**Lopsided by Meredith Norton (2008)

Bean’s Book Review: I was not planning to read any memoirs about breast cancer while going through breast cancer treatment.  Reading all the research articles and books has been enough, but a friend of mine gave this to me and I decided to skim the first few pages.  And I was hooked.  She’s so damn funny, I just had to read on.  And right away, she has a different spin on things because she’s living in France but is misdiagnosed three times by French doctors, so there’s the whole French vs. American culture part of the story which is hilarious because her husband is French and he’s the one who insists she stay in the States for all of her treatment.  Without a doubt,  she must have been more scared than her story indicates, but she’s pretty upfront about her anger and the grim realities of chemo and its side effects.  Somehow she just manages to describe them without self-pity.  How, I’m not sure.  One question I often had while reading is when did she go through this?  The book came out in 2008, but it’s not clear when she actually went through treatment.  Once you’re a few or several years removed from the experience, I can see writing about it in such a humorous manner while still capturing the reality of the experience, but I have a hard time believing that she found it quite so funny as she was actually pushing through the everyday treatment.  Distance affords one the luxury of seeing the craziness, but at the time, I’m not sure one could actually never dwell on the grim possibility of death.  Still, her writing is exceptional and I find myself wondering about much of the same things she did such as why sugary snacks are offered during chemo when sugar is a cancer-feeder or why we have parties at the end of chemo celebrating that we “beat cancer” when we have no idea if the cancer is gone or why the side effects from chemo that are supposedly “rare” hit us full force.  This is an important and entertaining memoir for anyone to read, cancer victim or not.  (memoir)

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