Life, with Cancer: The Lauren Terrazzano Story

Life, with Cancer: The Lauren Terrazzano Story


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Newsday columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning social journalist Lauren Terrazzano championed the causes of abused children, the elderly, and the homeless, truly becoming a voice for the voiceless through her writing by taking global issues and personalizing them to dramatize how they affected individual families and people. Not infrequently, her stories would force change in people's thinking and in governmental policies. Lauren infused every journalistic story she crafted with passion. That included her own story: at the age of thirty-six, Lauren—a non-smoker—was diagnosed with lung cancer. Until her death three years later, Lauren turned her incredible drive and her passion for communication into putting a human face on her disease and raising public awareness of lung cancer.

Her boss at Newsday gave her a weekly column called "Life, with Cancer," and it was through this column that Lauren candidly shared her day-to-day experiences and shed light on lung cancer—a disease that kills more women each year than breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers combined.

With the help of coauthor Paul Lonardo, (Caught in the Act), devoted father Frank Terrazzano tells his daughter's compelling life story through the eyes of the many people whose hearts and lives Lauren touched. Lauren's friends, colleagues, coworkers, doctors, and even her college professors, collectively paint an accurate and touching portrait of Lauren the person and the journalist. Reflecting on his daughter, Frank writes of Lauren as "A beautiful young lady who believed that 'The Pen Is Mightier than the Sword' [and chose] to use her pen as a light—a light to shine in dark places exposing society's many shortcomings." Including a foreword by best-selling author Anna Quindlen, Life, with Cancer begins with Lauren's early years as a journalist, and with the intensity of the journalist herself, covers her larger-than-life experiences. A tapestry of Lauren's life is woven together throughout the course of the book, taking into perspective her childhood, her accomplishments as a young journalist, and the final three years of her "Life, with Cancer." These three major components are combined in each chapter to tell Lauren's complete story.

Through interviews with Lauren's doctors, along with those of other physicians, researchers, and clinicians who specialize in lung cancer, readers will have a better understanding of the disease. Life, with Cancer includes excerpts from her moving (and sometimes humorous) Newsday columns in which Lauren wrote about such various subjects as the inappropriate things people say to cancer patients and the myth that people with cancer are heroes. She also criticized tobacco marketers, discussed the cancer battle of Elizabeth Edwards, and wrote about the stress that cancer imposes on the patient's loved ones. Lauren revealed many misunderstood issues about lung cancer with compelling honesty, in particular its increasing incidence rate among women, and she attracted readers from around the world who were eager to follow her medical progress.

With the same passion and honesty Lauren exhibited throughout her brief career, Life, with Cancer chronicles her story and the legacy of her writing that continues to live on to enlighten and inspire.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780757316630
Publisher: Health Communications, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/02/2012
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Frank Terrazzano is a native of Boston. He worked for more than thirty years in the frozen-food industry and was responsible for purchasing as well as production planning and scheduling for Louise's Home Style Ravioli, the largest manufacturer of Italian pasta products in New England. Among his hobbies that include gardening and cooking, he shared a passion for photography and kite flying with his daughter, Lauren. He and his wife Virginia (Ginny) have been married since November 8, 1964. They reside in southeastern Massachusetts. Lauren was their only child.

Paul Lonardo is a talented writer and a publicity dynamo, which has helped to drive strong media attention to his previous book, Caught in the Act. His books include Thrill Killers, A True Story of Innocence and Murder Without Conscience a collaboration with the lead detective who investigated the double homicide chronicled in the book and From the Ashes, Surviving the Station Nightclub Fire, coauthored with Gina Russo, a survivor of the 2003 nightclub fire in Rhode Island that killed 100 people. Paul attended Columbia College, a film school in Hollywood, California, and studied screenwriting. He received a B.A. in English from the University of Rhode Island.

Anna Quindlen is a former New York Times and Newsweek opinion columnist, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and a bestselling novelist.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Foreword Anna Quindlen xiii

1 Dark Thoughts in a Season of Light 1

2 To the Rescue 28

3 Cancer Rises Amid Smoke and Mirrors 56

4 What Cancer Gives: Anger, Not Wisdom 79

5 Young Adults Find Common Ground 110

6 Small Gestures Can Be a Huge Booster 139

7 Feeling on Top of Everything, Briefly 161

8 Measureless Gratitude to Unsung Caregivers 184

9 Secrets from the Alternate Universe 204

10 Lung Cancer: Overlooked, Underfunded 224

11 Focusing on Present Matters the Most 243

12 No Time for Last-Minute Commiserators 260

About the Authors 296

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