Beyond the Pink Moon

In Breast Cancer, Recent Posts by Barbara Jacoby

Over the last 8 ½ years since the beginning of the Let Life Happen website, I have been so fortunate to meet so many wonderful people on the Internet who are also vested in the world of breast cancer. But I must admit that there has never been anything more exciting and inspiring to me than when I have the opportunity to meet one of the other members of this very special community in person. And recently such was my great fortune once again when I met Nicki Boscia Durlester, the author of “Beyond the Pink Moon” and “The Pink Moon Lovelies” and who is one of the administrators for the various Beyond the Pink Moon social media sites.

To share time with someone else who is also a survivor looking for ways to help others before, during and after they have travelled down the same roads as we have is a shared experience that could never be duplicated without the personal interaction that we had. Barbara Jacoby

Nicki and I were able to meet for lunch and such one-on-one conversations always result in my learning so much. Nicki’s first book, “Beyond the Pink Moon” chronicles her personal story dating back to 1962 when her mother was first diagnosed with breast cancer and her journey as a part of a family dealing with the BRCA2 gene. We shared so many of the same tales about trying to assemble medical teams in whom we had confidence and having to learn how and when to advocate for ourselves at a time when information on the Internet was in its infancy. But, as I joke, just leave such matters to a couple of Pennsylvania girls and we will do what we have to do in order to succeed at anything to the very best of our abilities. Oh, and I did find out that we graduated from rival colleges and she informed me that we are affectionately referred to as “pennsyls” (or is that, “pencils”?) because we are PA natives.

Now I must admit that I did not learn about Nicki until I came across the Pink Moon Lovelies site, obviously named the same as her second book, which is a collection of empowering stories of survival. I really loved her titling these women as “Lovelies” since most survivors would be hard pressed to ever think of themselves in these terms after surgeries and various other treatment paths. The other notable takeaway for me was the fact that the reason for the social media platforms, most notably Facebook, on which the Beyond the Pink Moon created its presence, was to “create a soft place to land” for those who choose to be part of this community. This has resulted in a group of women who support one another with positive reinforcement, advice and shared experiences on so many levels. For those who wish to be a part of a support group but are either not wanting to join one in person or who many not be able to find one in their local area, they may want to see whether this just might be a comfortable spot in which to participate.

I can’t tell you how quickly 2 ½ hours of time flew by as we chatted away about so many different things about our lives from before, during and since our active cancer treatments. It was also amazing how our experiences have paralleled in so many ways that have led us to the work that we are doing today. To share time with someone else who is also a survivor looking for ways to help others before, during and after they have travelled down the same roads as we have is a shared experience that could never be duplicated without the personal interaction that we had. And while I am not one who was willing to join a group when I was first diagnosed, I have come to understand the importance that doing so can make to someone who is feeling alone and isolated.

I am so excited because Nicki and I discovered that we live close to each other and therefore, I think this might have been the beginning of many more get-togethers in the future. While our work has led us in different directions, we are both dedicated to helping others within the world of breast cancer and in supporting each other with our collective efforts. But, regardless of what the future brings, I know that I have made a life-long friend in my new PA buddy, discovered more than 3,000 miles from where we began, because of breast cancer and there are no words to describe how grateful I am for having met her.