Just Your Average 28 Year Old....Friends, Family, Facebook, Cancer
By Lisa Lynch
Published by Arrow Books, 2010 and also 23rd April 2015
Admin note: this book has since been re-issued with a new cover and updated to reflect later events, so I would *strongly* recommend getting the newer edition.
This book made me giggle, and also just about broke my heart.
Lisa Lynch has everything going for her, it seems - bubbly, funny, clever, in a dream publishing job, happily married and hoping to start a family. In her late twenties, busily living her life to the full, she and her husband discover a lump in her left breast. With no family history of cancer and her young age, everyone - including her GP - was naturally convinced it must just be a cyst. But it wasn't, and so began Lisa's experience of invasive breast cancer.
It sounds a grim topic, and the feelings and treatments she undergoes are certainly distressing, traumatic and extremely sobering, but the book is remarkably uplifting, filled with love, laughter, friendship, relationships and family, underpinned throughout with dark humour as she nicknames her disease "Bullshit". The blog Lisa began to chronicle her thoughts, feelings and experience of breast cancer, called "Alright Tit", is very well worth visiting. I had read about a third of the book, was avidly cheering her on and wondered what had subsequently happened in her life. I almost wish I hadn't, as after a quick Google search, I discovered that her cancer had returned with a vengeance a few years later :-(
Lisa's story has, I subsequently discovered, been made into a BBC TV drama which met with much acclaim, and is a tribute to a remarkable young woman, her husband, family and friends.