Five Lessons I Didn't Learn From Breast Cancer (And One BigOne I Did)

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Overview

An irreverent, funny, compassionate look at what having breast cancer means—and what it doesn't.

From the pink ribbons to the websites that sell related accessories and stuffed animals, breast cancer has morphed from a disease to an experience. And at every step of the way, society tells women that this experience can teach them profound lessons and maybe even give them a peek at the meaning of life.

But what ...

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Overview

An irreverent, funny, compassionate look at what having breast cancer means—and what it doesn't.

From the pink ribbons to the websites that sell related accessories and stuffed animals, breast cancer has morphed from a disease to an experience. And at every step of the way, society tells women that this experience can teach them profound lessons and maybe even give them a peek at the meaning of life.

But what if it doesn't?

Before Shelley Lewis got breast cancer she was a smart, edgy network producer. After the long month of treatment ended, she was still a smart, edgy network producer. The cancer was gone but in its place there was no epiphany, no new perspective on life. Lewis found that for herself and other women, breast cancer was many things, but it was not necessarily an opportunity for self-improvement. It didn't teach them lessons, but surviving it did draw on hard-won life lessons they'd already learned.

A wonderful interweaving of the author's personal story, interviews with breast cancer survivors, and a sharp-eyed journalist's look at the breast cancer “community,” this book is full of unconventional wisdom, unexpected advice, and hilarious observations about life inside the pink bubble.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Over the last decade, breast cancer has morphed from a private tragedy into a shared national experience. In many ways, of course, the intense public spotlight has been beneficial, but it has left some cancer survivors wondering whether they are somehow missing the profound lessons that they have been told the disease will teach. In this irreverent, funny book, network producer Shelley Lewis writes candidly about her fumbling attempts to regard her malady as an opportunity for self-improvement. Her hilarious, insightful observations about life "inside the pink bubble" offer a refreshing look at what surviving really means. Funny, compassionate, instructive.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451223906
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/6/2008
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Shelley Lewis is a graduate of NYU School of Film and Television. After 25 years in television, she wrote Naked Republicans, a satirical voter's guide.
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     vii
Introduction     1
Stercus Accidit
Take Human Bites     15
Delegate. Don't Abdicate     37
Trust Your Inner Voice     69
Our Bodies, but Not Our Selves
It's Not About the Bike Breast     95
Help Them Help You     111
Sex and the Single (Breasted) Girl     143
When the Patient Isn't     159
The After (Cancer) Life
The One Big Lesson I Learned     179
Pink Isn't Black or White     215
Why I Don't Call Myself a Survivor     247
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Breast Cancer is No Fun and Shelley Lewis isn't Afraid To Say So

    This book is terrific. Once I picked it up, I could not put it down until I was done. Shelley tackles a tough topic directly and honestly, and takes the reader along from pre-diagnosis to the end of treatment. One of Shelley's central points is that fighting breast cancer doesn't make us better, more enlightened people, and maybe we were just fine to begin with. There were parts of the book where I laughed out loud, but even the funny parts were tempered with the raw truth that breast cancer is still deadly.<BR/><BR/>I recommend this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2008

    A reviewer

    It is amusing, moving and educational! a must read for anyone touched by this disease.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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