Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tania Katan's My One Night Stand With Cancer


I was always curious and intrigued about cancer. So this book catches my attention. It is based on the real story of Tania Katan's fight against breast cancer. She's a boyish girl who fought cancer twice in her life with rage and blistering humor!

"When I was 21, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had surgery, went through chemo and called it a day. Fast forward almost 10 years later, I found a lump in my remaining breast, went in for a biopsy and today my doctor called to tell me I have breast cancer. Again..."

Her options:
  • Lumpectomy - removal of the lump and a small amount of the tissue surrounding the lump. But because there'll be tissues left in the breast, there's a chance some cancer cells will remain in the tissue, thus the radiation to wipe them out. BUT. Even after radiation there's a significant chance of cancer reoccurred in that breast because of the tissues remaining.

  • Mastectomy - entire breast is removed. 90% of the tissue removed. Making it extremely hard and difficult for the cancer to resurface in the breast. Chemotherapy is use as a final blast to make sure any stray cancer cells are annihilated.

Tania, in her 2 fights against cancer always chooses Mastectomy that leave her without breasts.

Her friend Alexander always gives her humor! Cheering her up, calling her Katanialicious! and just taking the problem like a piece of cake!While reading this book, Alexander's humor makes me smile. :) He even recommend her to use words connected to her cancer on their everyday conversations like: Breast wishes! You're so Chemo! Keep me a breast of things!

My most unforgettable quote from Tania is: "Who ever said pain is a state of mind has never had their booby removed. Even after I've taken meds, there is no position that I feel comfortable in." That was when she just finished her chemo, I also had these experiences when I had my heart surgery. And I felt her pain.

There are times when Tania felt it's better to commit suicide, at least she won against cancer... But no, in the end, she realize it's not an option. As long as there's tomorrow, with or without booby, there's hope!

Side effects of Chemo: hair loss, mouth sores, fatigue, loss of appetite, night sweats, loss of memory and constipation.

Advice: buy a wig, keep mouth clean,  rest, eat foods that appeal to you, change pillowcase, make a  list, push harder.

More humor, I know!

"My mom begins to cry, crying is one of the side effects of chemotherapy they don't tell you about in the pastel brochure."

Tania Katan's  My One Night Stand With Cancer is a winner of the 2006 Judy Grahn Award in Nonfiction, an honoree of the 2006 American Library Association’s Stonewall Book Award in Non-Fiction, and a finalist for the 2006 Lambda Literary Award.

Now Tania loves to run 10k races, shirtless.
Tania for me is a strong woman. I salute her optimistic view in life, not taking things so seriously sometimes make a person survive. Glad to know she's on wordpress. Visit her blog here: http://taniakatan.wordpress.com/

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