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When Good Boobs Turn Bad A Mammoir: A Mammoir

When Good Boobs Turn Bad A Mammoir: A Mammoir

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When Good Boobs Turn Bad A Mammoir: A Mammoir

120 pages
1 heure
Aug 16, 2013


Is breast cancer a laughing matter? Jill Foer Hirsch tells us that while it might not be true for everyone, she couldn't help but laugh at the unexpected, bizarre and downright hilarious experiences she had while working her way through a mastectomy, chemotherapy and reconstruction surgery. Well, there was the breast implant that mysteriously migrated to her armpit, her inspired breast cancer haikus and advice on how to properly accessorize a hospital gown, to name a few. In her witty, inimitable style, Hirsch shares the good, the bad, the ugly and the funny about her journey.
Aug 16, 2013

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When Good Boobs Turn Bad A Mammoir - Jill Foer Hirsch

When Good


Turn Bad

A Mammoir

Jill Foer Hirsch

When Good Boobs Turn Bad by Jill Foer Hirsch

Published by Rasputin Press

Publishing services provided by Pedernales Publishing, LLC


Copyright © 2013 by Jill Foer Hirsch

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) whatsoever without permission in writing from the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

Library of Congress Control Number: 2013910592

ISBN Number: 978-0-9895715-1-7 Digital Edition


To my extraordinary husband, Dan, for his love, support, and unfailing encouragement.


Who Am I and Why Am I Here?

You might browse through this book and wonder, Who the hell is this woman? I don’t blame you, and in fact have frequently pondered the same question. I am a middle-aged woman with a sharp tongue and a big mouth. Most people who know me describe me as smart, funny, and off-the-wall in public and smart-ass, out of control, and crazy in private. Fair enough. I have precisely two, and only two, substantive talents. I am funny, and I am a good writer.

It took a force of nature to create the perfect storm in which my only two talents could come together and I could be funny in writing. When I hit the comedy jackpot with breast cancer, I knew my time had come.

I feel confident that you will find this book a real treat. After all, even my mom says it’s really funny. I hope to inspire you to use the hilarity of my breast cancer as a witty and fresh topic at your next cocktail party. You may find yourself reflecting on how super happy you are that all this crap happened to me and not you. And if I can motivate even a single person to say, Well hell, if this nut bag can write a book, so can I, my work will not be in vain.

I know what you’re thinking, though. Cancer is no laughing matter. So lest I leave the impression it’s nothing but a barrel of laughs, let’s get a few things straight. Of course I was scared. Yes, I held my breath waiting for the results of pathology reports and PET scans. I worried about how much my family and friends would worry about me. I worried about all the unknowns. I worried about all the things most people worry about. Humor just happens to be my most effective coping mechanism. It’s the one that comes naturally to me. I didn’t use humor to cover up my feelings, I used it to wade through them.

I couldn’t possibly laugh at someone else’s cancer or other misfortune. But I own my cancer. I lived it, I breathed it, I survived it. It belongs solely to me. So I hereby grant permission to you to laugh, guilt-free, at my various adventures.

Stick with me; it’s gonna be fun.


I am grateful to the talented doctors and other healthcare providers who took such excellent care of me, including: Dr. Steven Davison, plastic surgeon; Dr. Sandra Ginsberg, medical oncologist; Dr. Marie Pennanen, breast surgeon; and Lori Zorc, Ph.D., nurse practitioner. I also owe a debt of gratitude, and probably a practical joke, to Carol, Nancy, and Joyce at the Sibley Memorial Hospital Infusion Center and to all the nurses and staff in Sibley’s Surgical Intensive

Care Unit.

Words cannot begin to describe my love and appreciation for my husband Dan, who never left my side and made me feel safe in a scary world.

With much love, I thank my parents, Harriet and Eddie Schneider, and my brothers and sisters-in-law, CJ and Lisa Foer and Barry Foer and Kathleen Elrod, for their unconditional love and for being my boisterous and happily unruly cheering squad. All of my love to Aubrey, Craig, and Sean Foer; in my world they hang the moon, the sun, and the stars.

I will always be grateful to my dear friends André Bracker, Sandi Esty, Betsey Hudis, and Brenda Kittay for visiting me, schlepping me to appointments, and keeping me entertained during chemo treatments, and to Laura Carlisle for her eagle eye. Thank you to Paula Serratore for insisting that I write this book.

I offer my heartfelt thank you to the talented Jill Bernstein for her generosity of time and spirit, and for patiently guiding this novice author through a strange new world. I am proud to call her my friend. Thank you to my editor Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D., who has a flair for gooder English and was generous with her Goddess Goo, and to Jose Ramirez and Barbara Rainess at Pedernales Publishing for their patience in bringing this book to fruition.

I can’t possibly list all the other family and friends who supported me in every possible way, read my blog, and encouraged me to write a book about my experiences, but I am so grateful for each and every one of you. I count my blessings every day that I have so many amazing family members and friends that I would have to write another book to describe them all.

When Good Boobs Turn Bad

Chapter 1:

Of Husbands, Boobs, and Life

When my husband Dan was reading a late draft of this book, he suggested that what I wrote wasn’t funny enough. He wanted to be sure I hooked my readers before droning on about stuff like my body image and how bad cancer happens to reasonably good people. I told him that if I weren’t honest with my readers, including the not-so-funny parts of the funny, then my story wouldn’t be credible. He gave this a lot of thought before belching and saying, I’m going to mow the lawn now.

So there I was, on a lazy Sunday, feeling compelled to rewrite the entire first section of the book. But, truth be told, I just wasn’t up for it, you know? The white noise from the lawn mower was making me kind of sleepy, and even though it was noon, I was still in my pajamas.

It’s not because I was dozing off. It’s my honest opinion that the first section of this book is good as is. The problem is how will we ever settle the argument? Here’s where I need your help. Even if you’re reading this on a lazy Sunday between catnaps, I’m going to need to ask you to sit up and pay careful attention to the next section so I can prove my husband was wrong.

I hope you’ll agree that a good way to start a funny book about breast cancer is to talk about my boobs. Duh. When I was a little girl, I watched my mom get dressed and marveled at the complicated procedure. There were pantyhose, girdles, slips, and that scary complicated garment known as the bra. I remember thinking how lucky I was to be able to just pull on my own clothes and go with no fanfare.

I knew it wouldn’t last forever.

As I hit my tween years, small boobs started sprouting on my chest. I was suddenly desperate for a training bra; my mother settled on camisoles. But I was patient, and pretty soon the whole thing started to seem very exciting. In the blink of an eye, the forces of nature spun out of control, and my boobs grew from camisole-size to enormous unmanageable cantaloupes. It was the 70s, and I wanted to wear tube tops and sundresses and strapless prom gowns, but the boobs could not be contained. I hated

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