How many times have we heard the old adage: “In every cloud, there is a silver lining”? It’s hardly the thing to say when someone has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. But after Hollye Jacobs received this news at age thirty-nine, she decided to use her knowledge of the “practical” matters associated with the disease to help others. She partnered with her friend, photographer Elizabeth Messina, to create an online journal blog called The Silver Pen. The blog became a hugely popular daily go-to for source for many women, and was transformed into a book entitled The Silver Lining which was published by Simon and Schuster in April of last year.
As a palliative care nurse with graduate degrees in social work, bioethics, and child development, Ms. Jacobs was no stranger to disease or patient care. When asked why she took on the project, she used the same phrase I often use when asked why I started BFFL Co.: Because we found ourselves “on the “other side of the bed”, playing the role of patient rather than medical care provider. Her book provides guidance to the reader on both the physical and emotional aspects of the journey, coping with the diagnosis, talking with children and other family members, undergoing treatment, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, managing recovery and life as a breast cancer survivor. It is part memoir, part therapeutic guidebook, combining extensive professional knowledge with firsthand personal experience. It allows the reader to get a balanced perspective through an honest, inspirational account of both the struggles and victories the author has faced. Beautifully presented with exquisite photography, The Silver Lining is both a wonderful support as well as a source of great comfort to anyone facing the daunting journey that is breast cancer.