Yes, you read that right. Boobies. As in - boobs. Breasts.
Caitlyn Brodnick's book Dangerous Boobies: Breaking Up with my Time-Bomb Breasts is a funny, relatable, compulsively readable memoir of her relationship with her breasts, cancer, and cancer prevention via a preventative double mastectomy.
Personally, I wasn't touched by cancer too much as a child. I had grandparents suffer from it, but as a child I sort of viewed it as a consequence of smoking (as most of these cancers were) and something reserved just for very old people. I wasn't touched very much by people closer in age to me or to my parents going through it. As I've gotten older, though, it has struck more and more in my circle - and younger and younger victims. Family, friends, grandparents, parents, children - you name it.
Caitlyn Brodnick's experience of cancer, though, began before she was even born. Her father's entire immediate family had been struck down by the disease in various forms, and she grew up in fear and hatred of this disease that had taken so many important people in her life. When she finally got herself tested to see if she was a carrier of the breast & ovarian cancer gene (which Angelina Jolie brought into the public conversation back in 2013) and saw that she was, she was faced with choices - none of them particularly fun, easy, or appealing.
Given the intensely serious subject matter, you wouldn't think 'fun' and 'appealing' would be words that describe this book, but they absolutely do. Brodnick is a comedian living in my very own neighborhood here in NYC, and a friend of one of our fabulous Astoria Book Club members. We had the opportunity to not just read this wonderful book but to meet and have an author talk back with her in our 'hood last week. Her voice in the book is just as she is in person - self-deprecating but very knowledgeable, vulnerable but grounded and courageous.
October is, as we have all seen by the fact that everything is spray-painted pink, breast cancer awareness month. What better time to buy this book and share it with all the women you know? It's an amazing read no matter what your relationship with cancer, and as packed as it is with humor and silliness, it's also incredibly moving and incredibly informative. She balances it all with seeming ease and at the same time, creating a space for a conversation about health, prevention and choice at an age where many of us still think we're going to live forever.
Buy the book here and share it with your mom, your sister, and your friend.
I mean, come on. It's called Dangerous Boobies. You know you're curious.
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