A BREAST CANCER ALPHABET
By: Madhulika Sikka
Published: February 25, 2014
Publisher: Crown, First Edition
to share this book. A BREAST CANCER ALPHABET isn’t just for the person with
cancer, but for those who love and care for the person with cancer. I would
even offer that even though this book focuses specifically, in certain
chapters, about breast cancer, this book could be helpful to anyone with any
form of cancer.
Sikka found out she had breast cancer. As she traveled through chemo and hair
loss, surgeries and sickness, she found there wasn’t a book to tell you exactly
what you wanted and needed to hear while going through the days of cancer.
Sikka wrote this book to remind those with cancer and their families and
friends that you can still smile, life still goes on and most importantly, you
have every right to feel the way you do.
expect. Each chapter begins with a letter of the alphabet that explains a part
of living with cancer. In the “A is for Anxiety” chapter, you
will find that anxiety isn’t a feeling experienced just during the waiting game after a lump is
found, but a part of life that continues years after you are “cancer
free”. The anxiety during your treatments is just as real as the anxiety you
feel in the back of your mind, always wondering if your cancer will come back.
In the “E is for Epiphany” chapter, Sikka explains that all
those dreams and wishes you had in your “pre-cancer” life are nothing
compared to the dreams you have in your “after-cancer” life.
Realizing that your life was pretty great just as it was may be the epiphany
you needed. There are also practical chapters like “P is for Pillows”
in which the author shares the practicality and necessity of a
practical, yet emotional book. Just because I am a woman makes me a large
target for the wretched breast cancer beast. Reading this book made me fearful,
yet encouraged. I get my annual mammograms. I perform monthly self-checks. But,
I also have a family history of breast cancer. I know the risk for me is high
and I found comfort in the pages of this book. Sikka was honest, thorough, and
creative in her informative book. I am more aware of how cancer patients feel,
physically and emotionally, because of her honesty. This is a book that
should be shared with every woman you know. We can become better patients, caregivers,
and friends with the knowledge in this book.
Madhulika Sikka is a veteran broadcast journalist with decades of experience. Among other media outlets, she has worked at NPR News and ABC News. For more on Madhulika Sikka, visit her website, http://www.abreastcanceralphabet.com/.