Saturday, May 12, 2012

Memoir of a Debulked Woman

A new book by feminist scholar Susan Gubar describes the experience of treatment for ovarian cancer. The New York Times review of her book says that ovarian cancer has been called "Breast cancer's poor neglected cousin." More shockingly is also says that, "Ovarian cancer lacks breast cancer's public recognition for a terrible reason: so few women live to write about it".

The title of Gubar's book is provocative. We learn that the standard treatment for advanced ovarian cancer is called "debulking"--surgery in which as much tissue and as many organs as possible are removed in hopes of removing as much cancer as possible.

As awful as that description may be, and the reality of the surgery must be, this is a moving and powerful book written by an amazing scholar and writer. She leaves little out, as the surgeons left little in, and she gives us a moving picture of the inner life and decision making process of a woman living with, and dying of, cancer.

Here's the link:

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