Brave, Talented, Bold
These are all words that come to mind when describing the women who battle breast cancer while simultaneously writing down their stories for others. Their words bring hope and courage, joy and humor - all during life’s darkest season. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we celebrate authors and bloggers who have chosen to publicly share their journey with women around the world.
M E M O I R S
The Bright Hour By Nina Riggs
What We Love | Nina Riggs was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. A poet, wife, mother to two boys, and the great-great-great granddaughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson, she shares her final days with readers in her recently published memoir. Equally wonderful and tragic, each page explores the meaning of life and how a person is supposed to embrace each day even in the midst of a terminal prognosis.
Featured and praised by the likes of Oprah, The Washington Post, and USA Today, The Bright Hour is wildly moving, poetic, and a must-read this October.
Reviews | “Her memoir is powerful and gripping and also, brilliantly, laugh-out-loud funny - the perfect reminder that every day here is a gift, and that every day is an opportunity to leave an indelible mark on those who you must leave behind.” - goop
Price | $14
Let Me Get This Off My Chest By Margaret Lesh
What We Love | In her heartfelt collection of essays, Margaret Lesh, a two-time breast cancer survivor, shares the ins and outs of her own journey and seeks to comfort other women also diagnosed with the disease. Topics like etiquette, life after a mastectomy, what to bring to the hospital, and when to play the cancer card make for an enjoyable, yet practical read. Humorous, insightful, and encouraging, Let Me Get This Off My Chest: A Breast Cancer Survivor Over-Shares belongs on everyone’s October reading list.
Reviews | “Sometimes all one needs is a chat with someone who has been there and done that - twice! Based on Lesh's blog posts, this book is a solid fit for patient health collections.” - Library Journal
Price | $9
Nordie’s At Noon By Patti Balwanz, Kim Carlos, Jennifer Johnson, Jana Peters
What We Love | When they were all diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 30, Patti Balwanz, Kim Carlos, Jennifer Johnson, and Jana Peters began a monthly tradition: lunch at their local Nordstrom’s cafe in Overland Park, Kansas. They talked about life, supported one another through treatments, and often ate dessert first. Eventually, the four decided to write a book together.
Nordie's at Noon: The Personal Stories of Four Women “Too Young” for Breast Cancer, documents the journeys of these four women deemed “too young” for breast cancer. It encourages young women to be proactive with their healthcare while offering courage, insight, and strength to every reader. 2017 marks the 10 year anniversary of this memoir; add a copy to your bookshelf this month.
Reviews | “...this is a rare book that has the saddest of endings and yet still manages to be - yes - life affirming.” - People Magazine
Price | $9
Breast Cancer At 35 By Amy Burns
What We Love | Described by readers as “open, honest, moving literature,” Amy Burns bravely shares her cancer journey with the world through profoundly beautiful poetry in Breast Cancer at 35: A Memoir. For women who have breast cancer, or know someone who does, Burns’ memoir is an inspirational gift and small piece of comfort amidst a tragic journey.
Reviews | “What a quiet, moving gift it was to read the words of beauty, humor and strength found within these pages. If you have ever felt the fear and anxiety that comes with any form of life-threatening illness, Burns' poetry will sit beside you so that you are not alone.” - Karen H. Percy, Amazon Review
Price | $10
Cancer Made Me A Shallower Person By Miriam Engelberg
What We Love | Using cartooning to cope, Miriam Engelberg documented her journey with metastatic, terminal breast cancer in what has been called an incredibly powerful, hilarious, and engaging graphic memoir. Published only a few months before Engelberg’s passing in 2006, Cancer Made Me A Shallower Person: A Memoir in Comics continues to comfort and help women around the world, even ten years later. For anyone needing a good laugh during one of life’s toughest battles, pick up a copy of Engelberg’s book.
Reviews | “So funny, so sad, so daring, so honest, and so utterly human that I couldn’t put it down.” - Harriet Lerner, Amazon Review
Price | $10
Pretty Sick By Caitlin Kiernan
What We Love | In her just-released memoir, Pretty Sick: The Beauty Guide for Women with Cancer, beauty editor and cancer survivor Caitlin Kiernan covers everything hair care, wig shopping, makeup tricks, and more to help women look their best, even when they feel at their worst. An empowering and informative memoir released just in time for Breast Cancer Awareness month, make sure to grab a copy.
Reviews | “Illustrated with charming drawings by Jamie Lee Reardin and peppered with advice, humor, and real-girl talk, Pretty Sick will be a welcome and trusted resource for women, helping them to look their best even when they feel their worst.” - Dan Castiglione, BeautyFashionFragrance.com
Price | $14
B L O G S
Leave Me Breastless
What We Love | Genevieve Esgate was 35 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and consequently had a double mastectomy. Choosing not to undergo reconstruction (a decision she recognizes as very personal and private to every woman), she created a fashion blog to help others find clothes that make them feel beautiful and great about their bodies. Her website highlights current fashion trends and she frequently publishes inspirational and encouraging blogs. She has been featured by publications all over the world including ABC, People Magazine, and French fashion publication, Au Feminin.
Let Life Happen
What We Love | Voted one of the best breast cancer blogs six years in a row, Let Life Happen is authored by two-time cancer survivor Barbara Jacoby. She also blogs about domestic abuse - something she has experienced - and is passionate about patient advocacy. Her website is one of the most informative online spaces for women battling breast cancer and includes up-to-date news articles and scientific findings. This blog is one of the best online resources for patients and survivors of breast cancer, as well as their family and friends.
Living Beyond Breast Cancer
What We Love | Living Beyond Breast Cancer, an organization providing breast cancer programs and services to help people whose lives have been impacted by the disease, publishes personal stories, written by patients and survivors all over the country on its award-winning blog. A wonderful resource to connect women and provide an outlet for sharing stories, LBBC is deeply-personal, as well as informative for everyone affected by breast cancer.