The Victoria’s Secret Catalog Never Stops Coming
The Victoria’s Secret Catalog Never Stops Coming*
*and other lessons I learned from Breast Cancer
Jennie Nash, the author, is a cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 35. Unlike most cancer patients, she “believed” that she had the disease in her system even without feeling any symptoms and a visit to the doctor confirmed it. Fortunately, early detection of breast cancer and a positive attitude saved her.
The book is a road map for a journey nobody wants to take. I’ve learned and understood that just by knowing you have a life-threatening disease is painful enough to ruin your outlook in life. For a mother, it’s not about the surgery nor the chemotherapy. It’s the instant realization that your kids might need you in the future but soon you won’t be there for them anymore. I’m a mom like Jennie so I completely felt what she had gone through and I was deeply inspired by her life-affirming experience.
I also find her story unpretentious and funny, especially at times when she was too worried about losing her breasts and the agonizing fact that before her mastectomy, the Victoria’s Secret catalog pops in her mailbox. Idealized breasts are everywhere, so it must really be tough for her.
“More revealing than a low-cut blouse and more uplifting than a Wonderbra! I laughed, I cried, I checked for lumps! Celebrate life and buy this book today.” – Rosie O’Donnell
Sharing with you some breast cancer info from the book:
- Mammogram is recommended for women 40 and above (but Jennie had hers earlier and it saved her life)
- Lumpectomy is surgery in which only the tumor and some surrounding tissue is removed.
- Mastectomy is a surgical removal of one or both breasts, partially or completely.
- A cosmetic reconstruction called “free-flap” works by removing tissues from the tummy to create a new breast. It’s like transferring excess tummy fats/muscles/skin etc. to the breast area.
“Cancer gives people a great opportunity to rise to the occasion – to be present, to be understanding, to tell you all the things they never said before. The lesson is to let them.”
“.. Somewhere along the line from being a kid to being an adult, we forget how to cry. We forget how natural it is, how expressive it is, and how good it feels. If ever there’s a time to relearn the lessons of crying, having cancer has got to be it.”
“It could have been any night, but it was one of our last nights, and all I could think about was what it would feel like not to feel that feeling and what it would be like to thumb through the Victoria’s Secret catalog, the next time it came, with longing for what I’d lost rather than envy for what I’d never had.”