“You have titanium balls. I actually feel a little sorry for the cancer. You’re going to beat the shit out of it.” -Coz C., graduate school professor

“I tried to endorse you on LinkedIn for ‘kicking ass’.” -Sam M., hilarious friendΒ 

“Roses are red/violets are blue/big or small boobies/I’ll always love you” -Abbey B., classmate, Β fellow cancer survivor and future poet laureate

“Michelle, take all that personal information off the internet before a hacker finds it.” -My mom

Hair is overrated.

For the first time in probably 10 years, I have no idea where my blowdryer is.

I also do other things on the internet, like Facebook and Instagram.

58 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Michelle,

    Somehow in my seemingly endless procrastination of doing grad school work, I came across your blog. First let me say, breast cancer sucks. Big time. And I’m sorry you have to go through any of it. Second, your blog is great. Keep blogging throughout this whole effed up journey. I started blogging 4 days after my diagnosis April of last year and it’s been tremendously helpful (http://thebigccansuckit.blogspot.com/). My great news is that after 4 months of chemo (May-Sept) and double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction (Oct), I’m back in my office full time and at grad school in the evenings. And you’ll get there, too!


    • Michelle says:

      Thanks for reading, Katherine! I took a look at your blog too and let me say that you are ADORABLE with short hair! I hope I’ll look half as cute! I am so happy to hear that you’re doing well and I hope everything is totally smooth sailing for you from here on out! I’ll definitely be keeping up with you on your blog. πŸ™‚

  2. kathy says:

    Hi Michelle – So sorry you’re going thru this! I’m also a breast cancer survivor – twice now.
    You sound like a real warrior, I’m sure you’ll do great! One important thing I did after my recurrence is look at food choices. I went vegan and feel really good about the information and studies that show this helps keep cancer survivors stay healthy.

    Here’s a good video you might like…

    there’s also Jane Plant’s book – the No Dairy Breast Cancer Prevention Program. She’s a breast cancer survivor and scientist.

  3. Kate says:

    Hi Michelle!
    I was diagnosed with IDC, Stage 2, Grade 3, Lymph node involvement on Friday, 3 days before my 29th birthday. A HS friend sent me your blog- you are getting you master’s from the same program she went to. I don’t know if you have any idea how absolutely inspiring your blog is. Although I officially cringe at that word (apparently its the new word that describes the ‘new’ me) you have been the only person to make me laugh, cry, say “OMG I feel that same way!” and be ready to knock this cancer on its ass in the pas couple days! Thank you for starting this blog. I will be sure to follow you every step of the way!

    PS- I haven’t started a blog yet, but started a FB page if you’re interested πŸ™‚


    • Michelle says:

      Hi Kate, thanks for reading and sharing. I emailed you personally because I was so moved by your story. You will do beautifully in treatment! I have faith.

  4. Carolina says:

    Dear Michelle,

    I came across your work as a copywriter whilst doing some research for my own jump into a career in writing and general creative thinking…This was probably back in december.

    Today, I looked at your work again because the scrabble movie made me laugh (and I had a bit of a crappy day) only to realize what’s happening in your body. I am so sorry to hear about this…my brother was diagnosed with non Hodgkin’s lymphoma at age 25-he kicked it in the “nutsack” and has been in remission for the past 9 years.

    He has grown so much because of that experience and I can already see, from your wonderful writing, the same is happening to you.

    I wish you all the best in these months to come and I’m looking forward to your new look, and bold is indeed very beautiful-im sure you’ll be rocking some amazing earrings!

    • Michelle says:

      1. I had no idea anyone in the world had ever looked at my portfolio. Thanks for taking a look and I hope it helped you on your journey as a writer! Check back soon when I graduate and my work stops being so terrible. πŸ™‚

      2. Congrats to your brother on making cancer his prison bitch.

      3. Thank you for all the kind words and I hope you’ll keep reading and commenting!

  5. You’re very brave!

  6. Jeff Nguyen says:

    Your courage is inspiring, hoping for the best.

  7. Lucky Wreck says:

    Love what your professor said. Thank you for sharing your strength! πŸ™‚

  8. I adore you Michelle! Your writing has sucked me in, and i only wish i didn’t have to go to work so i could read more. About your writing… it’s really beautiful, extremely powerful, and absolutely hilarious, I just thought you should know that. πŸ™‚ i am three years out from my diagnosis of breast cancer… i also chose reconstruction, with a double mastectomy, and reading about your experience makes me sad that you must go through this, but also smile because i know you will come out of this with an outstanding grace, and you will also have touched sooooo many others. my blog has been one of the things that i created post-diagnosis… and i really do think it has been a huge part of my strength and healing… not only writing, but also reading the stories of others all around the world.

    so anyway, none of that probably makes any sense because i am only one coffee in to the day… however, you really touched me this morning and i can’t wait to read more. best wishes and good health to you!

