Friday, April 22, 2016
Barbara is a survivor of breast cancer and melanoma.
Share your story or leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you!
Friday, April 1, 2016
Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities
Writer, historian and activist, Rebecca Solnit’s book Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities, originally published in 2004, has been reissued this year. Although a book exploring political activism, Ms. Solnit’s articulation of what hope is and is not has a correlation to the idea of hope as experienced by people with cancer and their caregivers. Hope is something that the Cancer Support Community (CSC) advocated for cancer patients and their families back in 1982 when it began as The Wellness Community and when cancer was mostly dread and death. Dr. Harold Benjamin and his wife Harriet, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in the 1970s, founded CSC with its free psychosocial services of group support, classes, social activities and education. The Benjamins knew firsthand the despair that cancer can bring and claimed a space for hope within the arena of life-threatening illness. The seventies and early eighties were not often times of positive outcomes for cancer patients, or for open discussion of the anxieties that cancer brings to everyone affected by it.
Rebecca Solnit, also the author of Men Explain Things to Me, brings her journalistic eye, deep intellect and activist nature to this topic when she suggests a link between hope and action. Emily Dickenson wrote, “Hope” is the thing with feathers – that perches in the soul”. A true subtlety of life, often lost in the blunt upset of cancer, is that hope stays on the ground with us and lifts us, everything together. Hope is often thought of as something that safeguards us from gritty reality but, in Rebecca Solnit’s words, it is about “broad perspectives with specific possibilities, ones that invite or demand that we act (emphasis added).”
Julia Forth is the Executive Director of Cancer Support Community Benjamin Center (CSC) founded in 1982 as The Wellness Community in Los Angeles and part of an international network of affiliates that offer the highest quality social and emotional support for people with cancer and their families. To find a CSC in your area, please visit www.cancersupportcommunity.org
or to learn more about CSC Benjamin Center in Los Angeles, visit www.cancersupportcommunitybenjamincenter.org
or call 310-314-2555.