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The Victoria's Secret Catalog Never Stops Coming: And Other Lessons I Learned from Breast Cancer

4.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0756761271
ISBN-10: 0756761271
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Amazon.com Review

Touching and courageous, The Victoria's Secret Catalog Never Stops Coming blends the medical realities of breast cancer with the wise and thoughtful opinions of author Jennie Nash. Nash shares every step of her experience with breast cancer, from the first mammogram to the final reconstructive surgery, in a series of "lessons" that divide chapters into stories that are equally meaningful to survivors and their friends and families. While many of the individual stories are sad, taken as whole this is an ultimately positive book--Nash survives with her health and family intact and is spared harrowing chemo and further metastasizing. Her lessons range from "bad news does less damage when it's shared" to "caregivers are human," and are illustrated with deeply personal stories of sobbing telephone messages, family arguments, and never-ending streams of frozen casseroles. The last lesson, "make the experience matter," revolves around Nash's first breast-cancer walk as a survivor, though it could just as easily revolve around the writing of this book, as it is sure to make a welcome difference in the lives of countless women. --Jill Lightner --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

After she discovered that a close friend from high school days was diagnosed with advanced metastatic lung cancer, Nash (Altared States: Surviving the Engagement, 1992), a freelance writer, knew intuitively that a tightness on the left side of her chest was a sign of breast cancer. Her first mammogram was negative, but at a six-month follow-up, 35-year-old Nash was diagnosed with the disease. In this forthright memoir, the author recalls in a series of chapters labeled "lessons" what she learned from going through the ensuing mastectomy and breast reconstruction. In Lesson #2 ("Bad News Does Less Damage When It's Shared"), she explains how the support of her husband, who lost his mother to breast cancer, her family and friends was a "critical component" to her recovery. In another touching but almost lighthearted lesson ("Courage Doesn't Always Dress in Camouflage"), Nash describes a party that she attended shortly before her operation, where she turned heads by uncharacteristically wearing a sexy red dress. Although she did not require chemotherapy or radiation (her margins were clean), Nash did suffer from the physical aftereffects of a free-flap reconstructive surgery that she nonetheless never regretted having. She shares the difficulties of discussing the illness with her two daughters, aged three and seven, and other stressful family events: during her recuperation, a feud developed between her husband and her mother that was obviously a result of the emotional toll her illness took on them. This honest account of a young mother who survived breast cancer will be helpful to others in the same situation.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner's (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756761271
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756761271
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #593,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I don't have breast cancer and I hope to God I never do. But if I did, I would want a friend or family member to give me Jennie Nash's "The Victoria's Secret Catalog Never Stops Coming and Other Lessons I Learned From Breast Cancer." Why? Because Ms. Nash tells it like it is from a woman, wife, and young mother's perspective.
No weighted-down, lofty medical jargon here. She writes from the heart as if her words were lifted straight out of her journal. Ms. Nash's writing style is candid and fearless as she lifts the veil from a disease I, and millions of other women, have long dreaded. My grandmother died of breast cancer. Perhaps it's in my genes. Maybe it's in yours. Having read Ms. Nash's book, I'm no longer afraid. Like her, I hope I'd battle breast cancer with the same hope, humor, and honor.
Life's most difficult challenges sometimes prove to be our greatest blessings. Ms. Nash proves that to be the case by discovering lessons she passes on to readers. Jennie Nash writes that breast cancer made her wise at the ripe old age of 36. Now, thanks to her candor, we're the one's who are wise, and grateful.
This book is destined to become a classic in breast cancer literature. My advice: Buy two books--one to keep on the bookself and one to give away.
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By Katherine on December 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I bought and read this book after my mothers diagnosis with breast cancer,and I have to say this is one of the most realistically heart-wrenching books I have ever read. Any time I ever heard anything about breast cancer,I never paid attention, but little did I know the impact it would have on my (and especially my mother's) life. Breast cancer is one of the most physically,and emotionally draining things you can go through.As my mother's sole caretaker I didn't know what to do to help her.I bought this book as my mother was going through one of her most difficult times,and this helped brighten her spirit. It also gave me tips on what to do to help my mother out and make things more comfortable for her. Even though I am still very young,this helped me realize breast cancer is an epidemic,and you never know when or how badly this will affect you. I liked this book so much I bought two copies,in order to give one to my mom's friend who had also suffered this monster known as cancer. I RECOMMEND THIS TO ANYONE TOUCHED BY THIS DISEASE, IN ANY WAY, SHAPE,OR FORM.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book, The Victoria's Secret Catalog Never Stops Coming and other Lessons I Learned from Breast Cancer, was just what I needed. I was diagnosed with the dreaded BC three weeks ago. I went through a lumpectomy a week ago. I spent the last 3 weeks pouring over technical medical books, reviewing statistics, researching information on the web and learning as much as I could about the disease. I purchased this book on a whim, thinking it may give a perspective that would help alleviate the stress I was going through.
I laughed, cried and also realized that I was not alone. The descriptions of friends and family mirror my situation as well.
The book is now an all time favorite of mine that I hope others will read and also be inspired to tell their story.
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Format: Hardcover
As a young, 31 year-old, breast cancer survivor, this book touched more emotions pertaining to my life, outlook and feelings than the hundreds of other books I have read on breast cancer. It focuses on the lives of young breast cancer survivors, all our options for chemo, radiation, breast reconstruction. Jennie explores our relationships and the meaning of our lives. Breast cancer makes you take a step back and re-examine your life and what you want it to mean. Breast cancer makes you re-examine your relationships with spouses, children, parents, siblings, etc. Jennie fully examines these ideas in this book. This is a delightful book for young breast cancer survivors, but Kleenexes are a must for this 2 hour read!
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Format: Hardcover
Here is an excerpt from a journal entry written while reading this book:
"This is the most difficult book I have ever read. Jennie Nash is a wonderful writer, and she says beautiful things. It is SO powerful though - so vivid - that I can't take it. I cry page after page. I just lay it down a few minutes ago, b/c I literally could not read the words through my tears. I have always had trouble reading about blood, sickness, wounds, disease ... you name it (no, I don't think I will ever be a doctor. You think?), so I am queasy as I read her description of the gaping wound in her abdomen and throwing up while literally holding her stomach in."
Any book that can make me feel that much deserves 11 hundred stars, not 5.
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By A Customer on October 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book after a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. I read it and will pass it on to my friend. I think people who don't have breast cancer will find it useful because Ms. Nash touches on what it is like to have cancer as well as to be a friend of someone with cancer. Congratulations to Ms. Nash for having the courage to take notes while she was sick and sharing her experience with the rest of us.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book cover to cover. It is very worth reading for anyone facing mastectomy and a choice of breast reconstruction methods. The author had a terrible time recovering from breast cancer surgery, but it is very important to distinguish between the physical difficulties caused by the surgery itself (relatively minor) and the physical difficulties caused by the choice of reconstruction (major). The large abdominal scar mentioned in another review is a feature of her "free TRAM flap" reconstruction, a reconstruction choice that can have excellent cosmetic effects when it works but is very physically costly otherwise. I recommend instead the books on breast cancer by Musa Mayer, who is more thoughtful (and also a survivor) and much more medically informative.
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