Chemosabe: Cancer Warrior

Chemosabe: Cancer Warrior

By Alana Somerville

Alana Somerville is a vibrant young woman and mother of two. When she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2010 at the age of thirty-three, Alana decided that she had no other option but to fight for her life. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, she fought back and became her biggest advocate, which definitely played a huge part in her survival.

Alana is an elementary school teacher whose passion for writing, teaching and surviving helped her to create this book. After a life altering cancer diagnosis, multiple surgeries and sixteen weeks of chemotherapy, it was through her will to live and not let herself be beat that she became her own advocate and began to play a major role in her own health care. She was inspired to write this book to help other women realize the importance of a positive attitude throughout this journey called “Cancer”, but she also wanted to write this book so that her children could one day completely understand this battle that she fought for them.

Of special note, Alana writes her book as a Canadian within the Canadian Health Care System. Chemosabe: Cancer Warrior is available for purchase at www.cancerwarriorbook.com.

Breast Cancer at 35: A Memoir

Breast Cancer at 35: A Memoir

By Amy Burns

When Amy Burns was diagnosed with breast cancer at 35 years old, she was shocked and terrified.   Her baby had just turned one, and she and her husband (a stay-at-home-dad) were entertaining the idea of a second child.  She was the career-woman in the family, and suddenly she was facing death.

Her memoir, written through poetry, moves through her story chronologically, from sharing the news of her cancer diagnosis with her husband while still on the phone with the nurse: ” I mouth it to you—the hard C of it choking my confidence and/ catching on my tonsils./ After the news,/ I see your eyelids like wet newsprint” to the end where she admits that her “prayers are more fervent now,/ dogged like spring leaves,/ warm and sticky with a baited question.”  She’s living a new life of uncertainty that challenges her attitude on a daily basis.  This is an honest story of hope, lightheartedness, and frankness for women who either have breast cancer or know someone who does.

Dr. Michelle A. Proper, MD, states, “As a radiation oncologist, I treat breast cancer patients daily.  Breast Cancer at 35 gave me an intimate, brilliant and raw account of the other side of the exam table. I will be recommending this memoir to my young patients to help give them insight into the emotions that emerge in everyday life with breast cancer.”

Breast Cancer at 35:  A Memoir is available for purchase through Amazon.com.

A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss

A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss

By Kristen Math

Kristen Math had it all. She was married to her best friend, Thomas. They had four young children and a baby on the way. After struggling through a difficult childhood, she built her life around her family. When she was sixteen weeks pregnant, Kristen was diagnosed with cancer. The fight for her life and for the survival of her unborn baby unearthed her darkest memories. When she was at her lowest point, cancer provided her with the unexpected opportunity to confront the past and finally face herself. Kristen’s battle with cancer is a story of courage and redemption. It is proof that in the darkest hours of our lives, we can find strength and healing.

A member of Hope for Two, Kristen writes very movingly of her experience. Her insightfully honest, often raw depiction of events makes this book one that readers will not want to put down until finished. The straightforward manner in which she expresses her feelings as she travels this road will be very relatable to others going through a diagnosis of cancer during pregnancy.

 A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss is available for purchase at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and other online retailers.

“She’s Alright”: One Woman’s Journey Through Breast Cancer During Pregnancy

“She’s Alright”: One Woman’s Journey Through Breast Cancer During Pregnancy

By Robin Kimple Ellis

She’s Alright depicts the experiences of author Robin Kimple Ellis and her family as she faces her breast cancer diagnosis and pregnancy. The book discusses her fears, triumphs and ultimate faith in God through a series of vignettes and memories while sprinkling in moments of humor. Reviewers have called it a, “Must read,” and described Ellis as, “A lovely soul.” She’s Alright has also been given the highest rating of five stars on Amazon.com, where it is available for purchase.

