How two husbands coped with their wives having breast cancer, from diagnosis through treatment and follow-up. Reporter Stewart (the San Antonio Light) and Murcia, a retired Chicago police officer now married to (and manager for) entertainer Ann Jillian, met and became friends when Stewart interviewed Jillian. The couples remained close, so that when Martha Stewart discovered that she had breast cancer—a lump diagnosed as "fibrocystic disease," and followed by doctors for nine months without a biopsy, was suddenly found to be "hiding" a cancer behind it—Murcia was one of the first people that Stewart telephoned for support. During that same conversation, Murcia confessed that Jillian also had a breast lump, and that they didn't know what to do. "I do," Stewart told him. "Get her to a doctor. If he says biopsy, then get one. I wish I had—with all my heart." As the story evolves, we learn that both women have advanced cases of the disease—in fact, Jillian's was found in both breasts—and their extensive treatment included surgery and chemotherapy. Murcia and Stewart cover all these events, intertwining their stories from diagnosis to recovery (both women are going well now), and also try to pass on helpful hints for others in the situation (get a second opinion, participate in treatment decisions, and so on). Their strongest message is simple: "You are in the fight of your life with your sole aim being to defeat the disease. . .You are probably in for a long struggle, so don't expect any quick, easy solutions. Just hang in there." The narrative is confusing at times, switching back and forth from Murcia to Stewart, and the advice is basic. But readers similarly affected may well find support and comfort following how these two and their wives made it through.
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