Geralyn Lucas was only 27 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and in WHY I WORE LIPSTICK, she takes us behind the hospital curtain to help us better understand the disease that every woman prays she will never have to face
From the first page of this humorous yet painfully honest memoir, you are invited to join Lucas in her battle against breast cancer. Her honest perspective of doctors and treatments pulls you into her experience and gives you a glimpse of how devastating this disease is for a woman, especially for one so young.
WHY I WORE LIPSTICK is more than just the story of a cancer survivor; it is the story of a woman who doesn't give up, but instead resolves to grow and learn from the disease. Lucas observes our boob obsessed culture, providing memorable insight from one with less than a pair.
As Lucas's narrative progresses from diagnosis to surgery, on to chemo and then to wigs, she relates how she starts to feel invisible. She becomes "cancer girl," the one who makes everyone uncomfortable. Lucas recalls: "I never realized how often men used to look at me on the street until they stop. I would give anything for a once over. It's as if I don't exist. I just walk by, the invisible woman. I suddenly don't count."
Lucas also shares with the reader stories of finding her angels in unexpected people: the cab driver, the wig man, the bra-fitter at Victoria's Secret, and the tattoo artist. These seemingly unrelated individuals each gently guide Lucas to a new place of understanding within herself and help her realize that she does have a future in her post-cancer life.
In addition, Lucas's narrative focuses on friends and family, and the helplessness they experience as the role of bystanders watching her fight her daily battle with the disease.
Lucas finds the humor in uncomfortable situations as she moves from diagnosis to survival. She openly discusses her comb-over and fear of wind as her hair thins, and jokes about her missing eyebrows, ever-changing chest size, and the unusual decision to get a tattoo of a heart instead of an artificial nipple after reconstructive surgery.
Lucas's journey will not only take you through the wastelands of mutant cell division, but also to another level of what it means to be a woman, a real woman. One who has MoJo, Personal Cleavage, and will always wear lipstick --- because she deserves it!
Reviewed by Jill McAfee(firstname.lastname@example.org) on January 24, 2011
Why I Wore Lipstick: To My Mastectomy