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Finding Myself on the Other Side of Cancer

by Laura Roppé

Pub Date: March 6th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-58005-417-1
Publisher: Seal Press

A cancer diagnosis almost derails a woman’s journey to rock stardom.

After more than 10 years as a corporate lawyer, Roppé finally listened to her heart, quit her job and began making music in earnest. Her dreams were put on hold, however, when her doctor gave her a devastating diagnosis of breast cancer. With the support of her steadfast husband and two young daughters, Roppé resolved to do whatever it took to beat the cancer and take the stage once more. The author provides several interesting stories, including a particularly detailed account of her work as an extra on Oliver Stone’s The Doors (1991), but many of her early anecdotes have little to do with either her burgeoning new career as a rock singer or her struggle as a cancer patient. For example, readers unclear on how to pronounce her last name will find several paragraphs discussing it. Even when directly discussing her cancer diagnosis, Roppé fails to adequately address how it temporarily derailed her musical aspirations. She is also quick to point out the positives in her situation, which can be inspiring, but she never explores the darker aspects of her battle. The later chapters begin with e-mails from her online buddy Jane, a fellow breast-cancer victim. Unfortunately for the author, Jane’s e-mails about her life are more open and engaging than the majority of the author’s narrative.

Some readers may find hope from Roppé’s successful battle with cancer, but her self-indulgent tone may leave others unsatisfied.