Defining Mental Resilience During Breast Cancer

In part three of CURE’s “Mind Over Matter: Cultivating a Resilient Mindset During Breast Cancer Treatment” webinar, Ricki Fairley, CEO of TOUCH, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance; Hayley Brown, director of partnerships and programs at TOUCH, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance; and Michelle Anderson-Benjamin, CEO and founder of The Fearless Warrior Organization, defined what mental resilience means to them throughout one’s breast cancer journey.

“Resilience for me is living in my truth and not settling,” Anderson-Benjamin said. “…I need to be present in my moment. I need to be present for my people and cancer is not all that I am about.”

“I think resilience has a lot to do with understanding your why and knowing why you’re doing this work (as an advocate),” Brown added. “…And when I find myself asking, ‘Why am I doing this? Something is off here.’ And so I have to go back and say no…I need to go back to things that are true to my why.”


00:04 – Emotional resilience and living in truth

  • The panel aimed to define resilience, in particular the benefit of patients being able to find peace and bounce back from the difficult emotions experienced after a breast cancer diagnosis.

00:48 – Self-care, resilience and staying true to one’s purpose

  • First, Michelle Anderson-Benjamin emphasized the importance of self-care and setting boundaries to avoid burnout, especially when an individual is trying to advocate for themselves and other fellow patients with breast cancer.
  • Hayley Brown mentioned that she prioritizes her own needs, like staying on top of her health as well as being her mother’s caregiver, and why she is a cancer advocate, grounding herself in her purpose to stay motivated and resilient.

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