Why I Wore Lipstick
To My Mastectomy
By Geralyn Lucas
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312334451, 224pp.)
Publication Date: September 9, 2004
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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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.
"This is the first time that wearing lipstick is a metaphor for courage and hope. Geralyn Lucas' story of her experience with breast cancer is written in a breezy, inspirational voice. Her energetic enthusiasm and fears are balanced beautifully and expressively to rivet the reader on each page."
-Evelyn Lauder, senior corporate vice president of The Estée Lauder Companies and
founder and chairman of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation
"I played it, Geralyn lived it. Read this book and you'll never wear lipstick the same way again."
-Kim Cattrall, actress
"In this gutsy, touching and often hilarious journal, Geralyn takes the reader on her roller coaster of emotional experiences, from the heartbreak of hearing her diagnosis to the triumph of her daughter's birth. Millions of women, and those who love them, will be forever grateful for this powerful and life-affirming book. At Lifetime, I know we are immensely grateful and proud to have Geralyn's passion and knowledge dedicated to our advocacy campaign to stop breast cancer."
-Carole Black, president and CEO of Lifetime Entertainment Services
"As a doctor, I'm always looking at patients from the outside in. This book is an extraordinary perspective from the inside out. As Geralyn's self-discovery and triumph over breast cancer unfolds, she takes us with her from her doctor's office, to work, through her living room, to the bedroom, right into the bathroom, and in and out of taxicabs. You need to be with her through each of these moments to see-right up close-how much sheer sweetness, sadness, love, honesty, uncertainty, terror, courage, excitement, hope, and guts were bundled into each piece of every day. Geralyn is bigger than life and death. Now I'm wearing lipstick!"
-Marisa Weiss, M.D., breast cancer specialist, president and founder of breastcancer.org, founder of Living Beyond Breast Cancer, and author of Living Beyond Breast Cancer
"Geralyn Lucas makes you laugh and cry in the very same moment with her account of going through mastectomy and beyond. Her vivid scenes are cinematographic in detail, and sweep you along her journey with unerring perception, insight, and ultimately, acceptance and personal growth. This unique story is a must-read for any woman who has a friend, loved one, or who is herself enduring the experience of breast cancer. It's like nothing else ever written on the subject, and adds a note of humanity and humor to a topic that often lacks either. You can't help but thoroughly enjoy this book."
-Lucy Danziger, editor-in-chief of Self magazine (the founder of Pink Ribbon)