We first discovered Dana Frost on Instagram a few years back when she was running the Closet Confessional, a Detroit fashion/lifestyle blog.
Frost, 34, captured our attention not only with her impeccable style, but also with her honesty and strength of having battled cancer.
It's easy to forget how precious life is. To bitch about trivial things. To take each moment for granted. This week was a reminder to do less bitching and more living. After a terrifying scare and grueling week, this badass warrior is honored and excited to celebrate three years in remission. #fuckcancer #everybodyvscancer #detroitvseverybody
In 2011, Frost was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. “I had certain symptoms and it was a bulky tumor that was in my chest and it was kind of pushing against my organs and enlarging my heart and all sorts of crazy, scary things,” Frost says. She relapsed in 2012. As of October, Frost has been in remission for five years.
However, cancer struck the Frost household, again. In October 2016, Frost’s husband, Brad, 35, was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer. In an effort to navigate the ups and downs of Brad’s illness, the couple, along with their best friend, Jeremy Potter, launched the platform, Defending Your Life, in the hospital on the first night Brad was diagnosed. The website featured an emotional podcast that included a documentation of Brad’s treatment process. “We’ve always been open about our struggles,” says Dana. “There weren’t a lot of people our age talking about what the experience is like.”
The platform leaves a digital footprint of Brad, who died this year on January 22. On dealing with grief and being resilient, Dana says the key is to honor yourself. That means allowing yourself to breakdown and cry in low moments or letting positivity and joy enter without feeling guilt.
“What I experience everyday that has been surprising over the last year is how it’s possible to carry joy and very intense grief.
Dana Frost, The Forced Joy project
After Brad’s diagnosis, Frost had refocused her Instagram page from the Closet Confessional to the Forced Joy Project. It’s a 365-day initiative aimed at sharing photos/videos that elicit joy. The idea is that perhaps forced joy can lead to actual joy.
Follow Frost’s journey at https://www.instagram.com/forcedjoyproject/.
Thanks to Dana for opening up her world to us.