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I Am Not My Breast Cancer: Women Talk Openly About Love and Sex, Hair Loss and Weight Gain, Mothers and Daughters, and Being a Woman with Breast Cancer Paperback – September 16, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Peltason, an editor and breast cancer survivor, founded and hosted the First Person Plural Web site project, an online forum for women facing the disease. Their dialogue provides the content for this book, culled from the entries of 800 women across the U.S. and around the world. Peltason organizes the material into three general parts: Diagnosis, Living with Breast Cancer and The Big Picture, with such subtopics as Sharing the News, Being Womanly and Anniversaries and Milestones. Participants use screen names for privacy, approaching their disease with candor and freely discussing their feelings about their bodies and their relationships. At times, those overcome by anger and fear far outweigh those with a bright outlook, but when these survivors look in the mirror at the conclusion of the text, many envision a hopeful future. Perhaps the most poignant entries are from younger women, some of whom have been driven into early menopause and infertility by chemotherapy. Although this is an informative book, some survivors may discover that these raw entries churn up disturbing emotions; others will find comfort in these voices, and in the knowledge that they aren't alone—either in their sorrow or in their strength and courage. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

The mother-daughter roles that sometimes flip-flop with the diagnosis of breast cancer; the feeling of “mutilation” after bilateral mastectomies and the strength to create a new self-image afterward; the “silent hurdle” of surgery-chemo-radiation fatigue and its accompanying feelings of self-defeat—these and more are the issues Peltason compellingly covers via first-person accounts from members of her online community. These voices rise and fall in a moving chorus of discussion on whether to have a baby, how to plan one’s funeral, and leaving letters for survivors, as forum members respond to and advance the dialogue. Discussion proceeds chronologically through the progress of treatment, from diagnosis to breaking the news to “the defining moment” of hair loss to resumption (or loss) of sexual intimacy as love relationships are redefined. This essential addition to collections concerned with women’s issues and health should see brisk circulation and provoke further, brisker discussion. --Whitney Scott --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; 1 edition (September 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061174076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061174070
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,412,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Rogers ClarkIV on February 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As a man whose wife is undergoing chemotherapy, I wanted to read this book for several reasons. I wanted as much understanding as possible about the emotional aspects for all involved, I wanted to see how well I was doing as the significant other and I wanted to Understand what I might be missing/overlooking about the whole process.
This book did an incredible job answering all three questions. The distillation of wisdom, anger, hope and total honesty of the 800 women involved in the creation of this book is amazing. The brief, but succinct comments, collected on such a diverse arrangements of topics will not only provide helpful paths for those undergoing treatment, but also for ANY family member, friend or co-worker sincerely interested in understanding and supporting the individual battling the disease of breast cancer.
This book should be in every public and health science library as it will do for the soul and spirit what other books cannot.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn M. Hansen on February 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Reading I Am Not My Breast Cancer is like attending a support group for women with breast cancer, only better. Instead of hearing the experiences of one or a few women, the reader shares the cancer journey with hundreds of women. The 800 women who participated in the original project from which the book is drawn are from all across the United States and from several other countries as well. They shared their feelings and experiences with openness and honesty. They laughed and cried together, gave each other advice, and bonded with each other.

Ruth Peltason took those many and varied threads and wove them lovingly into this book. I Am Not My Breast Cancer is not a medical resource, it is a practical resource. It is not the story of one woman's breast cancer, it is the distillation of hundreds of women's experiences with breast cancer--young women, women in midlife, older women, women with early stage disease and women with metastatic disease. Ms. Peltason, herself a two time breast cancer survivor, treats each woman's experience with dignity and respect.

Any woman touched by breast cancer will find herself in the pages of this book, and it will help those around her understand a little better what she may be going through. Cancer centers and doctors' offices should be sure this volume is added to their libraries--it fills a void and meets a need like no other book out there. As a breast cancer survivor, I say, "Thank you, Ms. Peltason, for writing I Am Not My Breast Cancer!"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carol Stark on February 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book should-WILL become a key resource for any woman (or man) who has recently been diagnosed with Breast cancer. It will also bring those who have lived with the disease in remission or hence eradicated, with a sense of comraderie that you rarely glimpse once you are "years out", as we say in the world of survivors. Anyone reading this collection of online dialogs will be able to relate to what is being said. Those who have "been there" will smile, laugh, cry and nod in agreement while reading through the hundreds of passages that have been included in this rich, compassionate and inspirational book. The author Ruth Peltason has also added her own notations peppered throughout, to share some of her own experience as a 2 time Breast Cancer survivor. These women GET IT! I believe this book will also aid those who have stood by watching helplessly as someone they love is effected by this horrendous disease. It allows others to see and feel what these women really went through. Buy this book for a friend, a co-worker, a loved one, or to share with a medical professional. The wisdom, the humor, the warmth that these women have shared online and now in book form is a personal journey that touches the soul. Highly Recommneded!
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