Dancing With Fear: Tips And Wisdom From Breast Cancer Survivors
Leila Peltosaari

Tikka Books

Peltosaari, author/publisher of nine books, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000 and underwent the standard treatment of “slash, poison, and burn.” She has been cancer-free for five years now, and has transmuted her gruelling experience into something fine. She makes it clear from the outset that Dancing with Fear is not designed to replace medical advice. What she does is set out her own experience – learning the diagnosis, undergoing the various treatments, and living afterwards – then adds the experiences of 125 men and women (those with cancer and a few of their spouses), some of whom have had recurrences of this cancer, some of whom have been cancer-free for decades.

This approach has the benefit of giving a wide range of reactions to each step of the cancer journey. Some women take the positive approach, some seethe with rage; some follow their doctors’ advice, others question every treatment; some benefit from survivors’ groups, others find them depressing and overly disease-oriented. It shows that there is no single right way to deal with this devastating illness.

The cover picture of an enormous engulfing wave graphically demonstrates how the author felt when she received her diagnosis, and judging from the heartfelt response to her book, the image and the title obviously resonate.

In her introduction, Peltosaari writes, “I can never unhear the diagnosis of cancer.” What she has done with this experience should inspire and comfort those with this disease, and educate their friends and families. mRb