Talk Radio With Heart & Soul

WRNP 1320 AM Radio Providence, RI

Marcie Brensilver & Jude Monteserrato, Breast Cancer and the Wisdom of Illness, October 28, 2014

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month Cardinal Points welcomes Marcie Brensilver and Jude Monteserrato to our show. In 1991 during a routine self breast exam Marcie found a lump which turned out to be cancer. She had a unilateral mastectomy and received chemotherapy as part of her treatment. At a later date Marcie chose to have her second breast removed. Jude’s was diagnosed with Hodgkins disease in 1988 when she was 28 years old and received radiation treatment. Three years later in 1992 she found a melanoma on her hand. In 1998 during a routine mammogram and subsequent biopsy they found pre cancer in her breast. She learned that women who had Hodgkins in their 20’s and were treated with radiation were at higher risk of breast cancer. After much deliberation Jude decided to have a bilateral mastectomy. When Marcie first found out she had cancer she was a bit surprised because she led a pretty healthy lifestyle. Marcie who is from Southeastern Connecticut states that for some reason there is a high incidence of breast cancer in women in that region. She recommends that women be vigilant in their self breast exams and have regular mammograms. When Jude was first diagnosed with Hodgkins she had a great Doctor who told her, “it’s your attitude that’s going to get you through this. Think positive and that will help you tremendously.” Jude’s illness caused her to make some lifestyle changes. She shares that when it comes to your health we need to listen to our own intuition and take 100% responsibility for our health and our medical treatment. “Be your own advocate.” Marcie firmly believes that you should always get a second opinion. Both Marcie and Jude agree that their illnesses taught them to appreciate life, each day, each moment. “Today is important because it only comes once and making the most of each day .” “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Marcie and Jude find themselves sharing their wisdom regarding their experiences with breast cancer to help other women. Marcie  reports that she recently heard a study mentioned on the radio that claimed that people who help others have stronger immune systems and other health benefits. Integrative care and therapies are becoming more available and encouraged for those in treatment for cancer. Practices such as: acupuncture, massage, mind body techniques, reflexology, Ayurvedic medicine, and Yoga therapy to name a few.

Nutritional recommendations

Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight

Avoid sugary drinks and foods and processed foods

Eat more variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes

Limit your consumption of red meats



Marcie Brensilver & Jude Monteserrato

I’d like to thank Marcie Brensilver, a retired Health/Sexuality Educator, and Jude Monteserrato, a Certified Purna Yoga Instructor at the 2,000 hour level, for their courage and candidness in sharing their stories of recovery from breast cancer.

The Wisdom of Illness

The art of being sick is not the same as the art of getting well. Some cancer patients recover, some don’t. But the ordeal of facing your mortality and feeling your frailty sharpens your perspective about life. You appreciate little things more ferociously. You grasp the gravitational pull of faith. And you realize you have received a unique gift-a field of vision others don’t have about the power of hope and the limits of fear, a firm set of convictions about what really matters and what does not. You also feel obliged to share these insights-the most important of which is this: there are things far worse than illness-do instance soullessness.

Breast Cancer Statistics

Breast Cancer is the most common cancer among American women except for skiing cancers

About 1 in 8 (12%) of women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime

The American Cancer Society estimates in the US for 2014 there will be approximately 233,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women

After increasing for more than 2 decades female breast cancer incidence rates began decreasing in the year 2000. Possibly due to the decline in use of hormone therapy after menopause