Your Guide Through Her Breast Cancer Journey by Katherine Formosa Bown (review copy) - If someone you love and care about has just been diagnosed with breast cancer and you’re feeling a little helpless, scared and not sure what to do next, then this is the book for you. ‘Your Guide Through Her Breast Cancer Journey’ will provide you with what you need to know right now. Everything from diagnosis and treatment to coming out the other end and most importantly, this book explains clearly how you can make a difference. Written by a recent breast cancer survivor, this book will give you first hand information on how you can support her with easy-to-understand explanations, tips and advice so you can be there every step of the way for the person that you love. From Amazon UK
Fortunately, neither I nor anyone I know has been diagnosed with breast cancer, but the topic of breast cancer is something that really strikes a chord with me. Whenever there's something on TV about it, I always stop what I'm doing and the TV has my complete attention. For me, it's one of those deep-seated fears; the thought of getting breast cancer, or any type of cancer really, terrifies me. So when I was contacted by Katherine Formosa Bown about reviewing her book, despite it not being something I normally review, I knew I had to read it, but not just for myself. It occurred to me that I don't know the personal lives of my readers, and although you visit my blog to read about YA and fantasy, if there's a chance that even just one of you reading knows someone being treated for breast cancer, I owe it to you to make you aware of this great book.
Katherine Formosa Bown is a breast cancer survivor. She decided to write Your Guide Through Her Breast Cancer Journey after being asked advice from newly diagnosed women and their friends and family, to make this information available to all those wanting answers on how they can help. This guide is mainly for the loved ones of a breast cancer patient, but could also be helpful to those who have recently been diagnosed.
What I loved most about Your Guide is how real it is. It's not a cold, factual book full of medical jargon that's difficult to understand. Bown not only explains the various stages, the body's reaction to each stage and gives advice on how to help during each stage, but also relates it to her own experience. At it's very heart, this book is Bown saying, "This is what I went through, this is how I felt, and this is how you can help your loved one going through similar experiences." Bown goes through the emotional ups and downs of each stage, the struggles with self-confidence and keeping positive, through simple things like the kinds of skin care products that should be used and the exercise that patients should take.
Another great thing about this book is how Bown goes into detail of the different stages and grades of breast cancer, the different types of surgery the patient may have to go through and why, chemotherapy and radiotherapy and the side effects, without losing the reader. It's all simply, yet thoroughly, explained and very easy to understand.
It's important to emphasise that this is a guide; Bown is not a medical expert, and she clearly states that breast cancer patients may react differently. It's not a step-by-step instruction manual on the exact things you must do for your loved one, but offers suggestions on the things she may find helpful during the different stages of treatment.Your Guide is a great insight into what the patient is actually going through - what she's thinking, feeling, suffering - directly from someone who's been through it herself, with tips how best to help them. As I said this is a guide, but I myself found some of the tips you should and shouldn't do quite surprising, yet when explained, completely understandable. When you're not suffering from breast cancer, you may not realise sending a "Get Well Card" may be a mistake, or avoiding talking about the subject all together could be upsetting.
I must also point out that Bown says that things such as classification of stages and grades may vary from country to country, and how men may react differently through the treatment, so this guide is specifically about breast cancer in women in the UK, but as a general guide, I still think it could be quite useful.
Your Guide is a self-published novel, and there are a few editing issues; some grammatical mistakes or awkward phrasing, but on the whole, it's a well written and almost conversational guide. Bown isn't just talking about the subject and offering advice, she's talking to you. Your Guide Through Her Breast Cancer Journey is a very informative, eye-opening and moving book, with brilliant advice, with something in it for all those who has a loved one is being treated for breast cancer.
£1 from every sale of Your Guide Through Her Breast Cancer Journey goes to Breast Cancer Care, a UK breast cancer charity, from now until 31st December 2012.
Thank you to Katherine Formosa Bown for the review copy.
Published: 22nd August 2012
Publisher: Urban Traffic Publishing
Buy on Amazon US
Katherine Formosa Bown's Website