UPLIFT by Barbara Delinsky

From the jacket cover:

Bestselling author Barbara Delinsky, whose life has been shaped by her mother’s breast cancer as well as her own, has created the book she wished had existed when she went through her treatment.  UPLIFT is a one-of-a-kind collection of anecdotes and advice, told in the words of everyday women of all ages who are part of the ever-growing sisterhood of breast cancer survivors.  You won’t find medical advice or technical matters discussed here.  But you will find all the little things that only someone who’s been there can tell you about.  What kind of deodorant can I use during radiation?  Are there certain foods that really satisfy on treatment days?  How can I still feel feminine?  Is there romance after breast cancer?  What can I do to feel more in control of my body and my life?

But UPLIFT isn’t only for those with breast cancer.  Friends and family can read it to find out what they can best do to help.  And men? UPLIFT contains quotes from them, too.  They share what worked best and how they felt as they helped the women in their lives through it all.

Practical, warm, funny, reassuring, supportive, personal…the insights by the contributors to UPLIFT reveal how they faced their fears and came through their ordeal ready to get on with life and love, career and family – and how you can too.  If there is one book you’ll want to keep close at hand as a nightstand support group, UPLIFT is it.

My thoughts:

When I was asked to write book reviews for ENLR I am betting that they had no idea this would be one of them.  Shoot, I had no idea.

On Friday, April 29, 2011, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  The very next day, my sister-in-law mailed me this book.  I think she keeps a stash of them.  When I finally had time to sit down and read a few pages I was blown away.  Honestly.

So far,  on my little adventure through this time in my life, I have not let it get me down.  The first chapter in this book is called On Diagnosis, and several women wrote about being just like me.  That’s a good thing, right?  Now, I can honestly say that you probably will never hear me say this again…everything about me and my reaction is normal.  I do not like that word.  What is normal anyway?  I like to think I am a little strange, weird, or even freakish at times, but normal I’m not sure about.

The next chapter is Losing a Breast.  I started reading this chapter, and realized that I had not really thought about how it happens.  I mean, I have thought about losing a breast because I am definitely planning on losing one, but I hadn’t thought of drains, or anything like that.  So, I chose to skip that chapter and move on to the chapter on Humor.

You have to realize that as of now I do not even have a surgeon picked.  So, until I know a plan I really don’t want to read about that stuff.  I guess I need to wrap my head around it all before I envision it happening to me, and when I do I will have this book, UPLIFT, to get me through.

This book will stay with me throughout my little adventure as a guidebook, if you will.  In my personal opinion, this book is a necessity for anyone that has been diagnosed with breast cancer, or even a loved one that needs to be prepared for all that will happen.

Cyndi suggested that I link to the posts I wrote about my being diagnosed with breast cancer.  Here they are…

Testify the Blog – Just Another Lump in the Road

Another Chance Ranch – I’m Gonna Fight!

After you read those, go do a self-exam!!