    • Michelle says:

      Wow, what a compliment! Thank you! I am sorry to hear that you are also a survivor but proud that we will share the mantle together. Go and have another coffee stat! It’s what I would do. πŸ™‚

      • hi Michelle! another morning… another coffee.. even though it’s going to snow like a son-of-a-gun today, i’m grateful for both. (-: see you again. have a lovely day!

  9. Courtney says:

    You are completely inspiring and gorgeous and your writing kicks ass!! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  10. walism says:

    Nice blog, found it at “freshly pressed” by accident actually, not looking for anything specific, but I’d say that I could relate to your experience.. got diagnosed with cancer myself when I was 18, not boob-C btw, Now at 35, I am just grateful being here. Anyway.. You are a really cool person and I like your attitude, keep the spirit high and all the best to you Michelle. πŸ™‚

  11. Mogatos says:

    Hey Lady. Love your blog… you’re a great writer. Keep it up!

    Have you (or any of you other BC survivors/previvors reading this) found any of the BRCA/breast cancer/mastectomy FaceBook groups yet? There are thousands of women out there, young and not so young, using that tool to connect and share stories, experiences, photos, shitty days, surgery and treatment complications, and so much more. Some are cancer survivors, some are going through treatment like you, some are there to support friends and family, and some are taking steps to make sure “breast cancer patient/survivor” are phrases they’ll never use to describe themselves (like me – http://bilateralmastectomy.wordpress.com). In one way or another, all have been touched by breast cancer; part of the club nobody ever wants to join. We would love to have you out there with us, if you aren’t already. Search for “mastectomy” or “BRCA” or “breast cancer.” See ya there!

  12. You are incredibly brave and honest! Such an inspiration for all. I wish you all the best!

  13. Sofia says:

    Hi Michelle, As the comment before mine says, you are so incredibly brave and honest. I hope your words reach out to others that unfortunately have to undergo the same situation, and bring strength and love to others. I hope everything goes well for you. Hugs!!

  14. Vicki Shequin says:

    Michelle, I too have breast cancer and just finished my chemo and am going through the radiation right now. I read your blog and laughed, cried, and completely understood your emotions, fears, etc. I met your aunt’s friend, Maureen Parent, while we were both sitting in the ‘infusion’ room getting our chemo drugs. I am reaching out to you because I went through the TCH drugs (still getting the Herceptin every 3 weeks) and did pretty well, considering. If you ever want to talk to me about the side effects, etc., that I experienced, please feel free to contact me (Maureen has my number). I expected the worst going through chemo (I mean, look at all the tear-jerker movies that have to do with chemo right? Never good), but I have to say….it is doable. Not as bad as I feared. Stay positive, Keep your sense of humor and you WILL get through this!! You are stronger than you ever thought possible!

    • Michelle says:

      Hi Vicki! It is both amazing and incredibly sad to me to hear how many women have walked this path before. It’s truly a sisterhood. My aunt’s friend Maureen has been a big inspiration to me, and although I have not yet had the chance to meet her in person, she lent me her book of chemo tips – which was incredibly kind and helped me feel a lot more relaxed! I’m glad that she was able to be with you through your treatments and that you got through the whole let’s-pump-you-with-poison part of it just fine!

      I am so happy to hear that chemotherapy was doable. I’m dreading it – I hate throwing up and I really hope I can get through it with no vomiting (or, any more vomiting – there was some after my surgery) – and I have this feeling that bald isn’t going to be a good look for me. But what is life if not a series of experiences? This is just one more experience that I can one day use to help others, like you are using it to help me. Thank you for that. πŸ™‚

      I hope that radiation goes well and you are cured of this disease forever and ever.

      • Vicki Shequin says:

        Chemo wasn’t fun, but not as bad as you fear I’m sure. At least not the TCH treatment. Yes, you will lose your hair :(. I had mine shaved after my first chemo treatment so it wouldn’t fall out in clumps. Everyone I knew that had cancer and lost their hair really stressed to me NOT to wait for it to start falling out. I was told by my doctor that it would start falling out between my 1st and 2nd treatment. She was right…I saw short hairs on my pillow about 15 days after my 1st chemo. I bought a wig, but have only worn it a few times. I prefer the scarfs and hats. But I don’t work so didn’t have to worry about how good I looked!ha. I never lost my eyelashes or eyebrows (well, maybe half my eyebrows!ha).

