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Why I Wore Lipstick: To My Mastectomyby Geralyn Lucas
Synopses & Reviews
A soulful, surprising coming of age journey by a dynamo who used her own adversity as a platform for examining issues all young women face.
Having finished journalism school and landed her dream job at age 27, the last thing Geralyn Lucas expects to hear is a breast cancer diagnosis. She decides to go public with her disease despite fears about the backlash at work, and her bold choices in treatment are irreverent and uplifting. When her breast is under construction and her hair is falling out, her skirts get shorter. She goes to work every day and gets promoted. She has sex with her bandages on. She reinvents her beauty and in a bold move of conscious objection, forgoes the final phase of her breast reconstruction: the nipple. She is reborn in a tattoo parlor when she gets a heart tattoo where her nipple once was.
Geralyn recovers from her mastectomy and chemo and has a baby in the same hospital where she was treated for cancer. What could have been a huge negative for this young cancer survivor became the impetus to examine her own sexuality and burgeoning womanhood. Virtually nothing has been written for women of a young age who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. This book also deals with the broader issue of self-acceptance that anyone grappling with questions of illness, self-image and sexuality can identify with.
"Lucas was 27, happily working as a 20/20 producer, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Suddenly, her world became a blur of appointments with surgeons and emotional breakdowns. Her book's catchy title belies its substantial content: this is an honest, perceptive memoir from a feisty survivor who's willing to discuss every detail, like getting sick in cabs during chemo treatments, baldness and sex. In fact, the book opens with Lucas, who's now 36, recounting her visit to a New York topless bar as she agonizes over losing a breast and contemplates reconstructive surgery. Lucas doesn't dismiss her fears; she talks about wanting to have a child and how her husband withdraws when so many other people step in to provide her with emotional support. What makes her memoir so moving is the author's breezy style and her focus on the daily details of her illness ('I am in the shower, and when I start lathering my comb-over, most of it stays in my hands. The big patches of hair just come out. No warning'). The story of Lucas's recovery, and of the birth of her daughter, make her book surprisingly optimistic and immensely empowering. Agent, Jolle Delbourgo. (Oct. 14) Forecast: Sales will get a boost from fashion designer Betsey Johnson's T-shirt celebrating Lucas's book, Stila's 'Geralyn' lipstick, and promotions with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Young Survival Coalition. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
THE BASIS FOR THE LIFETIME ORIGINAL MOVIE!
Having recently graduated from Columbia Journalism School and landed her dream job at 20/20, the last thing 27-year-old Geralyn expects to hear is a breast cancer diagnosis. And there is one part of the diagnosis that no one will discuss with her: what it means to be a young girl with cancer in a beauty-obsessed culture. Trying to find herself, while losing her vibrancy and her looks, Geralyn embarks on a road to self-acceptance that will inspire all women. Although her book is explicitly about a period of time where she was driven by fear and uncertainty about the future, Geralyn managed a transformation that will encourage all women under siege to discover their own courage and beauty. The important and outrageous lessons of Why I Wore Lipstick come fast and furious with the same gusto that Geralyn has learned to bring to every moment of her life.
This book is for any woman who has ever lost anything big.
"Isn't attitude everything?" -Good Housekeeping
"A bold memoir." -People
"Surprisingly optimistic and immensely empowering." -Publishers Weekly
"Geralyn Lucas makes you laugh and cry in the very same moment..... Buy this book for yourself, a friend, or any loved one who is enduring the experience of breast cancer. It's like nothing else ever written on the subject." -Lucy Danziger, editor in chief of Self magazine (the founder of Pink Ribbon)
"Outrageous and often hilarious...This is a totally frank, inspiring and defiant account of undaunted courage." -Seattle Post-Intelligencer
About the Author
Geralyn Lucas was an Editorial Producer at ABC News 20/20 before becoming a director of original programming at Lifetime Television where she is also a proud member of Lifetime's Stop Breast Cancer for Life initiative. Geralyn lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.
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