Getting it off my Chest: A Journey through Breast Cancer

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Hoping for a Cure: Alternative Cancer Treatment in Mexico. Why are people going to alternative cancer clinics in Mexico? What therapies are used in these clinics, are they effective? Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention breast cancer get this off my chest margaret lesh let me get sense of humor cancer survivor must read diagnosed with breast great read read this book well written recommend this book bilateral mastectomy easy read double mastectomy year old recently diagnosed good read lighthearted sharing your story.

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. This is not the first book that I have read or, I should say, tried to read on the topic of breast cancer. However, it is the only one that I've finished. My previous reads just brought me to tears. That's not what I was looking for.


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I am 4 weeks post bi-lateral mastectomy. This book provided me with the information that I needed to feel somewhat normal. I can relate to the writer on almost every level. The subject matter is heavy, duh! It's a quick, easy, and valuable read. Margaret's story struck a chord with me from the beginning. The book is written in a friendly, nonthreatening way that makes it perfect, in my very humble opinion, as a primer to somebody who's just gotten that call about "suspicious findings" on their mammogram. I know -- we would have all studied harder had we known we were going to fail the test.

I was diagnosed the same day, almost, as one of my son's friend's mothers. She ended up needing chemo. We shopped for her wig long before she needed it, and Margaret's wig-party chapter brought it all back to me as if it were yesterday instead of 7 years ago. My stage 0 "practice cancer," as I called it, and she touches on that subject as well in a way that after all this time makes me realize that the emotions I have experienced are more common than I realized in the sisterhood of lumpectomy scars and radiation suntans. My annual round of mammograms and oncology visits are in a few days, and of course I'll hold my breath until the technician makes eye contact and says, "Everything looks normal.

I only have one problem with this book. It wasn't published soon enough. I have, you see, gone through Breast Cancer myself. Not like Margaret's - hers was Stage IA, a very mild form of Breast Cancer, while mine was Stage IIIB, the last stage before becoming metastatic spreading to other parts of the body, such as the liver, lungs, etc. This is not to say that I in any way am belittling Margaret's mild cancer. Rather, I applaud her for her strength. Other than a very few friends, I had no family. She, on the other hand, has a loving husband and, at the time of her first bout with cancer, a two-year old son.

She had a lot more to lose than I. And that is what matters in all cases, isn't it? Our loss as it affects our families. It felt as if I were walking to the gas chamber or gallows. In December of , when her son was two, Margaret had her first bout with breast cancer. The terror must have been horrific, even if she bore it well and doesn't make a big deal of it in her book.

Let Me Get This Off My Chest: A Breast Cancer Survivor Over-Shares

Now, things were different. Now, some serious issues would have to be addressed, and things would be different. It was time for the breasts to vacate the premises. And so begins her story of her diagnosis, treatment, and reconstruction. Sometimes the only way to deal with horrific things in life is through a dark sense of humor.

Oh, believe me, this story is not a funny one.

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The fear, pain and nausea, the surgeries and drains and pain, oh, and did I mention pain? At times, it is horrifying, and at others simply humiliating. I am right there with her on the nurse who looks at you like you are a bug to be squished on the floor for asking for a bedpan when you are too drugged and too agonized to make it to the bathroom. I was fortunate - I had the services of some of the best doctors and nurses in the world, at Littleton Adventist Hospital in Littleton Colorado, for my chemo treatments and multiple hospital visits nothing like internal bleeding and constant vomiting and fainting to land you into a bed with multiple wires and tubes sticking out.

I never had a single nurse or doctor treat me with anything less than compassion and respect well, except for one doctor, and I think he was just a jerk, no matter what. Well, he was the one sticking the tubes up my bum and down my throat to find the bleeds. I suppose if I worked with people's bums all day, I would be bad tempered too Sometimes I say the medication is even tougher than the illness.

Hey, might as well laugh at yourself, right? Sitting in a lounger for hours at a time while poison was being pumped into my veins was sure to send me into a full-blown panic attack, even at my weakest. I would call it a sort of "Breast Reconstruction for Dummies" except that Lesh's sweet, sincere, funny, yet somehow quite private personality imbues the book with a real sense of intimacy, like she is telling secrets over the dinner table.

As one of her quotes, from Erma Bombeck, says: And in fact Lesh admits that the cancer has been life-changing, it's helped her appreciate life, she cries much more easily, she laughs more easily too. She gives the reader permission to chuckle along too, with phrases like "Frankenboobs. Now I can feel her bravery and optimism shining through--and that's just what women who've been diagnosed with breast cancer and face scary choices need.

Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review. Jul 17, Jeanne rated it it was amazing. This book does memoir right.


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The book is so beautifully human--personal without being over done, funny without being distracting. Have you read memoirs or non-fiction where you skip chunks because the author trails off into filler? Gunk that makes the book longer but not better? There is no gunk here, except the gunk left behind by surgical tape, no filler except the salin This book does memoir right.

There is no gunk here, except the gunk left behind by surgical tape, no filler except the saline in the post-mastectomy frankenboobs. That's a well-told story. The book's themes are very universally applicable. Anyone whose life has been touched by illness, injury, loss can relate to it without that exhausting feeling of being emotionally dragged back through the hard time. The book's tone balances a difficult subject with lovely precision--never overly painful, never like opening a wound--this was like having a cup of coffee with a friend whose been there.

