On The Writing of Beauty and the Breast

beauty_breastI am so pleased that my breast cancer memoir is now complete, and though it won’t be published till October 1, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it has been brought to life by Coffeetown Press, Seattle, and it is up on Amazon now for advance sales.  Please click here to pre-order and read more about the book.

Here’s how I came to write the book:

During my cancer treatment (I was undergoing radiation at the time), my husband took me to see a concert of the six Brandenburg Concertos by Bach. As I sat in the darkened church listening to this most transcendent music, as I watched the musicians on stage, particularly the women playing violins, a thought came to me: “Breasts are everywhere in Brooklyn.”  I got a pen from my purse and wrote down these words on my program. Further, I reflected, “Breasts are everywhere on women!”

Should this thought have come to me as a revelation, a surprise? I remembered the Italian sisters in Brooklyn who helped me sew my 8th grade graduation dress.  I remembered the big-breasted girl in my class who was always fending off the boys who circled around her.

I began to make notes on the sides and top of my program, suddenly realizing the enormity of the story I could tell, that perhaps I was now destined to tell. Though I was a writer, I had never had an intention of writing the story of my breast cancer journey. Though I had taken photos during my treatment, of my own breast, of the ultrasound image of my cancer, of my nurses and friends, and though I had written a few notes to document my medical treatment, now, suddenly, I saw there was a greater story to tell. Perhaps it was the thrilling music of Bach that loosed a flood of words and images in me.  “Beauty and the Breast” was the result.

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