Thursday, May 31, 2007

Take off your party dress

I have a good relationship with my breasts, in fact I would go as far to say that I am quite fond of them. I think Dina Rabinovitch was quite fond of hers as well but cancer stole hers and left her in a position that most women would find unthinkable.

"In a world that doesn't do scar-chic, just what do you wear when you're one-breasted, or no-breasted? In my post-hospital weeks I'm not able to lift my arm so clothes that go over the head are out of the question. I phone Vogue to ask their fashion editor for advice."

A couple of weeks ago I hadn't heard of Dina Rabinovitch, or her missing breast. Lee at Lowebrow offered a copy of Dina's book and I put my name down. I am not sure why I did this. I am not even very keen on articles about cancer let alone a whole book of it.
Don't get me wrong, I don't hide my head in the sand. I know cancer. Very well. I lived with the effects of cancer (and the cure) on my parents for the whole fifteen months it took both of them to die. Like Dina I learned all the technical terms ( I smiled at the word 'neutropenic' - dad thought his todger was going to fall off), saw the horrors and laughed through the tears that you think are never going to end. So why did I want to read this book?

" It's an illness older women expect to happen to them, if anyone. Breast cancer screening is given to the over-fifties routinely. But now breast cancer figures worldwide are running at one in nine women: the highest rates are in the Netherlands and the United States, the lowest in haiti and the Gambia. It is by far the most common cancer in women."



This is why. Dina Rabinovitch is me, and I could be her. Her book doesn't wallow in self pity and it does not take you to a happy ending because she is still battling the beast today. She is all women, a working mum leading a fast and busy life as a writer and critic. She takes you through her experiences with a truth that at times brings you to tears of recognition in its honesty.

When the book arrived I opened the cover and found a dedication to me -

For Kate, Towards a cure! And with love, Dina (May 2007).

I have not contributed financially to this cure (as yet) because the book came free. Part of Dina's quest is to get the knowledge out to the world, to spread the word before the cancer.

I feel my copy has a job to do and I would like to send it out into the blog world to do its work. If you feel that you can read this book (and you must) then go and buy a copy but also put your name in my comments box for this copy. My only proviso is that the book takes a journey from blog to blog with each reader posting it on their blog and then sending it on to someone else. On the inside cover I will put my name and perhaps the next person will add their own and so on. It will be interesting to see how far it gets.

Thank you.

Dina Rabinovitch blogs HERE.

pee-ess Jeff at Archeo Texture is doing the same.


Take off your Party Dress will be winging its way to Cailleach in Ireland in the next few days. Off she goes......


Roberta said...

You have such a grand heart.

I once gave up all royalties to have a short story of mine published in a electronic book with 50 women all over the world.

I was proud to do it. The name of the book is "Shards" and I think it's still available at Barnes and Noble or maybe it was Amazon.

I'm ordering a copy of this new book today. Thank you for the heads up.

Also, I would like to add. All of you women out there. All of you that read this. Get a Mammogram. I know it's going to feel like a truck has backed over "the girls" but get it done!

Again, Thank you Minx for the reminders.

Lee said...

Kate, this is a wonderful review, and I hope your words spread like mad throughout the blogosphere. To quote Corvus: 'Not every virus is malignant.'

Thank you.

Unknown said...

Not a 'grand heart' Roberta, just an awareness that women are dying through ignorance - get checked! Lumps in yer boobs are not a fashion statement.

Good self-quote, Lee. Word is spreading - Keris at 'Keris Stainton' has just asked me to write a review of Dina's book for Trashionista. And so it goes.....

Unknown said...

I read your post with great interest, Minx. This is a book I'll look out for in the bookshops and read. Inspiring as always.

Alex said...

Great review, and great idea too, about the book going from blog to blog, with a physical log of this inside the cover!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Cailleach. Every now and again we need a little reminder.

Welcome Alex - I just need someone to take me up on it now!

Unknown said...

You could always send it to me...

Unknown said...

To quote Roberta,"you have such a grand heart". It'd be great fun fumbling through
your breasts to find it! Sorry Minx, but I have to inject some humour.

pundy said...

That's a powerful post, Minx. Your heart really is in the right place.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

- OK I will not say anything -especially about Roberta -perhaps thats better...??

Unknown said...

Cailleach, you're on!

Humour is still here, John G. We are just attending to the 'power packs' for a moment!

It's not about heart, is it Pund? It's about getting people to put money where there ain't none. No cancer sufferer should be a guinea pig. Thanks for the comment - tis good to know the good guys are still around!

I hope you are buying a copy Mutley, you dog. Men should be supporting this as well - so thanks for the comments guys.

Lee said...

Minx, men had better be supporting this, considering their undoubted interest in mammary glands and their 'support system'.

Unknown said...

I am as guilty as anyone else, Lee. My awareness grew rapidly six years ago and I have supported cancer research (mostly for Non-Hodgkinson's Lymphoma) and hospice care ever since.
I do not want to experience this one before getting my cheque book out!

Lee said...

NHL-the one my mum's got (as well as breast cancer).

Ms Baroque said...

Dina's always been a great writer and a wonderful person. We were friends in the nineties, dark days for both of us, and she was never anything but an inspiration to me then. She has always had the knack of turning life into copy, and I mean that in a good way.

This lightning-bolt that's struck her has been painful to watch over the past three years, even in print, and I'm constantly impressed with her energy, spirit and grace.

Of course the book is very well-written - it is a 'cancer' book, but it's also a 'dealing with what life throws at you' book - I urge your readers to get hold of a copy.

Your review is lovely.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the posts that I want to read every day, and wish others could as well.

Cancer is a great humbler, damn it.

Unknown said...

You're right Ms B, Dina's book is very well written. It feels like you are sitting down listening to her story over a cup of coffee.
Without frills or flounces, Dina juggles her busy working and home life alongside chemotherapy, drugs and constant hospital visits.

And yes, Good Thomas, we should read things like this every day but we are only human - we get distracted by our own lives.

Lee, Non-Hodgkinsons is a bastard!

Thy said...

cancer is scary. people who have it--who survive or don't--brave people!

Unknown said...

I didn't really know how to respond to this post yesterday and then my Mum phoned me up and told me that she was zipping off to Australia and now it kind of seems serendiptitious to have read this post. Will check the book out when I'm in a better frame of mind though.

Unknown said...

Please check it out, Verilion. We should all be aware of this often silent killer.
Cancer is scary, but the road to the cure is the one we should be focussing on.

Debi said...

Do you still plan on sending the book round? And if so, can I please have it next? That's a brilliant way of spreading those all-important words.

Unknown said...

Cailleach has bagged it first. You will have to blog it off her next, Debi. Onwards, onwards.....

Debi said...

I'll pop over now and place my order ...

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

I would love to read this one. There are women I love dearly who have fought this unthinkable monster, some won, and some lost.

Finding the cure for breast cancer is the cause I champion the most, just above children with terminal illnesses (St. Judes hospital).

It is very important to be aware, to be educated, and to be supportive.
Thank you so much for being all of those things, and for posting this so that everyone who reads it can be as well.

I will go buy the book, and send it through my 'girlfriends circulating book club' so that everyone can read it.

Your ripple has become a wave.

Thank you


Unknown said...

That's the idea, Scarlett. Until the government puts the money where the priorities are then we should all try and give a little for research. In the meantime we spread the word and a blog is just the place to do it.
I have lost count of the number of hits to this particular post (the first day generated over 500 and they still keep coming). We can move the word around so quickly here that it can only do good - surely?

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