In a Word

In a Word

By Heidi Floyd

Heidi Floyd’s innovative book In a Word centers around the concept of meditation on faith. The book contains devotions and Christian based contemplations written by Floyd as she reflects on the difficulties of her breast cancer diagnosis and the impending birth of her fourth child. One reviewer called In a Word a, “Humbling peak into the life of a brave woman.” Another reviewer offered that In a Word, “Moved me to tears.” Floyd’s book is available at Barnes and Noble and at Amazon.com for purchase.

From Incurable to Incredible

From Incurable to Incredible

By Tami Boehmer

From Incurable to Incredible features 27 survivors who shocked the world by thriving years past their original terminal diagnoses. Cathy Winebrenner Wolfe, one of our very own patients and volunteers, is one of the 27 survivors whose experience is featured in this book.

Humor After the Tumor

Humor After the Tumor

By Patty Gelman

Author Patty Gelman’s portrayal of her experience with breast cancer in her book, Humor After the Tumor, is witty, interesting and thought-provoking. She is the mother of MD Lisa Gelman-Koessler a Hope for Two….Pregnant with Cancer Network board member. Humor After the Tumor provides a humorous yet extremely positive perspective on cancer. Based on the experiences of the author, the autobiographical account has received a high rating of five stars on Amazon.com, and has been described by readers as, “A must read for anyone who has been affected by any type of cancer.”

You are the Best Medicine

You are the Best Medicine

By Julie Aigner Clark

Author Julie Aigner Clark has written an informative children’s book for moms with cancer called You are the Best Medicine.  Ms. Clark, a two time cancer survivor and mother of two, draws from her own experience of being a mother with cancer.  In fact, the book is written from the viewpoint of a mother explaining her cancer diagnosis to her young daughter. You are the Best Medicine is a great children’s’ book, written in easy to understand language and accompanied by beautiful illustrations, courtesy of  artist Jana Christy.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each book goes to benefit cancer research at the UCLA Jonsson Center.

Cancer with Joy

Cancer with Joy

By Joy Huber

Author Joy Huber writes with poignant wit, humor and wisdom in her new book Cancer with Joy. When Huber was diagnosed with Stage Four cancer at the age of thirty-three, she turned what should have been a tragic time into a learning experience on happiness. Now, in her book, she shares her secrets with others. Huber maintains that it is possible to have cancer and still be happy; cancer can come with its own small “joys.”

Since its publication, Cancer with Joy has brought hope and relief to other cancer patients and their families, serving as both a personal and professional resource. Hope for Two is mentioned in the book, on pages 118-19 as a resource for women who are pregnant with cancer. You can check out Huber’s book at her website www.cancerwithjoy.com.

Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy

Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy

By Geralyn Lucas

In her book, Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy, Geralyn Lucas writes of her experience with breast cancer.  As you might imagine, the pages of this book reveal the struggles and the victories this young woman has faced.  What might surprise you, however, is Lucas’ honest discussion of her fears and frank discussion of the decisions she never dreamed she would have to make at the age of twenty-seven.

The book opens with Geralyn at a strip club wrestling with, “The one part of the (breast cancer) diagnosis that no one would discuss with me:  what it means to have one boob in a boob-obsessed universe.” The reader feels the author’s dilemma as she is presented with treatment options.  After graduation with honors from Columbia University’s School of Journalism, Lucas landed a dream job at ABC News 20/20.  As a reporter she was accustomed to taking notes.  Now, however, she was filling a reporter’s notebook as she went to doctors’ appointments and poured over information about breast cancer in the Mount Sinai medical library.  At the end of each consultation she had more information but each doctor was telling her that her treatment was her choice.  “It isn’t fair,” cries Lucas, “I want this decision made for me.”

Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy is an amazingly honest and inspiring story of a woman and the courage she found to face the dreadful diagnosis of breast cancer while in the prime of her life.  Any woman, anyone, who reads this book, will be reminded that we cannot choose when and how suffering will come into our lives.  When it does, however, we may discover within ourselves, a courage we never knew we had.  We may even find, as Geralyn Lucas did, the courage to wear bright red lipstick as we face life’s greatest uncertainties.