Janelle's Blog

Beyond the Shock-NBCF’s New Online Educational Resource

“Janelle, you have breast cancer. Would you like to have chemotherapy, radiation, or a mastectomy?”

Every word beyond, “You have breast cancer,” was a blur. It was 1980 when little information was given to patients about such medical conditions. While I was in the hospital having a hysterectomy, my doctor performed a biopsy on a breast lump I found myself a few weeks earlier. That’s when my breast cancer was discovered. I was given nothing to read or explanation about the treatments. I found myself in a state of shock that within two days after a hysterectomy, I would have a mastectomy.

I lay in my hospital bed recovering from both surgeries, heartsick that as a 34-year old mother of three young sons, I had faced a life-changing decision with so little information. My two doctors and the hospital where I had the surgeries were all well-respected. Yet, how could a woman ever be expected to make such a decision in a manner like this?

NBCF was not founded until 1991. During those years I determined that I would dedicate my life to helping educate women about the early detection of breast cancer. When NBCF came into existence, I vowed that we would provide women with educational information so they could make informed decisions, knowing all of their choices.

I am proud to say that the National Breast Cancer Foundation is now unveiling the fulfillment of my dream with a new project called Beyond The Shock.

What is Beyond The Shock?

Beyond The Shock is an online educational resource for those affected by breast cancer, so that they can gain a better understanding of the disease.  It is a collaborative breast cancer guide created by the National Breast Cancer Foundation with the support of the finest medical experts, doctors, and researchers in the world. We’ve utilized ground-breaking technology and the resources of the global medical community to create an accessible platform for understanding a diagnosis of breast cancer.

Beyond The Shock includes informational videos, personal stories from women who have battled breast cancer, and a community Q&A.  The videos are separated into chapters, making it easy to navigate to the topics you are seeking. Any questions that are not answered on the videos can be directed to our Q&A section, where you can communicate with a community of survivors, supporters, and medical experts.  One site is all you need to find your answers.

How Can I Help?

We need your feedback! As breast cancer survivors and supporters, we would love your input on the Q&A portion of the platform. Many of you had questions when you first found out about breast cancer, as I did. By replicating those questions and responses on Beyond The Shock, you can help others as they educate themselves on the site.  We also want to know what you think about Beyond The Shock and what we can do to make it an even better resource.

What Can I Do?

Visit BeyondTheShock.com, take a look around, and make yourself heard on the Q&A section. Also, make some notes on what you like about the site and what you think needs improvement.

Email your ideas to info@nbcf.org. Thank you for your help and support!

Live Life,


Reader's Comments

6 Responses to Beyond the Shock-NBCF’s New Online Educational Resource
  1. Betty Barnes
    August 16, 2011 | 9:14 pm

    Very informative,

  2. Susie
    September 12, 2011 | 2:08 am

    Hi Janelle,
    I feel so sick right about now. Just wandering around on websites – feeling lost. My oldest son is getting married in 2 weeks, my beatiful daughter-in-law to be’s family has just arrived from Venezuela, and I, now, am facing breast cancer for the 3rd time, and I feel ROBBED. I fell thru the cracks and I am so angry right now I just need to scream.

    I was one of the originals in 1999 who had my first mastectomy – DCIS – widespread, multiple excisions, no clear margins – Tumor board in all of their worldliness decided my fate for total mastectomy. I went along like a lost lamb. Next, my OLD worldy Oncologist said oh my gosh Dear you are so young, and Tamoxifen is the “new kid on the block” the side effects are far worse for someone your age. I highly suggest you say no – plus – the mastectomy has REMOVED all of the cancer. Well, I am certainly no Doc. 3 years ago it came back, go figure, bleeding from the nipple, 2 lesions, one cancer, one pre-cancer, once again. Let’s do a total mastectomy. Once again, we got it. You’re good to go. Saw yet another Onc. She said, you’re fine. Once again, I have slipped thru the system

    Two days ago found a lump. New gyno, never met before, old one retired. So reasurring, says, no prob. probably just a cyst. I am quite certain she’s wrong. CYST? I am 59 years old and have been menopausal for years. I am exceedingly mad right now. I asked her, um, isn’t it true that you might be able to get a reccurence, even after a mastectomy? She kind of put her head down, and went, um, well yes, that does happen, but not likely. Stay tuned. If anyone reads this and would like to follow this……They IMMED set me up for tests tomorrow including surg. in 4 days. What do you think? I’m pissed. And trust me, I am a well educated President of my own Insurance Brokerage, and should have been a better advocate for myself. And I am talking about Scripps Healthcare. Would love feedback.

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