable. “Warrior and battle are tied to victory. I don’t feel victorious about my experience. I endured and managed, barely.” Many of the women actually felt the words didn’t quite apply to their experience. Ellen mentioned that while she was a bit annoyed by the word “journey” she understands it better now. “Life is a journey; your cancer journey is an obstacle in the journey of life.” She, along with a few other women, including Lori, just felt that [...]
You’ll find no shortage of research that shows how impactful friendship is on a person’s life. Whether it’s a positive outlook, a more hopeful attitude on life, or even a longer lifespan, friendships are important, and can even have a greater influence on psychological well-being than family relationships. There’s even evidence that friendships can have a positive effect on a person’s physical health. So, when a woman gets a cancer diagnosis, it might seem obvious that her female friendships could deeply affect her. But unfortunately, that can be a challenge for many women, due to the difficulties that some people experience around such news. Some friends say the wrong thing. Others don’t say anything at all. And so, at a time when women need their friends the month, they can often experience a deafening silence. There are a few things you can do to help mitigate the awkwardness that can arise between friends when a cancer diagnosis is involved. Move beyond your own discomfort. It’s not about you! Remember that this is about your friend, not about you. So, step out of your comfort zone. Saying something is better than saying nothing. Cancer is just awkward, so don’t be ashamed [...]
At One Tough Bitch, it’s important for us to amplify women’s stories. That’s why we launched our Real Women, Real Stories podcast. In particular this week, we want to share the stories of these 5 amazing black women. Meet Dr. Scharmaine Lawson, who saved lives during Hurricane Katrina and started her own children’s book series. Life coach and author Dee Burrell is a breast cancer survivor with a positive message. Even though Raven Magwood is only in her early 20’s, she’s already a published author and a non-profit founder. When Tamika Felder was diagnosed with cervical cancer, she not only became a fighter, but she started a community to support all women fighting cervical cancer. And you can’t help but be inspired by the work Latanya Johnson is doing in her community of Englewood to support children in need.
As many of us continue to quarantine during this COVID-19 pandemic, we’re feeling the weight of the stress and anxiety on our shoulders. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that you’ve got a healthy self-care regimen in place. Here are 5 self-care ideas that could help alleviate some of your stress, and boost your morale. Morning meditation. Just five minutes of mindfulness can go a long way, at least according to mediation expert Anne Sussman. Meditation can help you find focus and peace as you start your day. Scheduled quiet time. Take a break from homeschooling or work, and schedule 10-15 minutes of “me” time into your day. You can sit and watch a show, read a book, or write in a journal. Virtual lunch with a friend. Set up a lunch date with a friend on a daily or weekly basis. Grab your food, then call them over Zoom or FaceTime. It’s amazing what a little connection can do for your spirit. At-home spa night. Give yourself a facial, or mini manicure. Or just sit in the tub with some candles. If you can’t go to the spa for some relaxation, bring it home to yourself. Take an [...]