Video Series: To Fight or Not to Fight During Treatment


Hello! Hello!  Gosh is it ever nice to be back. I can’t begin to tell you how much I have missed you all.  This summer and fall has been a period of stupendous change and growth.  I have so much to share with you.

Let’s begin with the unveiling of a new video series….but before I do, please allow me to give you some background….after all, “Why?” seems like a good place to start.

On a daily basis (sometimes hourly!) I think and dream about how I can be of service to people who have to follow me down this path, just as those who came before me made my experience more effective and more bearable.

As you know by now, most of my ideas have come from what was missing during my experience. Well, I remember – like it was yesterday! – being up in the middle of the night (all night!) with ‘roid rage (from steroid use) or anxiety (from having cancer!).  

I wished that I had had someone to talk with me about what I could expect, to rationalize my (seemingly crazed!) feelings and to help me through. I looked for videos online and they were either too depressing or provided incorrect information.  Quelle horreur!

So, earlier this spring, I made the exciting (well exciting to me, anyway) decision to go deeper into the digital world with the creation of a series of videos. During those long, long, long nights I wished that I had had someone to talk with me about what I could expect, to rationalize my (seemingly crazed!) feelings and to help me through.

The truth of the matter is that I couldn’t read a book…heck I couldn’t even read People magazine! This is the reason that I created this video series.  It is focused on health and wellness with the patient voice, first hand experience, and real life stories at its core (the patient being ME!)  

Like my Silver Lining Companion Guide, I want to develop content to positively impact lives by guiding, inspiring and empowering people impacted by FBC (f-bomb breast cancer). 

Sooooooo, without further ado, here is the first in the series, “To Fight or Not To Fight During Treatment.”  I would greatly deeply appreciate your thoughts and feedback. What do you like?  What can be done better? Suggestions for future topics?  Thank you – as always! – for your love and support.

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  1. Marlene Trone says

    Oh my gosh, Hollye…this video is absolutely perfect! It really resonates with me…not only the message but also the delivery. Well done my friend! I look forward to the rest of your videos! Xxx000

  2. says

    Hello Hollye!
    Thank you for creating & sharing this video! You articulate, so beautifully, my shared sentiments regarding this title of “fighter” we carry. Today it is through your message that I find my silver lining.

    Your video instantly reminded me of a post I wrote on on this subject about 10 months into a grueling treatment regime. To be honest:
    I. felt. tired. I was tired of “fighting.” But I couldn’t escape the pressure: “You’re a fighter kiddo” was ringing in my ears and in my veins.

    My name is Alanna & a couple of months ago someone passed along the meaning of my name in Ancient Egyptian script; “Little Fighter.” I find the irony amusing, after all my (F-BC😉) motto has always been Shakespeare’s, “Though she be but little, she is fierce.” I also truly embraced such motivators like “Fight like a Girl” & “Pink Warrior.” In addition I played on repeat the enormously popular “Fight song” (written by an old friend of mine & made famous by Holly Kitchen’s viral video about Metastatic Breast Cancer). “Fight Song has become this inspiring anthem for patients nationwide, and sang along. And I sang along with conviction: “This is my fight song, take back my life song, prove I’m alright song!” Then it occurred to me…Wait… I’m not “alright.”

    Of course I want to beat cancer. And I do intend to and will carry the “Little Fighter” title with great pride. But all this “fighting” talk has made me question what the expectation of being a “fighter” actually means? I find the challenge is that being a “fighter” comes with a great responsibly & often living up to the expectation can be overwhelming. In fact, I have discovered that cancer patients & survivors often don’t feel so strong. And sometimes it is difficult to admit or express how scared, lonely & unworthy we feel or how much long to feel “alright” again. Sometimes the life’s uncertainties weigh too heavy, we lose our way, we stumble. We are not super-heroines, we are human.

    And today, or maybe just in this very moment in time, I don’t feel like fighting.
    Maybe for this minute I feel like being solely, Alanna. And not Alanna the Cancer “fighter.”

    Thanks for letting me vent and for inspiring so many with your all you do.
    As I approach my 1st “cancerversary” this Wednesday I feel so many contradicting emotions. Fear and hope to name a few.
    I will continue to navigate through this journey complete with pink lipstick, contagious laughter and ever-seeking silver linings.

    All my gratitude💛


  3. Hania Geremia says

    What a beautiful succinct and helpful video . I wish I had had this when I had my cancer .We were both going through chemo at the same time, and I was following your blog.Now I give your book to anyone I meet who has breast cancer . I’ll include this beautiful video with the gift.Thank you for being the beautiful face and the voice of help to all those ladies who go through this ordeal.

