The Silver Lining: A Supportive and Insightful Guide to Breast Cancer (Paperback)

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As a healthy, happy thirty-nine-year-old mother with no family history of breast cancer, being diagnosed with the disease rocked Hollye Jacobs’s world. Having worked as a nurse, social worker, and child development specialist for fifteen years, she suddenly found herself in the position of moving into the hospital bed. She was trained as a clinician to heal. In her role as patient, the healing process became personal.

Exquisitely illustrated with full-color photographs by Hollye’s close friend, award-winning photographer Elizabeth Messina, The Silver Lining is both Hollye’s memoir and a practical, supportive resource for anyone whose life has been touched by breast cancer.

In the first section of each chapter, she describes with humor and wisdom her personal experience and gives details about her diagnosis, treatment, side effects, and recovery.

The second section of each chapter is told from Hollye’s point of view as a medical expert. In addition to providing a glossary of important terms and resources, she addresses the physical and emotional aspects of treatment, highlights what patients can expect, and provides action steps, including:

What to do when facing a diagnosis
How to find the best and most supportive medical team
What questions to ask
What to expect at medical tests
How to talk with and support children
How to relieve or avoid side effects
How to be a supportive friend or family member
How to find Silver Linings

Looking for and finding Silver Linings buoyed Hollye from the time of her diagnosis throughout her double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, and recovery. They gave her the balance and perspective to get her through the worst days, and they compose the soul of the book.

The Silver Lining of Hollye’s illness is that she can now use the knowledge gleaned from her experience to try to make it better for those who have to follow her down this difficult path. This is why she is sharing her story. Hollye is the experienced girlfriend who wants to help shed some light in the darkness, provide guidance through the confusion, and hold your hand every step of the way.

At once comforting and instructive, realistic and inspiring, The Silver Lining is a visually beautiful, poignant must-read for everyone who has been touched by cancer.

About the Author

Hollye Jacobs, RN, MS, MSW, speaks publicly and writes about her experience on her award-winning blog, She is a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post,, Susan G. Komen, and the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation Army of Women Blog. She lives in Santa Barbara, California, with her family.

Elizabeth Messina was named one of the 10 Best Photographers in the World by American Photo 2010. She writes the award winning blog and lives in Santa Barbara with her family.

Praise For…

“Like a good friend, this book will be by your side as you travel through the world of breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.”
— Susan Love, MD, MBA, author of Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book

“Hollye Jacobs combines inspiration with practical suggestions for women and men working through a breast cancer diagnosis. She gives breast cancer survivors the ability to put things in perspective, with spot-on advice about what to expect.”
— Nancy Brinker, Chair, Global Strategy, Susan G. Komen®

“Hollye probes the varied and granular issues surrounding breast cancer with thoughtfulness and sound advice while leavening the experience with humor. Elizabeth Messina’s collector-quality photographs… aid in capturing the essence of the journey…. [and] result in a remarkable tension: the allure of life simultaneously overlaid with the threat of disease, which is starkly, and beautifully, portrayed.”
— James L. Madara, M.D., CEO, American Medical Association, Former Dean and CEO, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and Hospital System

"This bold and resourceful woman's powerful account of her breast cancer experience offers important guidance, strong encouragement and real inspiration to any person challenged by this disease."
— Marisa Weiss, M.D., President and Founder,

“This book provides true insight into the challenges involved in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. It is a lesson in survival. It is a testament to the courage, grace and dignity of one woman who truly defines the word 'survivor.'”
— Otis W. Brawley, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, American Cancer Society

“Hollye Jacobs has provided us with an informative, supportive and uplifting account of her unusually arduous breast cancer treatment. From mouth sores to mood swings she extends us 'life lines,' her practical hints for adaptation. Through the dark clouds and dense fog of cancer treatment she both recalls and discovers beauty and hope and her "silver linings" are pithy expressions of wisdom and truth - maxims that help make the difficult doable.”
— Mary Jane Massie, MD, Director, Barbara White Fishman Center for Psychological Counseling, Attending Psychiatrist Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

“This book is a little miracle, both for the body and the soul. If ever there was light in the face of the storm, this book is it. Read it and heal.”
— Kathy Freston, New York Times best-selling author of Quantum Wellness, Veganist, and The Lean

“It is a rare thing to find a resource that captures both the very real, lived experience of having breast cancer while also serving as an incredibly practical guide to understanding cancer and its treatment. The Silver Lining should be read by every professional who cares for those who face breast cancer as a reminder of the person and family surrounding the tumor. Hollye Jacobs' expertise as a nurse, social worker, and child development specialist is evident, as the book is richly infused with the wisdom of each of those professions. Even more important is that this book is clearly coming from a woman who has been there, heard the words, 'you have cancer,' and found the silver linings known only to a survivor.”
— Betty Ferrell, RN, PhD, FAAN, FPCN, professor, research scientist, and director of Nursing Research, City of Hope National Medical Center

The Silver Lining reflects the experience of a remarkable woman, undergoing what is sadly an all too common journey. The challenges faced are honestly, yet compassionately shared, often with humor and always with grace. The lifelines and wisdom remind readers that at the end of this expedition there is growth and hope. The breathtaking photos reinforce the beauty that can come from pain. This book is an extraordinary gift for all who have been touched by breast cancer.”
— Judith A. Paice, PhD, RN, director, Cancer Pain Program Division, Hematology-Oncology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

“A two-year ordeal with breast cancer conveyed with frank prose and stunning photography.... Award-winning photographer Messina beautifully captures the essence of Jacobs’ journey, delivering mood and emotion through gorgeous imagery. Throughout it all, Jacobs remained resilient, buoyed by a holistic approach to wellness. This is a wise investment for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer or simply interested in how the process works. Unfailingly optimistic, Jacobs compassionately offers proof positive that even a terrifying, arduous disease like cancer can have a silver lining. A dignified, intensely personal journey of survival.”

“With her humorous and approachable style, Jacobs has written an essential title for patients facing a cancer diagnosis. Highly recommended for all consumer health collections.”

“...pragmatic and empathetic... unabashedly candid.... If you or someone you know has battled breast cancer, this book will serve as a lifeline for navigating this potentially devastating disease.”
Product Details
ISBN: 9781476743714
ISBN-10: 1476743711
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: March 18th, 2014
Pages: 288
Language: English

How to read more
( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.


And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.


15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.


50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.


Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.


Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.


Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.



Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.


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