Beauty and the Breast
A Tale of Breast Cancer, Love, and Friendship
Merrill Joan Gerber
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When award-winning author Merrill Joan Gerber was diagnosed with breast cancer, she set out on a journey familiar to too many women. It began with denial that her precious breasts could become the agents of terror and even death. What followed was a parade of doctors and their treatments, of surgery, the debilitating side effects of chemotherapy, and the dangerous but life-saving beams of radiation to her breast. Along the way, Merrill found a new appreciation for the blessings in her life, her beloved husband, their daughters, and their daughters’ children. As she recalled her parents’ illnesses, her childhood in Brooklyn, and her complicated relationship with her own breasts, she reflected on long-held notions of fear and death. In Beauty and the Breast, Merrill bares her soul and her breasts as she navigates the terrors of cancer and treatment and learns with courage and gratitude what it means to be a survivor. Many have reported on the cancer wars, but Merrill’s memoir delivers a special contribution of humor, passion, candor, real-life photos, and a poetic gift to the reader.