A breast cancer diagnosis is a most unwelcome intruder in life, one that signals a long marathon of tests, treatments, and emotional stress ahead. With that journey come moments of conflicting anger and triumph, confusion and clarity—and it leaves survivors so transformed, they might not even recognize themselves afterward. In Reconstructing Hope, two-time survivor Donna Sidwell DeGracia offers support for people living out any phase of their breast cancer marathon.
Inside you'll find personal stories from DeGracia and other people keeping their pace and leaning forward at the breast cancer finish line. As a physician assistant, DeGracia shares medical insight on mammograms, mastectomies, cancer types and stages, and more. And poems between each chapter remind you that hope comes from beauty as much as it does from knowledge and community.
Let Reconstructing Hope be your friend and coach as you battle onward in your breast cancer marathon. You have all the pieces of hope already inside you—now it's time to assemble them.
Donna Sidwell DeGracia is a primary care physician assistant, a PA educator, and a two-time breast cancer survivor. When she was diagnosed, she came to the stark realization that, despite years of clinical experience, she knew little about the disease beyond the diagnosis. Through a series of interviews with breast cancer survivors, family members of patients, medical providers, and others involved in breast cancer care, she dug deeper into the collective experience. This book is an attempt to capture the long journey, the human experience, that is breast cancer. It is meant to educate, honor, and support breast cancer patients, their loved ones, and their care teams.
"Reconstructing Hope provides the reader with a skillful blend of personal history, medical information, storytelling, poetry, and reasons for optimism when faced with a diagnosis of breast cancer. It will be an important resource for women starting down this path." -- Dr. Douglas Yee, Director of the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center