How to Manage When You Discover You Have Breast Cancer

This Week’s Book = Bald is Better with Earrings (by A. Hutton)Dealing with Breast Cancer

Ok, so I’m getting back to the books this week. I chose this book for several reasons, namely the topic, the smile that crossed my face when I read the title, and the shiny picture on the cover. To stave off any immediate questions in advance – no, I do not have breast cancer. I do, however, work with women and men who experience loss of all kind…so I want to be prepared and knowledgeable for those who come to see me regarding the losses associated with cancer.

Bald is Better with Earrings is the ultimate self-help book for people dealing with breast cancer. It is written by Andrea Hutton, a survivor of breast cancer, and it gives explicit details on exactly what to expect from the moment of diagnosis onwards. Hutton devotes chapters to discussing appointments, tests,
surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, and recovery. Throughout the book, she also provides suggestions (often in list form) based on her own experiences, the conversations that she’s had with other survivors, and the research she’s completed.

The first thought that I had when I started reading this book was that it read like a blog…then lo and behold, Hutton stated that this book started as a blog! The “blogness” of this book reveals itself in the informal language, the conversational tone, and the mass number of lists throughout the book (i.e. ‘Top 5 Tips for Handling Chemo’). Even though she writes in a relaxed manner, Hutton does not fail to stress how life-changing and serious a cancer diagnosis and the subsequent treatment is. She does not build false hope, but speaks in a realistic and hopeful way. This book is amazingly informative and helpful. I can see how it would take some of the fear out of a cancer diagnosis by describing (as much as possible) what you can expect to happen. It normalizes a lot of the experiences associated with cancer and provides a wealth of information in a way that will help people dealing with cancer to feel a small semblance of control in an otherwise chaotic situation.

I honestly can’t say enough good things about this book. As Hutton states on page 31, “This isn’t Grey’s Anatomy. This is your life.” So if you have been diagnosed with cancer, have a family member or friend with cancer, work as a health professional, or just have a general interest, buy this book. Read it, feel prepared, get some ideas, and develop an insane amount of empathy for someone who is going through cancer.

Interested in the book? Click here!

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