Crowds swarming at the new Whole Foods. Your boyfriend’s dirty clothes piled around your bedroom. A new ding in your new Honda Fit.
Of all the things you sweat each day, none compare to what happened to Gail Konop Baker right before Valentine’s Day. At age 46 she was living a good life—exercising, eating organic, helping her kids navigate school, managing normal bumps in marriage and friendships—and then at her annual mammogram checkup she heard something every woman dreads: “I think we should biopsy.”
Her resulting struggle with breast cancer is detailed in her new memoir “Cancer Is a Bitch: (Or, I’d Rather Be Having a Midlife Crisis)”; never a sob story or victim’s portrait, just a real woman’s frank coping process. Like considering a radical mastectomy before ironically crossing centerfold off her list of choices. Or fearing what she’d miss after death (and how her yoga teacher would be perfect for her husband), then noting the upside—becoming a medically sanctioned pothead.
Unflinchingly intimate, never whiney, often hilarious and always authentic, Gail’s story is also frighteningly relevant to us all. But somehow, by revealing how she brought her life back into balance, she makes it seem less scary and a little more bearable.
And your small stuff a lot less sweaty.
Available online at amazon.com.
Look out for my more critical review of Baker’s Book, coming soon in The Miami Herald