Saving Jack: A Man’s Struggle with Breast Cancer

Jack D. Willis, Author, Alan B. Hollingsworth, Foreword by , foreword by Alan B. Hollingsworth, M.D. Univ. of Oklahoma $16.95 (187p) ISBN 978-0-8061-3895-4

A former journalist and college professor, Willis delivers a moving memoir of his struggle with breast cancer, shining a light on a diagnosis that is given to approximately 2,000 men each year. Once diagnosed, he doesn’t shy away from accepting that he needs an immediate mastectomy and painful chemotherapy treatment. His journalistic training allows Willis to clearly and concisely tell his story—from the initial discovery of a lump on his chest through to surgery and treatment and on to the mental changes that he still feels today as a result of the chemotherapy: “The nightmarish aftereffects shocked my system like nothing I had ever experienced.” Willis chronicles his physical deterioration in excruciating detail, but he also offers a unique perspective, while never forgetting that women have struggled with the physical and mental impact of the disease for years. His writing skill also keeps him from overplaying his story’s importance: he lets Hollingsworth—the founding medical director of the University of Oklahoma Breast Institute—state in his foreword that “until now, no male breast cancer patient has tackled the shock of being diagnosed with 'a woman’s disease’ through a book-length chronicle of the experience.” (May)

Reviewed on: 03/10/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
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