If laughter truly is the best medicine then these hilarious books are not to be missed. Cancer can be a difficult topic to discuss, and as a friend it may be hard to think of an appropriate get well present for a breast cancer patient. The books listed below use humor to tackle one of the toughest situations in life. Not only are they great to give for those diagnosed with breast cancer, but can be informative and uplifting for those who love and care for breast cancer patients.
by Miriam Engleberg
One woman’s experience with breast cancer in her forties told in graphic novel form complete with black and white drawings and loads of laugh out loud moments. Some find the graphics a bit amateur in terms of drawing skill, but her writing style definitely makes up for it. Readers praise her ability to tackle even the toughest cancer issues with humor and an ability to make one feel less alone in those moments.
by Marisa Acocella Marchetto
Who could imagine that there is actually more than one graphic novel cancer memoir? Trend or not that is yet to be seen, but Marchetto’s account is a full color graphic novel. She works as a cartoonist for both Glamour and the New Yorker so it is no surprise that readers love, love, love her cartoon take on getting breast cancer right before her wedding. Spoiler alert, there is a triumphant outcome so the humorous tale comes complete with a happy ending for those needing a more uplifting read. Overall it is about a 40-something woman living the life and finally getting ready to walk down the aisle when breast cancer throws things for a loop.
Cancer is a Bitch by Gail Konop Baker
Subtitled I’d Rather be Having a Mid-Life Crisis this book is as much about a woman’s typical challenges with marriage, motherhood, and the what ifs that pop up during mid-life. Some have criticized this book because cancer is only a marginal part of the story, but those tackling breast cancer might enjoy reading about one woman who continued on facing life without letting cancer dominate very inch of it.
It is based on the author’s column “Bare-Breasted Mama,” which is celebrated for its frank, witty, and laugh out loud funny style.
Getting It Off My Chest by Janice Day
The British Ms. Day is rather unhappy with life at 39 when she is diagnosed with breast cancer. As she writes with great humor and personal reflection about refusing chemotherapy and going through reconstruction, she delves many personal details about her unhappy childhood, leaving her husband during this time and finally achieving her dream career. A cancer survivor who is now living out her fantasy of being a comedian, cabaret singer, and a published writer this books promises big laughs and amazing triumphs.
by Meredith Norton
As the title suggests this is the book for those who love a good dose of sarcasm and find their smart ass friends endearing. Norton cracks readers up as she details her journey with breast cancer by pairing it with humorous insights into her kooky mix of family and friends. Her rants against receiving multiple copies of Lance Armstrong’s book and strong language might alienate some readers, but lovers of black humor will find this helpful dose of comedy leaves them wanting to read more from this author.
Woman tackling breast cancer as either a patient or supporter of a patient find solace in reading about those who have gone before them in tackling the ugly “c” word. The way in which these ladies write about their personal experiences with such humor and wit, while never forgetting that life’s other challenges do not stop simply because of cancer, is relatable and comforting at the same time. When in doubt a good dose of humor certainly never hurts.
Jamie Pratt is a contributing writer for The Breast Cancer Society, Inc. — a comprehensive resource guide covering breast cancer information, facts, statistics and other pertinent information. Learn more about their cause and join the community that has already helped thousands of breast cancer patients and survivors.
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