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After Breast Cancer: A Common-Sense Guide to Life After Treatmentby Hester Hill Schnipper
Synopses & Reviews
The definition of irony is being a nurse and a nursing instructor, who suddenly ends up being a patient (who knows way too much) with breast cancer. Well, maybe irony isn’t the exact word Maryellen D. Brisbois uses to describe her situation in her book Why I Hated Pink – it’s just that the word she does use, while a whole lot funnier, is also more profane than should be used in this format. It’s all here; the shock, the tears, the anger, the horrifying treatments and frustrating medical establishment, but there’s also a lot to laugh at – once you get past the whole life and death thing. Oh yeah – there are also all those damn pink ribbons.
“Are you sitting down?” I swear that’s what the nurse practitioner said as I picked up the phone early one December morning in 2006. They really say that to people, It’s not just in the movies!” So begins this moving and hilarious memoir written by a nursing instructor turned cancer patient whose life and experience with the world of cancer treatment has just gone from being the caregiver to being the one who needs the care – and she had just celebrated her 41st birthday a couple of days before.
“I mean, I never thought I’d find myself in an MRI machine lying on my stomach with my breasts hanging toward the floor in these “cone-like” compartments. All I could think was that a man must have invented such a thing.” Thankfully, the Maryellen D. Brisbois story has a happy ending – and a lot of laughs along the way. But this is serious book, about a serious subject that affects far too many women; our mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters. Many of them will be facing the fight of their lives – as they fight FOR their lives. Reading Why I Hated Pink by Maryellen D. Brisbois will make that fight a little easier for those women, and offer a much needed laugh along the way.
As women quickly discover, their life when treatment ends is very different from what it was before their diagnosis. Often exhausted, anxious, and emotionally volatile, they are beset by physical discomforts, fearful of intimacy, afraid for their children, worried about recurrence. Anticipating a return to “normalcy,” they discover that the old version of normal no longer applies.
There could be no more knowledgeable guide for women embarking on this complicated journey than Hester Hill Schnipper, who is herself both an experienced oncology social worker and a breast cancer survivor. This comprehensive handbook provides jargon-free information on the wide range of practical issues women face as they navigate the journey back to health, including:
•Managing physical problems such as fatigue, hot flashes, and aches and pains
•Handling relationships: your children, your partner, your parents, your friends.
•How to regain emotional and sexual intimacy
•Coping with financial and workplace issues
•Genetic testing: why, whether, when
•How to move beyond the fear of recurrence
•And much more
This indispensable book will help you rediscover your capacity for joy as you move forward into the future—as a survivor.
About the Author
Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, brings a unique expertise to her subject: not only her many years as an oncology social worker and the creator of a highly respected support program for women with breast cancer—but also her own experience as a breast cancer survivor. A member of the Oncology Social Work Department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, she lives outside Boston with her husband, the distinguished medical oncologist Lowell E. Schnipper, MD.
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