Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Now it's your turn ...
I've finished reading Take Off Your Party Dress by Dina Rabinovitch.
In a no-holds-barred narrative, Dina focuses her unflinching journalist's eye onto her life over the last couple of years since she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
This is Dina's story, but it's also much much more.
Her criticisms of some of the medical staff (what joy when she comes across one who can get a needle into a vein in one go) will be familiar to anyone who's had so much as a blood test or who has felt they are seen as a symptom rather than a person.
Analysing the cynical way drug companies sink their resources into the search for a cure as opposed to prevention (less lucrative) she expresses the anger and frustration of us all.
And she does all this with wit, wisdom, humour and insight.
In some ways it may appear that Dina's position is very different from that of many other women - private treatment, access to the top consultants, phone conversations with Madonna, a session with a Vogue stylist to choose post-mastectomy clothes ...
But in every important way, Dina articulates the voice of any women with breast cancer.
Denial, fear, trying to 'fit cancer in' round the demands of a large extended family ...
Her feelings about the loss of her breast, her hair ...
How she feels as a women dealing with male doctors ...
These are issues every women can relate to.
This is what Dina has to say about losing a pound a week and realising the cancer is back:
'This is the real indictment of the times I have grown up in, more even than the fact that cancer is on the increase all around us. Cancer is running at one in three in the UK, one in four dying of it but, bad as that is, it seems to me worse that what really marks me as early twenty-first century woman is this: I'm welcoming the weight loss.'
I said it before and I'll say it again: This is an Important Book.
Now it's over to you.
My copy of the book is inscribed:
For Kate, Towards a cure! and with love, Dina (May 2007)
It came to me via Minx and Cailleach, whose blog URLs are listed in the cover, now joined by mine.
I will send the book to the first person leaving a comment requesting it.
(You'll need to email me at info at debialper dot co dot uk to give me an address to send it to.)
You then read, blog, pass it on.
There's another version of this blog chain currently in the US here.
Of course you can also buy the book and help raise money.
As Dina says,
Towards a cure!