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In Cancerland

Living Well is the Best Revenge

by Libby Znaimer

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cancer, editors, journalists, publishers, women
list price: $32.95
also available: Paperback
published: 2007
publisher: Key Porter Books

Prominent Canadian journalist, television broadcaster, and radio executive Libby Znaimer discovered a lump in her breast one hot summer’s night when she awoke in the heat, pushed the bed sheet away, and co-incidentally grazed her bare breast. Three weeks later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The Best Revenge is the indomitable Znaimer’s first-person, no-punches-pulled account of the chain of events that subsequently took over her life. In this candid and insightful account, much written as it happened. Libby shares her reactions and frustrations, and lays out the difficult choices she had to make. In a spirited narrative, Libby carries the reader along as she thinks through those decisions, sometimes second-guessing herself in the process. Her story offers a step-by-step example of how to navigate the medical system in the midst of a crisis. Libby also writes about the lighter side of living with cancer, like telling her friends and choosing a wig. When Libby had to choose hers she had her photograph taken in four different wigs and asked her National Post readers to vote on which one they liked best. She devotes a whole chapter to her husband--his support, his concerns, and his reactions. She takes her reader along as she fulfills a social engagement just hours after being diagnosed, plays tennis the morning after chemotherapy, and has to start a new job in the midst of her treatment. Libby’s approach is just to get on with it. There’s not a sentimental word in the book. She does not believe that cancer is an epic battle outside the bounds of normal life. She sees it as part of life, and believes in living life fully with the disease. Her story is an example of how to embrace life while recovering from cancer.

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