Jarvis is an ordained minister with a bawdy sense of humor, and a breast cancer survivor who believes in telling it like it is. She's probably not everyone's cup of tea, especially if you believe certain topics are meant only for a doctor's office and/or the bedroom. Still, don't pass this book by without giving it a go-if you have breast cancer, it might be exactly what you need. A chaplain at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Jarvis cares deeply about others, and for all her fast talk, she's a listener. The accounts of other people's struggles are among the most moving in the book. She is also guided by a spiritual sensibility that transcends organized religion. But most of all, she's walked the walk. Diagnosed with breast cancer at the same time as her mother was, she underwent a mastectomy, chemotherapy and an implant with courage and, yes, a sense of humor that signals a deep appreciation of life. The title comes from patients whose first question after being diagnosed with breast cancer often is, will I lose my hair? And Jarvis, because she is truly wise and compassionate, understands what they are really asking: will I lose my life? (Oct.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
It's Not About the Hair: And Other Certainties About Life and Cancerby Debra Jarvis
Debra Jarvis works as a chaplain supporting patients at Seattle’s Cancer Care Alliance (the clinic founded by the world-famous Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute). In that capacity she meets daily with patients in at many points along the path of living with cancer, from diagnosis to treatment to recovery and facing death. So in one of those ironic
Debra Jarvis works as a chaplain supporting patients at Seattle’s Cancer Care Alliance (the clinic founded by the world-famous Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute). In that capacity she meets daily with patients in at many points along the path of living with cancer, from diagnosis to treatment to recovery and facing death. So in one of those ironic twists of fate, Jarvis was diagnosed with breast cancer herself. It’s Not About the Hair is the account of her time with cancer. As she says, the first thing people ask when they learn you have cancer is whether you are going to lose your hair. But what they really mean to ask is whether you are going to lose your life. Debra Jarvis is able to write honestly and humorously about her experience with cancer because she has had the unique experience of having witnessed and having guided so many cases of cancer. And she brings all of that perspective and context and wisdom to the story of her own breast cancer. As an ordained minister she considers her voice to be a combination of Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid" and Martha Stewart (pre-felon, that is), a persona she labels Mr. Martha Miyagi. It’s mystical and practical. Debra Jarvis manages to channel a humor that is reminiscent of Nora Ephron. This is a cancer story that won’t give you the creeps, but it will guide you to think deeply about the serious stuff like ingrained views on health and disease, life and death, the time we have and how we want to live it.
An ordained minister, Jarvis worked as an oncology care chaplain prior to her own breast cancer diagnosis. But if you expect a staid, glass-is-half-full sermon, hold on to your garters, because Jarvis is nothing like the recruitment films. In an email to family and friends, her second thought upon diagnosis was, "Oh, shit." And among the discussions of the trials and travesties of the disease, she addresses her faith and conversations with "Mr. Martha Miyagi." No matter your own belief system, Jarvis is a breath of fresh air in the congested world of health memoirs. Recommended for most libraries.
- Sasquatch Books
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- 5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.70(d)
Meet the Author
Debra Jarvis has worked in hospice at Group Health Clinic in Seattle and currently serves as a multi-denominational chaplain at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. She recovered from Stage II breast cancer after a mastectomy, chemotherapy, and an implant. She
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Absolutely a great read! Being a 'new' cancer survivor I laughed, cried and found joy with this book. It let me know that my emotions were the same as many going through this ordeal. Debra Jarvis is so down-to-earth that you feel like she's talking to you personally. It doesn't matter what kind of cancer you have, it's the attitude you carry with you and she expresses that so well. Kudos!
Hilarious & inspiring! Loved the book, love the author even more. This is the kind of book that you start reading and don't want to put down. EXCELLENT!