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And Other Lessons I Learned From Breast Cancer

Breast cancer made Jennie Nash a wise old woman at the age of thirty-six. She learned, among other things, that her instincts are good, her kids are really resilient, and that, in the fight against breast cancer, the journey for patients, family, and friends can be a surprisingly positive, life-changing experience.
Some five years younger than the AMA-recommended age for mammograms, Jennie Nash insisted she be tested, not because of a lump but because of a hunch brought on by a friend's battle with lung cancer. Jennie was as shocked to discover as her friend had been that cancer knows no age limits.
From detection and surgery to reconstruction and recovery, Jennie gives readers a road map for a journey no one chooses to take. She details both the large and small lessons learned along the way: the importance of a child's birthday cake; the pleasure of wearing a beautiful, provocative red dress; how to be grateful rather than guilty when someone brings lasagne to the door; and that sometimes the only difference between getting to live and having to die is luck.
A celebration of survival, Jennie Nash's account transforms one of life's most harrowing experiences into a story of reassurance and enlightenment.
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  • Scribner | 
  • 160 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743219792 | 
  • October 2001
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Read an Excerpt

Lesson #1:

Survival Is a Matter of Instinct


You know your body better than anyone else. If you think you have cancer or you dream you have cancer or you have a nagging, persistent belief that the cancer you conquered has recurred, then keep pushing for answers until you're sure, one way or the other. Even if you have a long history of being a hysterical hypochondriac, trust your instincts. Finding cancer early saves lives, and it's just about the only really sure thing that does.

I imagined I had cancer before I knew I had it. The idea of it crept into my consciousness like a song that I couldn't stop singing... see more

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