Support groups, spouses, work, money--all the good stuff is there but told in a way that hasn't been done to death and I don't think has been done this well until now. If you think reading a book about cancer will scare you or make you sad, don't be afraid. This book won't hurt, I promise, unless belly laughs cause you pain.

But even then, it's worth it. Jun 05, Linda rated it it was amazing. Margaret Lesh has done a fantastic job of writing about a subject so many people can barely bring themselves to talk about: Yup - the big C word. And she has done so in a brilliant, down-to-earth, and yes, even funny way.

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Sharing her story will help so many people grapple with this difficult subject. But make no mistake, this is an enjoyable read in itself. It's a beautifully designed book and a pleasure to navigate. And Margaret Lesh, besides being a very brave woman, is a kick-ass auth Margaret Lesh has done a fantastic job of writing about a subject so many people can barely bring themselves to talk about: And Margaret Lesh, besides being a very brave woman, is a kick-ass author.

Sep 01, Kimberly rated it it was amazing.

I picked up this book after receiving my cancer diagnosis. It was a warm and funny account of the author's experience with breast cancer. To me, I found it a relief to know that I didn't need to be the perfect, brave cancer patient as often portrayed in TV and movies. The author humanizes the experience with a terrific sense of humor. Margaret Lesh's voice is the perfect companion as you start your own cancer experience.

Jun 18, Mary Herrera rated it it was amazing. I read this book in one setting, as I waited in an ER. I felt so lucky after reading it. I think the diagnosis of breast cancer has to be something all women fear the most. This book is a light hearted guide to help get you through. The author has given a gift for those that will follow her, and makes it just a little less scary. I hope I never get breast cancer, but if I do, I am going to reread it, again and again. Jun 27, Beth Bowland rated it it was amazing. Ladies, share this with your girlfriends. Jan 09, Martha rated it it was amazing.

Lesh takes a sensitive subject and shares from her personal experience with sincerity and lots of humor. Lesh was only 34 in , with a two year old son, when she felt a lump and they discovered cancer. She had a lumpectomy and radiation treatment. Because the cancer was stage 1A, chemotherapy was not recommended at that time. After the radiation treat Ms. After the radiation treatments she was prescribed medication for five years and celebrated when she could throw those bottles away. Although many years passed successfully, Ms.

Lesh was one of the unfortunates who had a recurrence after 11 years so her story continues with more aggressive treatment. The second time around she had to make more difficult decisions and treatment that included chemotherapy so she shares those experiences as well. This book has wonderfully upbeat quotes at each chapter which I find encouraging. There are many good resources shared and specific tips that I have already used and know I will be referring to as my own treatment proceeds.

The chapters are short and focus on specific events, decisions or treatments so it is easy to look up certain sections to refer back to. Cancer, like most diseases, impacts upon close family and friends as well as the individual. There are chapters in the book that give insight to friends and family on the fears and emotions that are being experienced and shared.

This is a quick, informative and easy read. It is comforting even though there is anxiety and sadness shared. I think a big part of cancer treatment focuses on faith and hope which Ms. Lesh conveys throughout, even through the stumbles of fear and depression that are natural.

The book confirms something I have quickly learned through friends and on-line cancer boards. The diagnosis and treatment are unique for each individual, but we all share a common bond and can be helpful and supportive to others as well as accepting help and support graciously for ourselves. I recommend this book to any woman facing their own cancer journey and to those who wish to be supportive and understand more clearly what the patient is going through.

Getting Things Off My Chest: A Survivor's Guide To Staying Fearless & Fabulous - Melanie Young

Jul 15, Liv rated it it was amazing. This is the account of one woman's fight with breast cancer and everything afterwards. To start off, this book's tone was so perfect. It was comical to break up such a serious topic, but also was informative. It was the perfect blend of serious and funny to make this a fantastic read. The book did an amazing job of getting it's information and tips across to the reader in an easy-to-understand way.

Some books of this type can get way to medical or depressing, but this one wasn't at all. It explained everything without confusing someone with no medical knowledge. I also loved the fact that the author gave all of the options possible for someone in the same position.

This book really opened my eyes to all of the possibilities and treatments for breast cancer. Basically, I went in with no knowledge and came out with miles of it. I loved the narrator. She was hilarious and kind and just perfect. She sounds like the kind of person I want to be or I want my kids to be, if I ever have kids. She was brave and strong, the perfect role model. I loved all of the little quotes before each chapter started. Yes, every woman must read this book. Jul 28, Cheap and Lazy rated it it was amazing Shelves: But I thought it would be good for me to read this book, and I like the author's voice having read and loved both of her currently available fiction novels.

So I braced myself. By the end of the first page, I felt that I was sharing a terribly difficult life experience with a dear friend. My heart went out to her. I laughed, cried and puked with her. I had to force myself to slow down because I knew that once the book ended, it would mean good-bye. While this book contains humor and warmth and positive thinking, it doesn't shy away from the ugly hard truths and choices either.

There are many snippets of practical information from a salve for radiation blisters to what not to say to someone who has breast cancer and some excellent advice on words that will always be appreciated. I think pretty much everyone should have a copy of this book, because--tragically--odds are that someone you know will be slammed with this horrible disease and this book will help you be a better friend to them even if that person is you.