Greetings from beautiful New Hampshire! As I write this, the autumn leaves are in full color and homes around town are festooned with cornstalks, pumpkins and an occasional goblin.I originally planned to blog about Halloween by sharing a few stories of houses purported to be haunted in our little town, but as usual, life intervened and I realized I have a message that is far more important to share.
October is breast cancer awareness month. This is the one month of the year when more women can save their own lives than at any other time because of the national attention this initiative receives.
I know, because I am a survivor.
Seventeen years ago this month I was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer. Was I terrified? Absolutely! Although I was acquainted with a few survivors, I was also acutely aware of those whose lives had been taken.
And I felt helpless. They say knowledge is power, but remember—the internet had not yet been invented and I was dependent on information from my healthcare providers. They were wonderful and answered the questions I asked, but their focus was on saving my life, not on offering tips of how to regain control of a life that had been tossed into the air only to land with a hard “thump.”
As the old saying goes, “you don’t know what you don’t know.” For instance, I had never heard the term “chemo brain” and simply thought my inability to formulate coherent thoughts was a permanent side effect of the treatment. (I’ve since recovered and gone on to write Loon Cove!)
I share my story with you for one important reason: Women and their families have a resource that will inspire and encourage them as they journey through diagnosis, treatment and survival of breast cancer. UPLIFT—Secrets from the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors, 10th Anniversary Edition was released on September 26, 2011. Authored by New York Times bestseller Barbara Delinsky (a survivor herself), UPLIFT provides hope and non-medical, common sense advice from survivors like myself and their families.
Please consider purchasing UPLIFT for yourself, if you are surviving, or a loved one who may be battling this disease. This gift of love will not only benefit its recipient but many others as well—for all proceeds from the sale of this book (and all prior editions) go to Barbara’s breast cancer research foundation at Mass General.
It’s not what you know that can hurt you. . .
UPLIFT can be purchased here.