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Comment: exlibrary hardcover book no dust jacket, usual library marks and stickers, has some reader wear . Small bumps to corners
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A Breast Cancer Alphabet Hardcover – February 25, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; First Edition edition (February 25, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385348517
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385348515
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #660,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Breast-cancer patients will fall in love with Sikka, executive producer of NPR’s Morning Edition and a funny, chatty, and honest storyteller. She opens with her own diagnosis in December 2010, on the very day she interviews President Obama in the Oval Office and during the week Elizabeth Edwards dies of the disease. Sikka organizes the rest of her book about “Cancerland” alphabetically. A is for “Anxiety”; G is for “Guilty”; S is for “Sex.” She succeeds in writing the kind of book she wanted: “A little pick-me-up that I could turn to—nothing too long or scientific or self-indulgent. . . . A short book that wouldn’t tax my chemo-addled brain.” She bluntly calls a mastectomy “an amputation of the breast”; calls her plastic surgeon her “very own Michelangelo”; reveals that her fingernails turned a blackish purple during treatment; and humorously notes the silver lining to losing hair during chemo (“Leg hair? Well, no waxing for the duration of my treatment so not so bad. The same for underarm hair”). She comes across as a loving mom (to two daughters), wife (to a Georgetown history professor, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2000), and friend. Just what the doctor ordered. --Karen Springen

Review

Booklist Top 10 Science & Health Book of the Year

"Breast-cancer patients will fall in love with Sikka…a funny, chatty, and honest storyteller….Just what the doctor ordered."Booklist (starred)

"[Sikka's] charming alphabetic compilation...is a warm and fuzzy friend to keep close during the cancer journey. 'B' is for buying multiple copies." - Library Journal (starred)

"Sikka's voice is calm and earnest, poetic and descriptive, and occasionally even uplifting. Those who find cancer in their lives, whether first-hand or through a friend or family member, will appreciate the raw but supportive voice that emerges here."- Publishers Weekly

"Sometimes humorous, always honest and straightforward, this little book offers the perfect combination of practical advice and personal musings to help any woman, her family and her friends handle the complicated road through Cancerland."- Kirkus Reviews

"A Breast Cancer Alphabet is like having a chat with someone who’s walked the walk and has a thing or two to share with you about it which just might make your walk a bit less scary."- Nancy's Point

"Thank goodness for Madhulika Sikka! She is neither a warrior nor a hero. Her breast cancer made her neither sexy nor spiritually enlightened. She is simply a real woman with a real illness who tells it true: with grief, anger, wit and great authenticity." - Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture

“A Breast Cancer Alphabet is a brisk, user-friendly ABC of dealing with the disaster of cancer and how to get through it with a smile. It is a remarkably insightful and sensitive guide to making the best of the worst, all delivered with Madhulika’s wit and vital energy.” - Tina Brown, former editor of Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, and the Daily Beast

"Madhulika Sikka is the honest-talking-advice-giving-big sister-sage-support group that every girl needs to help navigate the world of 'cancerland'. A Breast Cancer Alphabet is the definitive how-to go-to book." - Marisa Acocella Marchetto, author  of Cancer Vixen

"Madhulika Sikka's A Breast Cancer Alphabet is brilliantly researched, smart, and personal - an unvarnished primer of what every woman needs to know about the diagnosis, treatment, and consequences of living with breast cancer. Her practical advice  from "A" to "Z" is exactly what I wish I'd known when I was first diagnosed. With the trained eye and ear of a top-flight journalist, she demystifies the disease, telling you everything you forgot to ask that no one else will share. Reading it will help you recognize, and even laugh, at your worst fears. "B" is for "Brava", Madhulika - for your honesty and creativity in guiding us on a journey none of us chose to take. It is a lot easier when you have A Breast Cancer Alphabet at your side." - Andrea Mitchell, NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent

"This useful and often amusing little book should be the first present you give someone who’s been diagnosed with breast cancer.  Its practicality extends from sound advice (“drugs are your friends”) to the inclusion of pages for notes at the end.   By presenting her own experience in a wry and matter-of-fact manner, Madhulika Sikka removes taboos in talking about sex, or looks or the desire on some days to just quit soldiering on through the whole deal.  It won’t make having breast cancer easier but it will make the dread disease and its treatments less mysterious.  That’s a gift indeed." - Cokie Roberts, journalist and author of We Are Our Mothers' Daughters

"Breast cancer is a topic no woman wants to learn about first-hand. But should it happen to you, Madhulika Sikka’s A Breast Cancer Alphabet is an ideal primer for before, during and after the experience. Offering the kind of real-world advice that can only come from someone who’s lived to tell the tale, Sikka’s book is required reading for anyone in search of a book that will bring you up to speed quickly, gently, and with genuine empathy."- Micki Myers, author of It's Probably Nothing...

