A Breast Cancer Alphabet by Madhulika Sikka

imageThere is so much to cancer, more than the medical involvement, it’s the emotional, mental and physical toll it takes on the afflicted. Each person’s experience varies, however a few aspects might be shared and easily relatable of those suffering, Sikka herself states it is an immensely personal ‘journey.’ A Breast Cancer Alphabet addresses a myriad of challenges breast cancer imposes from a woman whose experience is shared.

Sikka gives a candid insight into breast cancer from the diagnosis continuing through survival, peppered with morsels of wit. No doubt this book will be helpful for a person recently diagnosed with breast cancer anxious to learn more than what the medical pamphlets describe. Looking for the answers to questions popping up in your mind, this book serves to anchor those hanging concerns from someone who’s been there sharing her knowledge first hand.

The book is cleverly formatted in the style of an alphabet book. Beginning with “A for Anxiety” continuing forward ending in “Z for Zzzzs” you gain a clear picture of the trials breast cancer presents, tips to reassure and assist as you try to navigate your way through the unknown waters.

“My breast cancer was not mystical, or enchanting or exotic. My breast cancer was not and is not a journey. Getting through cancer is no different from getting through some other terrible disease because that is what it is, a disease. It’s okay to treat it like one.”

“I for Indignities” a great section, she speaks loud and clear for ALL to hear about the bright side of breast cancer – “a land of sparkling brightness personified by women who are happy and smiling while they are ‘battling’ this disease”. Ending the chapter with “My point is breast cancer is many, many things. What it is not is a fun ride. It is a painful and debilitating and public, and it is okay to feel indignant about that.” Her courage and honesty shines in her comment, thank goodness she voices what others silence.

A book serving as a lifesaver for some, certainly can’t hurt to peruse the pages arming yourself with knowledge. If you know anyone diagnosed I highly suggest this book, I urge you to read it if only to educate yourself on what they might be experiencing in hopes of serving as a vehicle of support.
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Published February 25th 2014 by Crown (first published 2014)
Hardcover, 224 pages
ISBN13: 9780385348515

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