Thursday, September 11, 2008

pretty is what changes

I'm in the middle of a book by Jessica Queller entitled Pretty Is What Changes. It is a very thought provoking book.

The book is a memoir of Jessica's discovery after her mother's death from ovarian cancer that she has the breast cancer gene which puts her at a very high risk for developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer before the age of 40.

I am not to this point, but I know from reading about the book that she makes a drastic decision to have a double mastectomy. She describes in the book her love for children and her desire to have children someday. I don't know if this part is in the book, but I know from reading about her that, although she is single, she also decides to get pregnant by a sperm donor, then have her ovaries removed.

Radical choice for a young woman. I admire her. It's brave. It's unconventional. It's a young woman with a strong desire to live. The book details the overwhelming last few months with her mother. I love especially the way she describes her mother's beauty.

She begins the book by telling about her mother's idea of beauty when she was growing up.... that beauty is important, that being externally beautiful is something to be really valued. But, as her mother undergoes chemotherapy treatments and side-effects from both the drugs and the cancer, her idea of beauty changes and becomes truly beautiful.

October is breast cancer awareness month. This is the second book I've read on breast cancer. The first was equally as good, called Reconstructing Natalie by Laura Jensen Walker.

If you have ever had anyone in your life be affected by breast cancer or ovarian cancer, if you have daughters, or heck if you are a woman...you should read one of these books. You should know the signs of breast cancer and you should know your risks.

1 comment:

melanie said...

Its one of those things you don't think about until it effects you closely. Cancer is such an icky thing.