This book tells the story of Ann from her diagnosis of breast cancer, through her surgery and treatment. It is an account of her personal journey, and gives a true picture of what it is like to walk that path; sharing the highs, the lows and the very lows encountered along the way. What I felt was particularly valuable and helpful about this account of Ann’s journey, were the elements which most people wouldn’t have any idea about; for example the process of surgical intervention and what is involved, including the physical and aesthetical longer-lasting effects of that surgery. Although the tone is conversational, I initially found the book quite difficult to read, as there are often misused words and the structure of many of the sentences makes it confusing. This is a real shame, as I feel it detracts a great deal from the story and the content, which is valuable and of real interest. I am glad however, that I persevered, as I think that there is a lot to be gained from hearing about Ann’s journey, and the support which she felt was helpful, as well as people’s reactions and responses which were not so helpful. What I also enjoyed was reading about Ann’s background and family history, as this helped to set the scene. I did find however, that this jumped around a lot chronologically, and didn’t always make it clear to the reader who people were, especially where they hadn’t been mentioned before, or for a while. I feel that it would be of great benefit to many health professionals to hear Ann’s story, but also for anyone who has a loved one who is also walking this path. I feel it could enable people to have a better understanding of what that person might be going through, and what might be the best ways of supporting them. Of course everyone’s journey is individual and therefore different, but I would imagine for many people on this path, there would be many similarities in their experiences. This book would really benefit from further editing in order to make this a less frustrating read, but all in all this is an interesting and informative account of Ann’s experience.
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