Big Ol’ Lemonades - Diagnosed at 30 - What NOW?
February 15, 2023
Hosted by Michelle Beck
"I wrote the book I couldn't find when I was diagnosed." With the sarcastic humor that often gets us through the darkest of times, Leah Cohn makes Big Ol’ Lemonades out of her breast cancer diagnosis at 30 with a memoir offering that rare look into choosing how to live a life worth living. Leah Cohn is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, educator, coach, and all-around powerhouse who used writing to process finding cancer, selecting double mastectomy with reconstruction, and enduring a year of post-surgical treatment Tamoxifen with all the side effects. She combines telling the story years later with journal entries detailing in-the-moment experiences she wrote at the time, framed by flashback vignettes that create a multi-faceted look at the decision-making processes and lessons learned when facing the tough choices and varying emotions of a young woman with early stage breast cancer. This was what Leah couldn’t find when she was diagnosed – the memoirs of women who were battling “less-aggressive” cancers before having children. You know, the “good kind” of cancer. She wanted to hear about women who didn’t do chemo, didn’t take the pills, maybe opted for one or the other, chose more aggressive surgery in support of less aggressive chemical treatments, or opted to take an alternative path than those that women often feel pressured to take “if they want to live.” Big Ol’ Lemonades exemplifies the kind of determination, courage, and faith that a woman must cultivate to make it out laughing on the other side of the traumas that life brings our way.
Breast Friends Cancer Support Network
Wednesday at 9 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel
Breast Friends helps women and families deal with the emotional upheaval of cancer. Breast Friends Cancer Support Network is here to remind those dealing with a diagnosis of cancer that they are not alone. We get it. Our show focuses on education, inspiration and hope, by offering useful information to survivors, thrivers, friends and family. While interviewing a variety of guest speakers, including doctors, nutritionists, sex therapists, counselors, comedians and entrepreneurs to name a few, host Michelle Beck asks pertinet questions, highlighting unique perspectives and providing helpful information every week. Breast Friends Cancer Support Network can be heard live every Wednesday at 9 AM Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel.
Michelle is a 2-time, 9-year survivor of breast cancer. In 2017, she began volunteering at Breast Friends of Oregon, and in the process found support, encouragement and a tribe of women who understood exactly what it is like to hear the words “you have cancer.” This changed her life forever.
Michelle’s early career was spent as a paralegal and then as a C-Level Executive Assistant for entrepreneurs and start-ups. Organization and details are her jam; everything has its place and “rules” are to be followed. But, after becoming a stay-at-home parent and two breast cancer battles, all her rules went out the window!
Her second cancer journey led Michelle to a new career path at Breast Friends. In early 2019, she was hired as the Patient Programs Assistant where she made herself indispensable. She is now embracing the opportunity to host the Breast Friends Cancer Support Network.
Michelle is a fierce breast cancer advocate. She is working on a book to tell her story and loves to speak to audiences about how to move forward in the face of life’s trials. Her blog, “I Never Liked Pink” allows her the platform to, as she says, “overshare” the things she’s discovered on life’s journey. The good, the bad and the “What the F??” Michelle enjoys exploring with her husband Nate, son Jackson and 2 dogs in their travel trailer She loves reading books, watching movies and is obsessed with true crime and paranormal podcasts.