Thank you for being a part of my honor and excitement to re-launch Caring for Cynthia. The Caring for Cynthia Project stalled in 2011 – around the time Cynthia was diagnosed with cancer a second time. Then, when Cynthia passed away in May 2011, I stopped all marketing of the book and the remaining supply of books went into deep storage. Later, I closed the Caring for Cynthia website. The promise Cynthia made to educate others was undoubtedly thwarted by her story in storage and by the closure of the project’s website.
In the almost ten years since Cynthia’s passing, I’ve worked through my grief and the memories of our special friendship. I’ve anguished over the project’s closure and clarity around the next step for the books had never been understood, until recently. I’ve discovered a path in my grieving that’s led me to a new place. That path brought me back to the book project – it’s THE place where I can honor Cynthia, her legacy, our friendship and her commitment to educate.
In May 2021 Caring for Cynthia commemorates the departure of Cynthia’s physical being from Earth by the project re-launch. Welcome to Caring for Cynthia’s new look, new website and the availability of digitalized versions of the book to make sharing her story, our story, to support and empower caregivers/those affected by a breast cancer diagnosis, possible.
About the Book
Amy Blackburn is a professional photographer and a registered nurse. When her best friend, Cynthia, was diagnosed with breast cancer, Amy and her camera accompanied Cynthia on the journey with cancer.
Shortly after Cynthia’s diagnosis, Amy realized she was on her own journey – the journey of a caregiver. With photographs and text, Amy illuminates milestones of a cancer journey from the perspective of a caregiver with her recently published book “Caring For Cynthia: A Caregiver’s Journey Through Breast Cancer.“
This touching and poignant photo journal explores the notion that breast cancer affects more than just those diagnosed. With each diagnosis, there are any number of friends, family members, spouses, partners and colleagues that are greatly affected. As “Caring For Cynthia” reveals those surrounding the patient have emotional, spiritual and even physical needs that must be met throughout the journey. This book underlines the critical component caregiver’s play in the well being of those diagnosed. Blackburn believes that caregivers’ energy, support and passion to give fuels the patient’s survival as well as enhances their level of compliance from medication regimes to follow up appointments. “It’s the caregiver that acts as the continuum of care once the patient is discharged from the hospital or leaves the clinic after a chemo treatment,” says Blackburn. Finally, by Amy’s stories, the book validates caregivers in that they are not alone when feelings and emotions surface during a journey with cancer.
With Amy Blackburn’s unique perspective as an RN and professional photographer, she leads the reader through an incredible emotional and spiritual journey caring for a dear friend fighting breast cancer. Through Amy’s eyes we see transformation of both patient and caregiver, and we learn that facing adversity unselfishly and lovingly reaps untold and unforeseen rewards. For newly diagnosed cancer patients, this books gives insight into the long and sometimes frightening road ahead as well as hope for the future.
Stephen Gale, MD
Caring for Cynthia is a remarkable account of experiences that caregivers of breast cancer patients can go through. With it’s unique combination of authentic pictures and words, it is informative and empowering and a valuable companion for both caregivers and patients.
Matthias R. Mehl, PhD.,
Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Arizona
Meet the Author
Amy Blackburn, R.N., B.S.N., M.A. has had a career in nursing for thirty years working with patients from Maine to Alaska. Blackburn began her nursing career as a transplant nurse at the University of Pittsburgh and then joined the transplant team at the University of Wisconsin. From there she began travel across the United States working in various arenas to include critical care, emergency room, wound therapy, behavioral health, addiction, and outpatient clinics. Through Indian Health Services Blackburn moved to Arizona to live and work on The San Carlos Apache Reservation. With both a certification in Food Therapy from the Natural Gourmet Institute and as an Integrative Health Coach from the Andrew Weil Center of Integrative Medicine, Amy founded Culinary Wellness Solutions, LLC.