Before reading this memoir I had some small knowledge regarding the BRCA gene If I had been asked before reading this book whether I felt I was fairly well informed on the subject of breast cancer and the BRCA Gene, I would have confidently said that I was Now, upon completion of Amy Byer Shainman s memoir, I know I was mistaken The reason I am including the above fact is that, I think many people will feel that they already have enough knowledge on Breast Cancer and on the BRCA Gene I urge those of you who are thinking along those lines, to trust me and to pick up a copy of this memoir and one for each of your friends and family members I guarantee that if you do, you will be grateful that you did IT MIGHT EVEN SAVE YOUR LIFE OR THE LIFE OF SOMEONE CLOSE TO YOU I do not want to misrepresent this book It is NOT a dry, medical text full of facts, figures and survival rates Instead, first and foremost it is the story of Amy and her family It is a memoir, but is not JUST a memoir Amy s story is an interesting one and what struck me the most was the utter normality of her life before her unasked for trip into the world of Breast Cancer and gene studies She could have been anyone In fact, she could have been you She could have been me When Amy s sister is diagnosed with cancer, it changes Amy s whole life Then, her husband s co worker and close friend to both him and to Amy, is diagnosed with breast cancer as well Amy began looking into these cancers and discovered that there are some genetic components to breast cancer and especially to having the BRCA gene This book also contains quotes by specialists as well as short anecdotes written by other people who have had their own personal experiences with the BRCA Gene Because Amy I a regular person and not a doctor, this story as well as the information contained within, is written in easy to understand prose and is NOT written too technically Amy does a fabulous job of conveying the conflicting emotions she experienced while worrying about her sister and her friend, as well as while making difficult decisions regarding her own medical issues Readers will find themselves invested in the decisions and I even cried a few times Maya Angelou once said When women take care of their health they become their own best friend I firmly believe this and reading this memoir has served to strengthen that belief even further This book is all about Maya s message which has become Amy s mission in life She has become the BRCA RESPONDER and is dedicated to helping other BRCA positive people to navigate through the health care system.Simply put, this book might save your life, and because of that fact, to me, it is a No brainer You should not only want to read this book, you NEED to read this book To read the full review and to see video stories as well as links that correspond to this book, go to To read of my reviews visit my blog at To follow me on Instagram go tohttp www.instagram.com Amiesbookrev A Soul Baring MemoirIn Yiddish, there is a word, bashert, which translates to meant to be Would I want Jan to have three cancers No But Amy, as detective for her family, became the voice of a grandmother who was gone at a young age and left a legacy of breadcrumbs to be followed Amy followed those breadcrumbs to try and find answers So, it was meant to be, that Amy became an advocate for BRCA positive people as well as for herself Brava Phenomenal memoir by a phenomenal woman Amy shares her deeply personal account of how the BRCA gene mutation has been a recurring story in her life and the story of her family long before anyone even understood what a BRCA gene mutation is It is clear that Amy took tremendous care in putting this book together for the BRCA community with the purpose of helping, educating, and supporting others Her story alone is powerful and moving But, Amy goes beyond her personal account and presents the perspectives of numerous healthcare providers, patient advocates, friends, and family This book has a well of information laced throughout it It is well researched and supported This book is an invaluable tool to anyone who is on their own BRCA journey. Many thanks to the author for sharing her experience, research and information upon learning that she tested positive for the BRCA 1 Mutation and her research into her family history of cancer on her father s side through her maternal grandmother s family The author not only shares her personal experience, but the points of view of family members, doctors and researchers A must read Resurrection Lily Shares A Story Of Inheritance And Intuition, Of What Can Surface In The Body And The Spirit When Linked By DNA As Amy Byer Shainman Discovers She Has Inherited A BRCA Gene Mutation That Puts Her At High Risk Of Developing Certain Cancers, She Struggles To Come To Terms With Preventively Removing Her Breasts When She Does Not Have A Breast Cancer Diagnosis Through Her Experience Making Decisions About Her Health, Amy Becomes Invigorated With Purpose And Establishes Herself As A Leading Advocate For Those With BRCA And Other Hereditary Cancer Syndromes, Tirelessly Working To Educate Others Facing The Same Daunting RealityPainting A Timely And Moving Portrait Of What It Feels Like To Carry A BRCA Gene Mutation, Resurrection Lily Provides Firsthand Insight Into The Patient Experience Weaved Throughout Amy S Open And Vulnerable Story Is The Expertise Of Her Doctors, Education From Top Medical Experts In Cancer Genetics, And Whispered Lifesaving Guidance From Her Grandmother Lillian Amy Byer Shainman begins her book, Resurrection Lily with a provocative question What if I told you that the airline just tested the airplane you are in and they found that it has as high as an 85 percent chance of crashing It s a scary proposition, but her intent soon becomes clear Shainman s book is a memoir about living her life as a carrier of an inherited mutation in the BRCA1 gene that puts her at high risk as high as 85 percent of getting breast, ovarian, pancreatic and other cancers Based on her family history, it was the mutation that killed her grandmother at 34 from ovarian cancer and likely many others in her family In the years since discovering she is BRCA1 positive, Shainman has become an outspoken advocate known as the BRCA Responder she s produced the award winning documentary Pink Blue Colors of Hereditary Cancer, and spoken countless times about what it means to have the mutation that was made famous in 2013 by Angelina Jolie That year, Jolie announced in The New York Times that she d had risk reducing surgeries to save her life as a BRCA positive woman with a family history of deadly cancers The book is both poignant and pointed Shainman bares her own physical and mental health challenges as a young mother who refuses to repeat her grandmother s fate But she also insists physicians must do in evaluating family histories and becoming better educated about hereditary cancer so they can save lives She