        I have to tell you that I HATE throwing up too. I will do anything to NOT throw up! In fact I told my Onocologist about my fear of throwing up and she promised me she would do everything she could to make sure that didn’t happen. Know what? I never threw up!!! I was very religious about taking my anti nausea pills. The trick is to not wait until you feel sick, then it may be too late. For me, I was fine the day of chemo and the day after (when I’d go in for my shot). I would start to feel yucky the next day and would continue to feel sick for about 4 days. When I say sick, I mean I felt like I had a bad flu (very tired, achy, yucky). But everyone is different. I know others that didn’t feel too bad at all.

        Saw Maureen yesterday. She was getting her chemo and I was getting my Herceptin. We have a great time talking and laughing while we are there. You will meet some amazing people while getting your infusions. You know what? I realized I didn’t have it so bad!!! You will get through this and have a happy ending. My fight started in July of last year and it’s February already and I’m done with what I think (hope) will be the worst of it. Time has gone by pretty fast. One day at a time. My last chemo was on January 2nd and I was so excited to see hair starting to grow on my legs this week!!ha

        Believe me, I know how scared you must be (I was SO scared!!), but just take one appt/treatment at a time. You are young and otherwise healthy and you will get through this just fine. It’s not easy or fun, but it’s not as bad as you fear either.

        Will keep you in my prayers.

  15. Kat says:

    Hi Michelle,

    That was a lovely thing for your professor to say.:) You are brave and strong and it shows, and you’ll beat this cancer. My mum had breast cancer and thankfully, she’s well now. I wish you a speedy recovery too.


  16. Nikki says:

    Look at the bright side, you found a voice thru your blog from cancer… and I must say your blog rocks. Good luck on kicking cancers ass! I’m not sure what you are going to college for, but perhaps you have a calling in journalism, story writing, or something along those lines. Congrats on being freshly pressed- you deserve it!

  17. jlorenzo93 says:

    That was so wittily written! It amazes me how you manage to make fun out of your disease. The comment about the koala was brilliant too! You go girl!

  18. hemadamani says:

    You are so brave!! To Zap cancer with humour– the best treatment ever. You inspire us all- with or without the disease!! congrats on being Freshly pressed!!

  19. […] About | I’m 25 and my boobs are trying to kill me.. […]

  20. Avani says:

    Your blog inspires me to kick all my problems hard in their ass. Bumped into your post via freshly pressed. Good luck to you, and hats off! I would try to be like you. πŸ™‚ (which means, whine less(not sure about you,but i do that too often), and hit the problems head on, and kill them bravely) πŸ™‚

  21. fransiweinstein says:

    Hi Michelle. I love your blog. You are one inspiring gal. And if anyone deserves a Sunshine Award I’d have to say it’s you. So I am giving it to you. The rules and details are on my blog post tomorrow: http://weinstein365.wordpress.com Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

  22. Hi, is there any way you can email me? (It should be in your comment section on your dashboard right?) – I want to ask you something but don’t want to sound crazy or post it on here for others to read…..thank you!

  23. Katie says:


    As many others who have commented, I don’t know you personally, but your blog was recommended by my friend, Robyn, and I obsessively read all of your entries in about two hours. I am an oncology nurse and absolutely love being able to read your story from the patient’s point of view. Even though as nurses we get very close to some of our patients, we never get to hear every single detail the way that you are able to convey it. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and I look forward to the end, when you can say that you’ve successfully kicked cancer’s ass. Good luck with chemo today!


    • Michelle says:

      Thank you for the work that you do! I have met a lot of incredible nurses and doctors on this journey. It makes a huge difference to have a kind and comforting person by your side when you’re undergoing big scary medical treatments you only kind of understand.

  24. Holly says:

    I have no idea what my connection is to you but I found your blog because one of my friends on Facebook “liked” it I think. You are an incredible writer and I love reading your posts. I am 24 and work with children, teens and young adults just up to our age with cancer and other serious illnesses on the psychosocial side of care. You all are so strong and inspirational! Thanks for sharing your story with us!

  25. Caitlin says:

    Hi Michelle,

    I found your blog through your cousin (http://themermaidchronicles.blogspot.com/) and I’m so glad I came across it! I am inspired by your strength and humor throughout this ordeal! I read one of your post and deduced that you at one point (and maybe still) lived in Boston. I do, too, and just want you to know if you ever need a new northern friend/listening ear, please feel free to contact! I look forward to continuing to read and laugh at your inspiring messages!


    • Michelle says:

      I no longer live in Boston because I left to go to graduate school and then had to move home for treatment, but my boyfriend is still there and I hope to move back when this is behind me. πŸ™‚

  26. Kerry says:

    I came across your blog via the Mermaid Chronicles and couldn’t stop reading! I love your writing style – It’s witty and inspiring and relatable. I had to take a moment and say I’m rooting for you and your doctors! I hope all your treatments are wildly successful and that this cancer is a thing of the past as soon as possible! Stay strong, it’s A LOT to cope with but you can do it! Thanks for sharing your story.