"'T' should be 'Thank you, Madhulika,' for writing a witty, practical and honest book. Too many cancer books out there gloss over the uncomfortable realities of living with a life-threatening illness. A Breast Cancer Alphabet is a must-have for women with cancer." - Suleika Jaouad, New York Times columnist

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Customer Reviews

I found the book to contain helpful information.
LGE
I highly recommend this book for anyone having been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Kimberly A. Brown
I will call this book my "ray of sunshine" on so many dark days.
Denise Kerfoot

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anthony2900 on March 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My mom is a month from her diagnosis and two weeks into her first chemo treatments. She said that although not everything is the same, the perspective provided by Sikka is spot on and helpful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cyndi W on February 26, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Though I am only part way through my treatment and have yet to visit all of Cancerland, it's as if Madhulika spent some time inside my head while writing this terrific book that includes thoughts, feelings, and tips based on her own experience with breast cancer. While everyone will have a slightly different experience, I suspect that most women making their way through breast cancer treatment will feel the same. This quick, easy read tells it like it is, and does so without sugar coating the many challenges of having breast cancer. The illustrations for each letter of the alphabet are clever and add a touch of levity to the book, and the note taking pages at the end will be a good place for readers to memorialize their own letters of the breast cancer alphabet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cmac on March 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was published two months after I finished radiation. I wish it had been available earlier. It has so many great thoughts and truths. I found myself shaking my head in agreement and thinking, "I wasn't alone in the way I felt." Thank you for this book. I have already recommended it to someone just beginning her battle.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary Lee Peters MD on March 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The name Madhulika Sikkah has been a familiar, but faceless part of every morning as I wake to National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." I was pleased as I read her book to put a face and real humanity to her public presence. Her book is part painful memoir, part social commentary decrying the culture that surrounds breast cancer, and part intuitive advice for a woman facing breast cancer. Her writing is surprisingly fresh and feels authentic without sentimentality. Her ability to pick the exact word to convey subtle shades of meaning makes this far more than a simple advice book. It is thinking that could apply more broadly to any type of loss in life, not only the oh too common disease of breast cancer. The book exceeded my expectations!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Linda Stroup on March 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Validating. Could not read any books until last treatment yesterday. Hate the words warrior and journey, especially disappointed in the medical community that got so upset if I did not enter the office with an upbeat attitude.. taking a vacation Soon!
Ls
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Toni Dutton on March 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
How very much I appreciated Sikka's straightforward and honest discussion of cancer. I am just beginning my treatment for breast cancer and her stories and advice is so helpful.
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Format: Hardcover
This book dives deep into the world so many don’t want to talk about – Cancerland, as Sikka calls it. A Breast Cancer Alphabet is a wonderfully user friendly ABC of how to deal with the devastating news of having cancer. It will even help you try to get through it with a smile. This is advice from A to Z that should be read before, during, and after you are throttled with the unexpected news this is now your life.

I wish I had been able to read this book six months ago. That was when we found out a family member had found a lump and would be diagnosed with Breast Cancer. We have now gone through some of the stages talked about in this book and are still in the process of finishing the Chemotherapy. So much of the information would have been beneficial for us all to have read and known before hand. The way it is laid out makes it easy to understand and gives you something to shake your head at and say, “Yep, that is exactly what is going on. Glad I’m not the only one.” The personal experiences put forth on these pages couldn’t have been easy to share with the world; but for everyone who reads them; their experiences might be that much better for it.

It is a shame that we even have to have the need for a book such as this but we do. It is nice that it is given in such a way that it is easy to understand without tons of medical jargon filling the pages leaving me even more confused than I already was. I enjoy that something like this cuts straight to the point, gives me the facts and lets me process the information. Sikka did just that in a fun style that made me forget I was reading about a pretty depressing topic overall. This book is well written and needs to be read by anyone dealing with Breast cancer, or any cancer for that matter in my opinion, in any way. It will help and when dealing with such a thing that help is something we need most.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Not many of us can say that cancer hasn’t touched our lives in some way whether it be in our own life or in the lives of our loved ones. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I always like to try and spotlight a few books that deal with breast cancer and those dealing with it. A Breast Cancer Alphabet by Madhulika Sikka is a little book that packs a big punch and should be one of the first things you gift a newly diagnosed breast cancer patient. This book will give them some insight into what will happen to them in terms of the medical side of things and also the personal side as well. The best way I can describe this book is to say it is very real and straightforward. Madhulika talks about sex, drugs, your feelings on your hair and breasts for that matter – she addresses so many things that really matter when you’re diagnosed with this devastating disease. As a note I used my own photo because I think it shows just how pretty this little book is and as frivolous as it may sound I think it’s important to have pretty things when you’re not well along with your favorite pillows (the author speaks about that), blankets, and of course your furry pet if you have one.

Yet this book isn’t just for those diagnosed with breast cancer. It is important for an individual’s family and friends to read it as well so they can gain a much better understanding of what their loved one is dealing with. Breast cancer has touched my family many times unfortunately as many carry the breast cancer gene and I lost a best friend to breast cancer as well. So many things that Madhulika describes I can still clearly remember one of my aunts and my friend dealing with.
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