also castigates the media for failing to accurately report on BRCA, often omitting the fact that men are just as likely as women to carry the mutation and pass it on.Shainman s story is often heartbreaking, especially when describing her sister s cancer battles, and the death of a dear friend from ovarian cancer Shainman also has her doctors and genetic counselors weigh in on surgery, genetic testing, breast reconstruction and other topics Her writing, along with the professionals sidebars, is compelling and accessible to the lay reader This is a very personal memoir, not a medical book It s about saving lives, not dying I did not learn I was BRCA2 positive until my daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer at 31 and we were both tested She died 3 year later Had we known our risk years earlier, she probably would be alive today I recommend Resurrection Lily for anyone wondering if they could be at risk for hereditary cancer As Shainman would say, knowledge is power. Essential information and guidance about hereditary cancerAn informative and interesting book about hereditary cancer, with loads of practical advice and information on where to get help and guidance The author tells her story of life with the BRCA gene breast cancer , and that of her family and friends, in a factual and non emotional way though the contents may well make the reader emotional There are also sections by doctors, surgeons and friends, giving their perspective The psychology, medical procedures experienced by the author, highs and lows are all included, including plenty of useful things to think about and questions to ask The importance of genetic testing, and counselling, for breast cancer and other cancers for men and women at risk is discussed in detail The chapters are well written, easy to follow and very informative At the back of the book are pages of useful facts about cancer, including contact details There are discussion questions for readers and a different set of questions for students Plenty of sources and web sites listed All clearly set out and a great place to start looking for information.5 s from me for this informative and interesting book, where the author opens up about her experiences A great book for everyone to read, and, I would have thought, an essential read for anyone affected by cancer Note The author is based in the US, so many of the contact details and medical matters are US focussed, however I think that most of the information in this book will be useful to readers worldwide. Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views 9 19 When Amy Byer Shainman learned that she carries the BRCA 1 gene mutation, which puts her at risk for breast and other deadly cancers, she chose to be proactive about reducing her risks She made a difficult but educated decision to have a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy and have both her ovaries removed Shainman educates family members, friends and readers about what is involved with this process by sharing her story in Resurrection Lily She also provides a great deal of information about the genetics involved with the BRCA mutations It is important to note that both men and women need to be aware of the diseases that can develop from inheriting these mutations As Shainman did her own research, she discovered that she had several family members that had been affected by this, including her father s mother Lillian who died young Lillian s story is shared and heard in this book While I found myself getting caught up in Shainman s personal story, especially about people around her that suffered huge losses from this hereditary issue, I also learned a great deal about the process that one should take if they have inherited the BRCA mutations These steps include how to research board certified genetic counselors and surgeons for both mastectomies and reconstruction She also stresses the importance of following up with specific tests to make sure that cancer has not occurred It was scary to learn that there is no definitive test for ovary cancer The medical information is very easy to understand Readers will not need a medical degree to grasp the information presented In addition to information being presented for the person who has a BRCA mutation, readers who want to help those going through either the preventive process or those with cancer will benefit greatly from gaining a greater understanding about what their loved one needs help with when having to go through the processes involved This information made me feel much empowered because I truly want to be there to help my friends I highly recommend that both women and men read Resurrection Lily The amount of knowledge and access to resources is priceless I am truly grateful that Amy Byer Shainman shared her story so that readers can pass this information on Lives will be saved. Through words, Amy Shainman was able to bring to life the unspoken stories and implications of obtaining genetic information It was enlightening to hear the voices in Amy s head and the voices of her loved ones I learned how subjective opinions, values, and life situations alter the route and navigation of challenging medical issues Amy artfully wrote at the intersection of science and emotion educating her readers and providing a guide for others while writing honorably and honestly Through Resurrection Lily, Amy started the conversation to promote discussion amongst medical professionals, patients, and their family members about powerful, controversial, intimate, and emotional medical issues The book serves to let other know that they are not alone especially within the current rise of genetic testing, screening, and accompanying contentious decisions that patients will be forced to make Thank you for a wonderful read I am an avid reader of memoirs and I went into this one with very little knowledge about the BRCA gene except for the fact that Angelina Jolie has it yes, I m an avid People Magazine reader too This book explains what the BRCA gene is and all its ramifications in incredible detail which could be incredibly boring except that Shainman weaves the medical and scientific information into her personal story Following her as she discovers her family history and faces the hard medical decisions BRCA carriers have to make, we feel every piece of her experience along with her Written with authenticity and a generous dose of humor, this book is a wonderful memoir and a great resources of BRCA information.
Amy Byer Shainman, also known as BRCA Responder, is a patient advocate who provides support and education surrounding BRCA and other hereditary cancer syndromes She s the executive producer of the award winning documentary Pink Blue Colors of Hereditary Cancer on iTunes and co creator of GenCSM Genetic Cancer Social Media She is a BRCA1 gene mutation carrier and a previvor meaning
- 312 pages
- Resurrection Lily
- Amy Byer Shainman
- 21 September 2018 Amy Byer Shainman