More than 100 people turned out for a private book-signing reception with Hollye Jacobs, RN, MS, MSW, author of The Silver Lining: A Supportive & Insightful Guide to Breast Cancer, hosted by Sansum Clinic, the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara with Sansum Clinic, and the Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara.
Jacobs, a Santa Barbara resident, has had an extraordinary journey from medical provider to patient, to counselor and inspiration to countless others. Her new memoir is a practical, supportive resource for anyone whose life has been touched by breast cancer.
Four years ago, Jacobs could not have imagined her life as it is today. The active mother has 55,000 Twitter followers and provides insights and inspiration to tens of thousands of readers of her award-winning blog, The Silver Pen, an honest guide to navigating the realities of cancer with a focus on health, balance and humor. Her quest to uncover The Silver Lining in her own life has led her on a journey that included the March release of her book by that same name by publisher Simon and Schuster.
Jacobs used these words to describe how her journey began.
"As a healthy, happy, vegan-eating, marathon-running, 39-year-old mother … with no family history of breast cancer, being diagnosed with the disease in 2010 ROCKED MY WORLD. In an instant, as a nurse and social worker, I now found myself on the other side of the bed.
"At the time of my diagnosis we were new to Santa Barbara, having moved here from Chicago only three months prior. Now, I was thrilled to be living in Santa Barbara, but after having worked at multiple academic health care institutions I wondered whether it was possible to get the same world-class care that I knew was readily available in Chicago. So, as a discerning clinician myself, I went into my medical network to get additional opinions and explore other treatment options. My search led me right back home to the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara.
"The care at the Cancer Center is delivered cohesively and effectively by every member of the team, including physicians, nurses, social workers, dieticians and complementary therapists with the ultimate goal of meeting the needs of patients and their families. Becoming a patient gave me a whole new and unexpected consciousness and sensitivity to the physical and emotional turbulence that patients endure. I realized that I had two choices about how I was going to handle my diagnosis: from a place of fear or a place of optimism. I chose — and it was indeed a very active choice for me — optimism in the form of finding Silver Linings."
As for what inspired her to write a book, Jacobs says, "The Silver Lining is the book that I wish that I had and that my family and friends had when I was going through my treatment and recovery. I wanted a book that was a practical, relatable, honest, and credible resource. The Silver Lining is that book. It is an informative, therapeutic and supportive resource that demystifies the experience of breast cancer through words and photography. This book is a written and visual lifeline, guide and source of hope for all impacted by breast cancer."
Much of her current work is focused on helping families cope with a cancer diagnosis. Jacobs volunteers at the Cancer Center in a program called “Helping Children Cope when a Parent has Cancer.”
For more about Jacobs, visit TheSilverPen.com.
The book signing reception was co-chaired by Julie Nadel and Bobbie Rosenblatt of the Women's Council of Sansum Clinic. The Walking Company generously donated 500 copies of The Silver Lining to ensure it is available to all breast cancer patients who are interested in the book, regardless of their ability to pay, which are available through the Cancer Center's Cancer Resource Library.
— Jill Fonte is the marketing director for Sansum Clinic.