That’s what I thought the first time I heard about Gail Konop Baker’s debut memoir, CANCER IS A BITCH (Or, I’d rather be having a midlife crisis.)
I have a number of friends who are breast cancer survivors. Several of my great aunts, women I loved and admired were afflicted with various forms of cancer. I do the walk every October, donate whenever someone asks me to, offer hugs and lasagna for friends who have received the terrifying diagnosis.
But I don’t want to read about cancer. I don’t want to think about cancer. I especially don’t want to spend the few hours I have to myself reading a cancer book.
When the 2008 Debs and I started blogging together last year, we didn’t know very much about each other, other than our book titles and that we’d been hand-picked by founder Kristy Kiernan. But Eileen, Danielle, Jenny, Jess, Gail and I got to know each other through a year of writing and reading each others posts.
What I learned about Gail was that she is funny and thoughtful and interesting and strong. In the beginning, I planned to read her book because it was the nice thing to do. But after a year of reading her posts, I was shockingly, actually excited to finally read her book CANCER IS A BITCH when it came out.
And while Gail’s book has CANCER in the title, and CANCER is the catalyst for her journey, it is not really a book about cancer.
It’s hilarious and heartwarming and sad and brave and wonderful. It is the kind of book that keeps you up all night while you prune in the bathtub and your butt falls asleep because you’ve been sitting in there so long but you don’t want to get out because you’re just going to read one more page. Or two more pages.
It’s about the strength and humor and balls of a woman whose perspective was changed by her circumstances.
And isn’t that what the very best stories are all about.