I've stated here before how cancer has affected my life. I lost my aunt to breast cancer several years ago, and then my uncle to lung cancer (which left my cousins without both of their parents).
I am nearing the one year anniversary of my (step)father-in-law's death from lung cancer at the end of this month.
I think almost everyone has been affected by cancer in one way or another. I myself had a scare when two tumors were found..one in each of my breasts. Fortunately for me, they were benign, but it was very traumatizing waiting for word that I was cancer-free.
I Am Not My Breast Cancer, a self-help book compiled by Ruth Peltason and published by Harper Collins, helps women who have gotten that dreadful diagnosis. The book deals with every issue you can think of as the subtitle states:
"Women talk openly about love & sex, hair loss & weight gain, mothers & daughters, and being a woman with breast cancer."
"I Am Not My Breast Cancer" contains short, easy-to-read, letters from women who have been touched by breast cancer. Whether you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, or know someone that has, there is something for you to learn in this book.
I think I was most surprised to learn that the term "survivor" is not always enjoyed by those who have overcome breast cancer. As one woman put it:
"I dislike the survivor label because I think of the women who have not survived. What does that make them - failures?" -Kellyk01
There are real, raw, honest and gut-renching testimonies that both tear at your heart strings and inspire you at the same time. You will not want to miss out on what these courageous women have to tell you.
For me, I believe the lessons learned are far-reaching and a lot of them apply to anything in life. I took away some very strong messages that I plan to use in my life in general, such as, "Fear is an emotion, faith is a choice." Very powerful.
For more information on the book, check out this review by Publisher's Weekly, or head on over to the book's listing at Amazon.com.
And to read the original notes from women that were compiled for the book, head on over to First Person Plural. You'll find a wealth of information and support there.