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.