Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Seeing as October is almost over, I would be remiss if I didn't discuss the fact that this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I first became aware of the disease in 1996 when my aunt succumbed to it. Years later, I dealt with this blow by writing my novel, Trouble the Water, a story about healing. It's a novel about surviving and learning to live again. Granted, my book is not about breast cancer, but it does deal with it as one of my characters is loosely inspired by my aunt. In the back of the book I share resources on the subject and the symptoms of a particularly difficult form of the disease called IBC or Inflammatory Breast Cancer.

My aunt, God rest her soul, did not seek traditional treatment for her cancer and didn't tell her family she was sick until right before she passed. I think, in a way, I wanted to write a book that celebrated life and informed my readers so that none of them would ever have to go through what my family went through. I wanted to share some comments I've received about my book, and I hope that all my readers will not ignore symptoms and get checked regularly. If just one person decides to go for a mammogram because of Trouble the Water, then this will all have been worth it.

"I just finished reading your book Trouble the Water. I wanted you to know that I thought it was one of the very best books I have ever read. I am a breast cancer survivor and I also have very close sisters. Thank you for such sweet words."

"I started (and finished) Trouble the Water this weekend. What a fabulous book! My mother is a breast cancer survivor and I pray your book will lead others to early detection and treatment."

"Oh my gosh, just finished reading Trouble the Water! So intense, loved the pattern of the characters writing their own chapters. Stirred up a lot of feelings in me regarding my own mom's death from cancer 4-1/2 years ago, especially Alice's reference at the end to "magical thinking"... Heart-wrenching. Thank you for this wonderful book."

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