A Breast Cancer Support Group You Carry With You

From: Tikka Books
Published: Wed Oct 12 2005

MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA – October 10, 2005 – Five years ago, when Montreal author Leila Peltosaari was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of books and websites available about this disease, and the lack of a practical, down-to-earth roadmap so important to new patients too exhausted by the medical process to forage through all the information out there. She launched a website (dancingwithfear.org) to gather information from survivors, to be shared with the newly diagnosed. The response was immediate and tremendous, resulting in a new book, Dancing With Fear: Tips and wisdom from breast cancer survivors (Tikka Books, 224 pages, $14.95).

"To know the road ahead, ask those coming back," says Peltosaari, quoting a Chinese proverb. In Dancing With Fear, those coming back are 125 women of all ages from across North America and beyond. To give hope, help and guidance to newly diagnosed women, the participants share their journey of good and bad years and decades of survival through treatments, recovery, and the aftermath of breast cancer.

Instead of medical advice, the book reveals the maze of real-life experiences of finding the tumor, surgeries, lymphedema, chemotherapy, radiation, tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors, complementary and alternative treatments, fear of recurrence, optimism and pessimism, support, reclaiming life, spirituality, facing death, and humor. "You can open the book at any page and read portions or focus on the chapter relevant to your own journey."

"My innocent security vanished", says Peltosaari, "when a lemon-sized aggressive tumor invaded my life and my family. I had to learn too much, too fast, and make life-altering decisions. When cancer visited me, I changed emotionally while the physical scars healed."

Time-consuming and exhausting both emotionally and physically, cancer forced her normal life to be put on hold. Then she discovered the hidden benefits and safety net of support. She started compiling this book as a voice of women who have gone down the same road. "Their survival became my lifeline", she says and explains that she wanted to write a book she would have wanted to read when newly diagnosed.

"Many survivors said they could never repay the help given to them", explains Peltosaari, "and that the best thing they can do now is to help others." Through hundreds of glimpses into the lives of survivors, Dancing With Fear acknowledges the pain and sorrow with honesty, but also voices irrepressible joy of life, courage, and humor through the journey of this increasingly common and difficult disease.

Reading this book "made me feel I was among friends, new friends who really understood how I was feeling and who supported me fully" writes Bev Parker, Research Analyst for Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization. "Thank you for letting me tell my story", writes Rita from Santa Clarita, CA, "I found it to be a very cathartic experience... others will find hope and strength in the pages of your book."

Dancing With Fear is Leila Peltosaari‘s ninth book. Her previous titles include topics such as cooking, sewing and crafts.
Company: Tikka Books
Contact Name: Leila Peltosaari
Contact Email: leila@dancingwithfear.org
Contact Phone: 514-767-2577

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