    • silverpen says

      Thanks so much, dear Hania. I remember that we were going through chemo together. Hoping that you are doing incredibly well!

  4. Blair Peters says

    Hi Hollye. My friend, Frances Schultz, gave me your book and it has been such a terrific guide through my breast cancer experience. It seems as though you and I had very similar treatments, so your book was especially applicable. I just finished my last round of chemo Monday-so happy to be done with that chapter! I agree with you about the phrase “fighting cancer”. The last thing I want to imagine is “fighting” something. I certainly don’t want combative energy in my body, and who has energy to “fight” anyway when they are in the midst of chemo? I find it more useful to give the treatment space and acceptance. It’s better for me to accept with strength than to “fight”. There’s enough going on without having to wage a battle inside!
    I love the idea of your videos. I could only read headlines for several months while on A/C, but wanted information about what to expect and how to deal. Thank you for your work. It’s making a difference. xoBlair

    • silverpen says

      Dearest Blair,
      THANK YOU for your note! I am so grateful to Frances for sharing the book with you and even more grateful that it has been helpful. Congratulations on finishing chemo. This is absolutely fantastic news.
      I’m so glad that you think that the videos are indeed making a difference!
      Please take good care!

  5. Dee says

    I agree with you in that I disliked the word “fight” and you can add to that “you can do this”. Taking one day at a time was the keeper thought I hung on to and allowing myself to accept the emotion of the day — having a little pity party. But I also did not let that party carry into the next day. That’s when the silver lining was so important.

    • silverpen says

      Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful feedback, Dee. It means the world to me! I am so glad that you were/are able to look for – and find! – the silver lining! Take good care!

  6. Barbara Cusachs says

    You are right. You go through the whole treatment process, hour by hour, day by day, without fighting. I had good friends who drove me over an hour everyday, through the mountains, for radiation. I looked for wildlife, especially white squirrels, my good luck sign. After lunch I would sleep on the trip home. I still seek mental help from people who have been there before me. My one year anniversary is approaching. People discount my anxiety and say I’m a fighter, don’t worry.

    • silverpen says

      What wonderful friends you have, Barbara. Thank you so much for sharing. I’m so glad that you you had the strength to ask for help. This makes all the difference in the world. Please take good care!

  7. Pam says

    Thank you. I have another form of cancer but love your site and especially love your perspective. I also do not feel that fight is my metaphor. You have explained this eloquently. A lovely Silver Lining to begin my day!

    • silverpen says

      Thank you so much, Pam! Your note means the world to me. Sending my very best wishes to you!
      Take good care,

  8. Shari Harris says

    Although I have never been in your shoes I want you to know I had a huge relaxing sigh after watching your video. You certainly conveyed your objective of helping this viewer focus and feel peaceful.

    • silverpen says

      Wow, Shari. Thank you so much for your kind note!
      I hope hope hope that you never have to put my shoes on! 😉
      Take good care,

  9. trudy says

    Beautiful. Exactly how I am oriented…expression is eloquent. Good luck with this project and thank for continuing to make a difference.

  10. Diane Foresee says

    Love the idea and the video! I am a 2x BC survivor with most recent diagnosis of inflammatory. I know those nights you speak of. The videos would have been spot on help. Keep it up, and thank you!

  11. Lynn Glace says

    A great video Hollye. I also didn’t think I was ‘fighting’ cancer. I thought I was trying to continue and enjoy my life with the treatment I received.

  12. Irene says

    Loved the video because it was succinct and thought provoking.
    I am sure that you have already planned these topics, but just in case, you could cover:
    *how to be a friend to someone with cancer (how to help them, what to bring, what to do);
    *what to say and not to say to the person with cancer;
    *what key questions should you be asking your doctors;
    *what to expect after each stage of treatment, before and after (surgery, radiation, chemo);
    *how to talk to your children about the cancer;
    *looking at mastectomy vs lumpectomy;
    *looking at ‘natural remedies (foods, herbs, supplements, etc.) that could supplement your cancer treatment options.

    Thank you for continuing to support and empower us, Hollye. We appreciate all the work you do through your blog, your book and now this video series.

    Warm regards,

  13. Kimberly Brown says

    Thank you….I needed to hear that. The last thing I felt I could do when I heard the words “cancer”, and “bilateral mastectomy”….was fight. It was all I could do to breathe. And in my mind….I was afraid that if I didn’t have it in me to fight….that the cancer would win. I was terrified and completely discouraged. I was blessed to find an online support group of ladies….and a few guys….who told me it was okay to not feel I could fight….that they and my family would be strong for me until I was ready to be strong for myself. I just celebrated 8yrs ned….I found my “strong”…..