Portraits of Hope: Conquering Breast Cancer : 52 Inspirational Stories of Strength

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9781556708558: Portraits of Hope: Conquering Breast Cancer : 52 Inspirational Stories of Strength
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A book-and-journal set offers an inspirational collection of breast cancer survival tales from famous women, including Nancy Reagan, Julie Harris, and Betty Ford, all of whom fought and won their battles against breast cancer.

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"Whether you're one-breasted, two-breasted, or no-breasted, it's a two-fisted fight," says former congresswoman Bella Abzug in this inspirational and motivational book-and-journal set. It includes touching passages from both male and female breast cancer survivors, as well as women who've had prophylactic mastectomies, from social workers, teachers, activists, and artists to celebrities including Julia Child, Linda Ellerbee, actress Jill Eikenberry, and Betty Ford.

The essay by Ms. Senior America Miriam Adamson is especially uplifting. Her husband left her after 33 years of marriage, and she was diagnosed with breast cancer soon afterwards, which she attributes to her heavy emotions. Chemotherapy left her bald, but she drew strength from the students at the high school where she taught: "She laughs when she recalls that though they started out with the very solicitous words, 'How are you, Ms. Adamson?' the next question would invariably be, 'Can I get a pass to study hall?' so they could see their boyfriends or girlfriends. They were too busy with their own lives to pander to her illness." She's been cancer-free for 15 years now.

These survivors discuss their sometimes controversial decisions--from hedging their bets and refusing chemotherapy to having a radical mastectomy when the doctor said a lumpectomy was all that was needed, to continuing hormone-replacement therapy even though it's been shown to stimulate the growth of breast cancer. These profiles prove that listening to one's inner voice--even if it goes against conventional wisdom--is essential. All proceeds from this collection will be donated to the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations.

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