A book as uplifting as the disease it discusses is tragic, Uplift
is an inspiring collection of voices of breast cancer survivors. Barbara Delinsky, author of The Woman Next Door
and other novels, and herself a survivor of breast cancer, presents inspirational snippets from more than 300 women sharing breast cancer tips and experiences. Reading this book is like listening to the friendly hubbub of a crowd of women all offering advice and comments. They share practical tips about comfortable clothing after mastectomy, treatments for radiation burns, nausea remedies, wigs, advice for friends, and more. They share stories of supportive husbands, boyfriends, and family members who continue to love them. "I will love you till the day I die, whether you have one breast or none," says one husband. "Breasts don't laugh, smile, share brilliance, or give kindness," says another man. Every experience is positive and supportive, but not gushy. The humor chapter will make you laugh aloud.
Delinsky envisioned this book as "the support group that I had never joined but could have used, the one that offered all the practical little secrets of survival that have nothing to do with doctors, machines, or drugs and everything to do with women helping women." She succeeds. (Delinsky is donating all her earnings on this book to breast cancer research.) --Joan Price
From Publishers Weekly
Delinsky (A Woman's Place), a prolific popular novelist, lost her mother to breast cancer and is herself a survivor of the disease. This practical guide is a worthy addition to recent literature about how individual women deal with this illness, like Jennie Nash's The Victoria's Secret Catalog Never Stops Coming (reviewed above). Delinsky has collected a compendium of survival secrets "that have nothing to do with doctors, machines or drugs and everything to do with women helping women" that she wished had been available to her when she was diagnosed in 1994. She offers short personal anecdotes contributed by breast cancer survivors of every age and background. They recount the strategies that helped them through all aspects of cancer, including diagnosis, treatment, support groups and how to best conduct relationships with family, friends and in the workplace. Upbeat in tone, the women share such tips as the types of deodorants that may be used during radiation, how to handle hair loss ("I called my hair dresser and had the remainder of my hair buzzed off.... My buzzed head represented strength and control"), what foods will lessen nausea and, in general, how to take charge of one's life and remain positive. Almost everyone will find something in this varied advice that applies to her particular situation. Several women, for example, thought that hiring a professional to clean for them was extremely beneficial during draining treatments, while another found the mindless "therapy" involved in weeding the garden helpful. Delinsky also contributes several reminiscences, e.g., of her determination to remain physically strong and emotionally healthy after her diagnosis.
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