Episode #12: Amy Grantham

Amy Grantham is an artist who lives and works in Manhattan. She likes to work in various mediums which include: collage, photography, painting, political art, writing, album design, and whatever else she feels like creating in the moment. She doesn’t like to be limited to only one way of expressing herself because art is all about using whatever means she has available to her to share how she is feeling or how she feels about a certain subject.

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For artist Amy Grantham, being diagnosed with breast cancer at 31 was life-changing in every sense of the word. It wasn’t just that she underwent two lumpectomy surgeries, lost her long hair, and had to make hard decisions surrounding her fertility. Having cancer also rearranged her priorities, which is why she considers that time in her life so important and transformative. She chronicled her experiences on her blog, “Boo Cancer, You Suck,” and also through Lily, a film she co-wrote. On today’s episode, Amy and I talk about her journey with cancer as well as depression, why art and writing play critical roles in her life, and why she’s a vocal supporter of Planned Parenthood (which is where she went first, after finding a lump in her breast).

We all need to get okay with being uncomfortable and hearing about things that make us uncomfortable - and not trying to sugarcoat life.

Here are some of the things Amy and I chatted about:

  • Why she says that depression is one of her earliest memories, and how therapy has helped

  • The importance of finding a therapist with whom you can be vulnerable and unfiltered

  • Her experience finding a lump in her breast at 31 and knowing intuitively that she had cancer

  • Why Planned Parenthood was the first place she went after discovering the lump

  • The emotional and physical hurdles during treatment, including back-to-back surgeries

  • The experience of going through egg retrieval, despite not knowing if she ever wanted kids

  • How her cancer blog transformed into something much bigger than she ever expected

  • Co-writing and starring in the film Lily, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival

  • Why reintegrating back into “normal” life after treatment was more challenging than anything

  • Her genetic predisposition for cancer, and how it changes her thinking about her health

  • The role art plays in her life, and why it’s a lifeline for depression in particular

  • Her new blog, Ten Thousand Words in a Cardboard Box

Cancer is a sneaky motherfucker... It’s silent, it’s deadly, and there’s nothing wrong with being proactive about your own health. It’s empowering.
[Art] is just a way to very purely channel my feelings. I just think it’s the most healthy and wonderful outlet to have.

LISTEN HERE: ITUNES / SPOTIFY / STITCHER / GOOGLE PLAY / OVERCAST

Follow Amy on Instagram @woodstockings