Monday, January 28, 2008

I am not my Breast Cancer: A Book Review

I Am Not My Breast Cancer is a book that has a compilation of more than 800 women discussing their fears, trade advice, experiences, and their deep and intimate concerns. These women come from every state in the nation and from continents as far away as Australia and Africa. There is no other book like this out there. I Am Not My Breast Cancer offers women the companionship of other women dealing with this disease. Ruth Peltason has undergone treatment for breast cancer two times! In the book she reveals the stages of the cancer journey...from diagnosis, treatment, recovery and self-discovery. The people in the book are very honest and share their deepest emotions. I think it is amazing that the women in this book range in ages from their early twenties to late seventies! I am 31, and I don't often think of Breast Cancer. I know it is out there, I just think "It wouldn't happen to me." I like how this book really helps the reader to come to a greater understanding of what women go through when they have Breast Cancer. It really opens the reader's eyes. The women who voiced there mind in the book talk about so many topics, including: losing their hair, being a patient/Mom/wife/co-worker, lovemaking and intimacy, weight gain and more. I like how this book makes it very clear that Breast Cancer doesn't have a hold on these women, and that the cancer does not define who they are. "I am not my breast, and I am not cancer; they are only pieces of who I am. What is my heart like, am I kind, strong, loving, compassionate. . . . Those are the things that count." Some women really hate the pink ribbons...they would prefer black ones. I think they see pink as pretty and Breast Cancer is not pretty. Another thought is on the body image. One woman wrote, "It disturbs me to see magazines, TV, and other types of ads using women with large breasts in revealing clothing as the way to enhance sales of their products." I think that is a good point regardless of Breast Cancer, but she makes a good point. It is kind of like throwing it in their face. I love how this book just really peeks into the minds of those who have gone through it. I think one of the toughest things (for me) would be going through it while our kids are young. That part of the book just really hit home for me.

This book was mainly inspired from the author, Ruth Peltason and 800 women who participated in First Person Plural. First Person Plural is a discussion forum online where these women joined together to create a powerful community where they could share and understand what they were fighting. Ruth had wished that a book of this caliber was around when she was going through Breast Cancer.
I think this book is a great tool to use for anyone going through Cancer, or knows someone who is going through it. It is inspiring, heart wrenching, comical, sad, bold, courageous, and very real. It is a great self-help book, but not a medical guide. I think this book really helps a person better understand how to just be a friend to someone struggling with the disease. It really is hard to know what to say or what to do when you haven't been there yourself. I really like how this book gives you a sense of what it is and what it does to the person going through Breast Cancer.
Do you want a copy of I AM NOT MY BREAST CANCER? You can purchase your copy at Amazon: here plus s&h.