"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.
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......