MY BREAST by Joyce Wadler


One Woman's Cancer Story
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 A talented journalist's completely engrossing and unexpectedly humorous account of her victory over breast cancer. Wadler was about to take a leave of absence from her job as a senior writer at People in order to finish writing a book on a French espionage case when she discovered the lump in her breast that threatened her life and changed it forever. The lump was removed and found to be malignant, and, after further surgery to biopsy her lymph glands, Wadler underwent radiation therapy and, nearly a year later, chemotherapy. In now telling her story, she bares not just her breast but her heart and her soul. Wadler is single, 44, sees a shrink regularly, and longs for marriage, but she's not to be pigeonholed easily as another unhappy New York career woman. She is funny, bright, and self-aware. Her portraits here of her Jewish mother and her Italian lover could have been caricatures but are not, and her descriptions of her best friend, a warm and witty fellow-journalist who's there when she needs him, are a delight. Throughout, though, there's a sense of aloneness that makes Wadler's story especially poignant. Tough decisions must be made, and she does her best to make them intelligently, using her journalistic skills to find resources and to gather information. Her medical descriptions are a model of clarity and a treasure for other women facing treatment for breast cancer. An afterword by Susan Love (Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book, 1990) offers straight talk about our ignorance of the causes of breast cancer and about the urgent need for more research in prevention, detection, and treatment. When a version of Wadler's story appeared last April in New York magazine, readers had to wait a week between installments; readers of this book are unlikely to put it down for a minute. A marvel of self-reporting: warm, wise, and witty.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-201-63283-7
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Addison-Wesley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1992


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