Overexpressed Asks: A Series Featuring the Voices of MBC

In the next installation of Overexpressed Asks, we feature the brave and honest voice of Rachel Kraus. Rachel Kraus is a Professor of Sociology at Ball State University in Muncie, IN (about an hour north of Indianapolis) who specializes in gender, identity, and religion/spirituality.  She earned her BA in Sociology from the University of Cincinnati, […]

Let Poetry Be the Refuge

I imagine in the quiet cottage of his brain/the sepia of this desert city,/wind, dirt, grit that scuffs your skin./Wish him gentleness in the shade of shadows. writes Loretta Diane Walker in her poem “Imagining My Neighbor” published on Poem-a-Day on April 8, 2022 National Poetry Month, launched in 1996 by the Academy of American […]

Overexpressed Asks: A New Series Featuring the Voices of MBC

Overexpressed Asks is an ongoing series, featuring the brave and honest voices of women living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Overexpressed Asks is honored to feature Andra Kalnins. Andra Kalnins is a patient advocate, mindfulness instructor, a former nurse, and a family nurse practitioner graduate. She lives in Chicago, with her husband and 6-year-old son. […]

Cinnamon Girl: Women Artists Cover Neil Young for Charity

Out shopping at Hideaway Music this past December, I was immediately drawn in by the cover art of Cinnamon Girl: Women Artists Cover Neil Young for Charity. Reminiscent of Neil Young’s legendary Decade album cover—a barren desert dotted with a solo guitar case, plastered with random stickers of hotels and hotspots, propped up by a […]

Why Cancer Patients Should Read … Romance by Jenna Shillinburg

I can hear some of the groans through the internet. Romance novels are so cliché you may be thinking to yourself. But the truth is, Romance novels have been given a bad reputation through decades of Fabio covers and cookie-cutter writing. The genre itself has changed and become much more diverse (especially after the RITAs […]

An Open Letter to Herceptin

Dear Herceptin, A skilled infusion nurse straddles my blue puffy chair and counts, “Three. Two. One.”  She punches the one-inch Power Loc Huber needle into my implanted port, located right above my left breast. Soon, my Herceptin—your name a beautiful mix of HER2, intercept, and inhibitor—soon, you will be flowing through my port, transported by […]

Railroaded: Lessons from Terre Haute, Indiana

On a hot August morning, we sit in our Subaru at the intersection of US 150 and Railroad Avenue in Terre Haute, Indiana. Our kids blissfully sing Dua Lipa from the backseat as my husband and I, trying not to explode with frustration, scrutinize the seemingly endless stream of CSX train cars passing in front […]

A Guide to Ending Reader’s Block with Jenna Shillingburg

Imagine you have time to spare and you pick up a book you’ve had your eye on for a while. You’ve prepared a happy place to start reading with a hot beverage and some sunlight and a comfy chair. You breathe in the joy of the relaxing experience and crack open the book … only […]

MBC & NED with Karla Mans Giroux & Roxana Guerra Ponce

In Spring of 2021, I joined twenty-seven women from around the country to be trained as a Living Beyond Breast Cancer Hear My Voice Metastatic Breast Cancer Advocate. This advocacy training “provides the tools and training to help people living with metastatic breast cancer make a difference in their physical and digital communities.” Collectively, Hear […]


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