Why I Wore Lipstick
To My Mastectomy
By Geralyn Lucas
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312334451, 224pp.)
Publication Date: September 9, 2004
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A soulful, surprising coming of age journey by a dynamo who used her own adversity as a platform for examining issues all young women face.
Having finished journalism school and landed her dream job at age 27, the last thing Geralyn Lucas expects to hear is a breast cancer diagnosis. She decides to go public with her disease despite fears about the backlash at work, and her bold choices in treatment are irreverent and uplifting. When her breast is under construction and her hair is falling out, her skirts get shorter. She goes to work every day and gets promoted. She has sex with her bandages on. She reinvents her beauty and in a bold move of conscious objection, forgoes the final phase of her breast reconstruction: the nipple. She is reborn in a tattoo parlor when she gets a heart tattoo where her nipple once was.
Geralyn recovers from her mastectomy and chemo and has a baby in the same hospital where she was treated for cancer. What could have been a huge negative for this young cancer survivor became the impetus to examine her own sexuality and burgeoning womanhood. Virtually nothing has been written for women of a young age who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. This book also deals with the broader issue of self-acceptance that anyone grappling with questions of illness, self-image and sexuality can identify with.
Geralyn Lucas was an Editorial Producer at ABC News 20/20 before becoming a director of original programming at Lifetime Television where she is also a proud member of Lifetime's Stop Breast Cancer for Life initiative. Geralyn lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.