  27. Hi Michelle. I love your blog, and I am so glad I found it on Freshly Pressed.
    I’ve nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award, mostly hoping that by doing so my followers would check out your blog, because you’re both an inspiration and a good laugh!
    This is the post where I mention you: http://escapebybeauty.com/2013/03/02/versatile-blogger-award/
    ❀ Ashley

  28. factorymaid says:

    I nominated you for the Beautiful Blogger Award. Feel beautiful! πŸ™‚

  29. John Snuggs says:

    You’re awesome!

  30. suburbansous says:

    Hi Michelle. A friend forwarded me your blog today, it’s been six years since my boob tried to kill me when I was 38. I’m 45 now. My husband and my kids are happy about that. And I am every single day. You are so inspiring and so rocking it. It sounds so trite, but fighting the fight with attitude and a great sense of humor goes a long, long way to healing yourself both mentally and physically. My body has taken a beating over the past 6 years, but I think I have grown in so many other ways and your blog reminds me that it’s something we do every single day, not just during the time we endure chemo or the surgeries or the scans or the doubt. Thank you for sharing.

  31. i found you through your cousin’s blog. can’t wait to read about your journey.
    i love your wit, you crack me up, and you’re going to beat this.
    stay strong, girl!

  32. Gin says:

    Your blog make mes me both giggle and tear up at times. Your humor is on point and your observations about life (and death) are witty and heartfelt. Keep being fierce and amazing, and for everyone else’s benefit keep writing. You are really good at it.

    Cancer touches many lives and even though I do not have it, I find this blog inspiring and encouraging. I’ve forwarded this blog to a couple of friends now (including one who was recently diagnosed at the ripe old age of 27).

    Wishing you the speediest recovery.

  33. Colleen says:

    Hi there, just sending a note of encouragement. I found your blog via TC and had heard of your campaign through my boyfriend who went to Brandcenter, too. You have an amazing talent for writing and a beautiful project here. Have you considered book deals? You should consider book deals if (when) they start coming in. I know a lot of people will benefit from hearing your story and sharing in your unique talent for conveying a terrifying and ever increasingly common situation with such clarity, wit and sensitivity.

    Wishing you the best.

  34. christindyan says:

    You are such an amazing person! I started reading some of your articles (?) on thought catalog and I practically fell in love with you. You have an amazing spirit and I hope nothing tears that down. You are a real-life hero.

  35. dustandsoul says:

    Fuck cancer. Fuck it right in the eye.

    You look like Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta with your buzz cut, by which I mean, ‘Dang, you beautiful girl. You don’t need no hair, anyways.’

    Anyway, I think you’re awesome. Keep on kicking ass.

  36. Sofia Mena says:

    You are the bravest, most awesome badass bitch I have ever heard of. Please use all these words of encouragement and comfort and admiration to make it out of this horrible time and WIN THE FIGHT!!! πŸ™‚

  37. Other Michelle with cancer in Richmond~
    Just think of chemotherapy is just an internal chemical peel.

  38. Elyse says:

    Michelle, I was sick in my 20s and it sucked but it left me with an ability to laugh at anything that has never let me down.

    You go girl. Who needs a fuckin’ blow dryer, anyway.

    (I found you through Dustandsoul.)

  39. Michelle says:

    HI Michelle, you inspire me. I nominated you for the Shine On award! See it here.


  40. Hi Michelle!

    Let me start off by saying that I have never been one to blog or follow blogs, but I stumbled upon one of your articles on Thought Catalog a few months ago and have been coming back to your blog on a daily basis checking for updates. Although I do not have cancer, my mom was diagnosed with cancer a year ago and it has been so devestating. Just like you, my mom is still able to stay positive and to find humor in such a horrible thing. Reading your posts the past few months have made me laugh, cry and gain some insight about what it is to be the cancer patient. I finally gave in and will be blogging about my run ins with cancer.

    Anyways, I’m so glad to see how well you are doing and just wanted to thank you for sharing your story with complete strangers. It has given me hope!


  41. Kathleen says:

    Thank you for sharing, I am in tears for you but, your strength and positive attitude will help me to smile. 25 year olds shouldn’t have to worry so …

  42. laurafoss says:

    You are absolutely HILARIOUS and I want to be best friends with you. I recently started writing on my blog again (footprintsonlowtides.com) because I lost my mom to breast cancer in May. There is nothing I hate more than cancer, and I can’t imagine what it must be like to go through something so horrible at such a young age. This might sound weird, but I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason – and maybe the ‘reason’ you were diagnosed is because you were meant to be an inspiration to so many other people that are going through/have gone through/will go through a similar battle. As a copywriter myself you certainly inspire me not only as a writer, but as a person. Congrats on your half marathon, can’t wait to read the post you’ll write when you get your PR πŸ™‚

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