Cancer in Two Voices

Sandra Butler, Author, Barbara Rosenblum, With Spinsters Ink Books $12.95 (183p) ISBN 978-0-933216-84-6
Shifting back and forth between pk the late Rosenblum's and her surviving lover Butler's journal entries and letters, this landmark feminist perspective on breast cancer describes how Rosenblum's malignant cancer was misdiagnosed as benign fibrocystic disease. Even after a correct diagnosis results in a mastectomy and intensive radiation and chemotherapy, the cancer runs rampant through her body. The work is an indictment of the medical profession's casual attitude to women's illness, and also a touching chronicle of two women in their forties grappling intellectually and emotionally with premature death. No detail is spared to describe the appalling effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. But each moment of joy is relished, and Rosenblum notes with black humor how she squeezed out her ``foam rubber tit'' after swimming. The shared but contrasting Jewishness of Rosenblum, daughter of Holocaust survivors, and Butler, daughter of suburban assimilationists, adds poignancy, as does the image of Butler ( Conspiracy of Silence ) scattering her lover's ashes in her garden. Author tour. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
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