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 New Book..
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New Book.. - Saturday, June 07, 2008 2:35 PM
I just picked up a new book yesterday at Barnes &'s called "Five lessons I didn't learn from breast cancer (and the big one I did) by Shelley Lewis.

I was attracted right away by this paragraph on the back:

"From the pink ribbons to the chat rooms to the Web sites that sell related accessories and stuffed animals, breast cancer has morphed from a disease to an experience.  And at every step of the way, society tells women that this experience can teach them profound lessons, transform them into wiser, more insightful people, and maybe give them a peek at the meaning of life..........But what if it doesn't?"

It's funny in places, but she's also dead-serious about the fact that it really bothered her when people said things like "cancer is a gift" and "you need to keep a positive attitude all the time."  I actually thought something was wrong with me that I didn't get some kind of revelation that made the experience all worth while!  My journal is full of "maybe I'll get the gift tomorrow" entries...)

At one point, she talks about sitting at lunch with some of her very close survivor-friends.  They all agreed they loved each other, but if given the chance to forego cancer and never meet, they'd be just fine with that....

If you're feeling like you're just not the "BEST, CHEERIEST, MOST GRATEFUL  BREAST CANCER SURIVIVOR IN THE WHOLE WORLD"  this is the book for'll realize you're not alone.


Portland, OR. DX: 6/09/05 IDC lb Age: 54 PR/HR+ Her- Lumpectomy/SNB 6/22/05 Nodes Neg! 33X Rads Comp 10/12/05 Tamoxifen: '05-'10 PT for lymphydema in breast '06 BRCA Neg 7/08! Tamoxifen induced uterine issues '07-'11 Total LA hysterectomy 12/11

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RE: New Book.. - Saturday, June 07, 2008 2:58 PM
Thanks Joyce!
I'll be picking this up. I get really ticked everytime I hear, "stay positive".  Like your supposed to be this happy, go lucky person, every dang day while having numerous surgeriers, posion shot through your veins and zapped daily by high beams of radiatoin! What's even MORE infuriating is when your laughing about your situation and someone tells you to "stay positive".......You have no idea how many times I've wanted to shove that phrase up someone's butt!
It's as if your not allowed to have sad or bad days....give me a freakin' break! I've also had so many people say, "you'll be fine".....I want to yell at them, "How the hell do you know that????? Have YOU been through Chemo  lately?????"
Whoo! Thanks for letting me get that off my chest! Ha!
Karen-Age 44
IDC-Grade 3 Stage 1 (lefty)
dx 2/29/08
4/4/08-SBN (neg) & re-excision
4/28/08-3rd Re-excision-Clear margins!!!!
Chemo-5/27/08(TC X2-bad reaction) CMF-(X3)
Rads-Oct. 08' (34)
Tamoxifen-Oct. 08'

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RE: New Book.. - Saturday, June 07, 2008 3:46 PM
Joyce and Karen,
I Agree!!!!  I also feel myself fighting back the urge to yell when people say, "You'll be fine."  How do they know??!!  I know that they are just trying to stay positive.  I feel like I am going to be fine about 90% of the time but that other 10% of the time I want to scream, "I might not be fine!  I have CANCER!!  People die from this and I could too.  Then who will take care of my husband and little girls!!"  I will also look for the book.  Thanks for the vent!  I was having a 10% moment there!
Age 33   
2 & 4 year old daughters
Cape Girardeau, MO
Dx IDC 05/14/08
FEC 4 rounds 05/27/08
Taxol 12 Rounds 10/7/08
Left Mastectomy 08/27/08
25 Rads completed 03/13/09
ER/PR (+)10%, Her2/Neu(-)
Carepage: MarcyEmmons
Survivor Chris

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RE: New Book.. - Saturday, June 07, 2008 5:03 PM
Hi Gals,
I am new to this message board thing so be patient with me. I think I am getting the hang of it. I could not agree with you gals more. The new one I am hearing is "the old Chris is back" Heck no..The old Chris is gone and cancer has created a new Chris. I had double mastectomy in Feb with tissue expanders put in, just finished having them filled and reconstructive surgery is in Aug. Couple weeks will be going in for a hysterectomy. Everyone says that : I am so lucky" because I did not go through chemo (I am starting to wonder if I should have) I sometime feel very disconnected because I did not have chemo or radiation but I still had cancer and the mastectomy was just as hard.  I sometime wish they could walk in our shoes but at the same time I would not wish cancer on my worst enemy.
I am for sure going to get this book. Everything I have read so far as for sure kept me positive but somedays I just do no feel like being perky.
Keep the Faith gals

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RE: New Book.. - Saturday, June 07, 2008 5:41 PM
If breast cancer is a gift, I would like to return it.

Tricia Keegan

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RE: New Book.. - Saturday, June 07, 2008 6:41 PM
Thanks Joyce, I'm not one of these people who feel glad or gratified they got bc and quite the opposite so I'll look out for this book!
Tricia Keegan...From Ireland Dx July '05 IDC 3/9 nodes pos..triple positive..a/c x 4..Taxol/herceptin x 12
Herceptin 1yr ..rads x35 oophorectomy Aug '06
Currently taking Arimidex /Zometa 1 x yearly
Carepage- survivortricia
Katherine Burto

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RE: New Book.. - Saturday, June 07, 2008 9:13 PM
I'm with Janl.  If cancer is a gift then I should be able to return it and get a BIG check.  To start with I'm thinking of a cancer sucks cruise...anybody else on board?
Kate Burton
Dx 4/06 Stage III E+P+ Her -
4 A&C
Bilat mast & oophorectomy 7/06
6cm tumor, 9/16 nodes +
8 chemo Taxol & Taxotere
35 Radiation
Mom of 2, 4&7
Survivor Chris

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RE: New Book.. - Saturday, June 07, 2008 9:25 PM
I bought a T-Shirt the other day that says "Cancer Sucks" In big pink letters. Let me know when the ship leaves the dock because I am so on it. My girlfriend bought me a coffe mug that says "Hey Cancer, You messed with the wrong bitch" (ooopps excuse the language)
Keep the Faith
Chris-40 yrs old
Parkston,South dakota(out in the corn fields)
Dx 2/12/08
Dble Mast 2/28/08
Node Neg No Chemo No Rad
DCIS(14cm) Tamoxifen fr 5 yrs
Reconstructive surgery 8/28/08
ER/PR + Brac 1 & 2 neg..
Hysterectomy 7/1

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RE: New Book.. - Saturday, June 07, 2008 9:55 PM
Anyone who thinks it is a gift obviously has never had to explain to their kids that their mommy has cancer.  Cancer sucks.
Age 44
Stage III, 6/17 nodes+
DX 10/10/07
Mast&TRAM 10/22/07
A/C & Taxol comp 3/7/08
Rad comp 5/11/08
Started Tamoxifen 5/19/08

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RE: New Book.. - Saturday, June 07, 2008 10:35 PM
Oh! I just had to chime in here! How about when someone says "there's a reason for everything - there's a lesson to be learned". Well there's no damn reason I can think for going through this. I was (and am) a happy, newly-retired, single woman with a great and loving family, good friends, had my priorities straight, no bad relationships, no words unsaid... life was GREAT. And it was that way because I worked damn hard to be a good mom, a good friend, etc etc. Thanks for bringing this up. I loved getting it off my chest.


 A person's greatness is the power to stand alone;to be able to make her own choice; in action,to write anew her own law; to choose her own sacrifices; run her own dangers; win her own freedom; venture her own destruction; to choose her own happiness 

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