A two-time cancer survivor, the author of this frank, intimate, and lively memoir has been healthy for years when the disease suddenly returns. An out-of-the-blue pain takes her breath away and she is literally knocked off her feet; her life is turned upside down.
Andrea Cleghorn's cancer has metastasized this time around, an embolism causing a firestorm in her body and havoc with her personal life.
Does she choose cautious treatment that will slow the cancer's progression or go with the "total abdominal extravaganza," the aggressive surgery that comes with a long recuperation and the risk of serious complications? Doctors disagree on the best strategy: Will it or will it not be the Whipple?
A journalist, Cleghorn's writing combines accurate reporting with a colorful sense of story and anecdotes that prove "you can't make this stuff up." The reader is drawn into an adventure story of a most unusual kind as she copes with one pothole after another on the road to recovery.
Though dealing with cancer is at the center of the story, it is a compelling tale of the value of community, not only accepting help but learning how to ask for it. The reader gets to know the people in the author's new-normal life, from the members of a remarkable medical community as well as her disparate collection of extremely generous, loyal, very funny friends. These women coalesce into an unstoppable army that cares for, protects and encourages her, forming a team that helps her survive and eventually thrive.