Our Patients Write


The Breast Reconstruction Guidebook

For a decade The Breast Reconstruction Guidebook has been the most comprehensive and objective resource for women who face mastectomy. Equal parts science and support, Kathy Steligo’s new 3rd edition is filled with straightforward information, expert commentary, and personal stories that illustrate the emotional and physical components of mastectomy and breast reconstruction. Readers will find details about mastectomy techniques, reconstructive procedures, tips for choosing a plastic surgeon, dealing with insurance and payment issues, how to prepare for surgery, and what to expect during recovery. Steligo, a two-time breast cancer survivor, has had both implant and natural tissue reconstruction. To find out more information, please order the book here.


The Voodoo Breast

Kirkus Reviews’ Best Indie Books of 2014

Wallinga’s imaginative debut begins with married couple Allie and Kevin asleep in their hotel room in the magical French Quarter. From somewhere nearby, Allie can hear jazz music sounding as if it were coming from another world. The story flashes back to Allie’s mastectomy. Though she survived the surgery and doesn’t need treatment, Allie is haunted by her health scare and feels that losing her breast was like “losing a close friend…a dear and intimate part of her.” Upon discovering a hospital in New Orleans that can reconstruct a woman’s breasts using the fat of her own body, Allie convinces Kevin to fly with her to New Orleans, which is still reeling from Hurricane Katrina. Allie decides she wants not only to improve her body, but to learn more about voodoo. Allie’s connection to her body becomes a story not only of identity and femininity, but of magic and invisible spirits. As Allie’s body recovers, her soul undergoes its own healing and, eventually, so does her marriage. The Big Easy stars in this affecting novel about a couple’s unusual route to redemption.

“SUPERB! A written tapestry that is so well crafted that it literally paints in the mind of the reader. Striking visual imagery, sexual chemistry, music, mystery, and pounding emotion set the story in motion, where loss to cancer begins a restorative transformation of Allie’s body and the very essence of her entire life.”
-Dr. Frank DellaCroce


Better than a Pink Ribbon

When Gabe Insler’s mom, a patient of our Center, was diagnosed with cancer in February 2013, he was 12 years old. As a project, he decided to write a book that gives advice to other kids who have a parent with cancer. “Better Than A Pink Ribbon” is a humorous and honest book that illustrates the story of a mom with cancer through the eyes of her son. The book has great anecdotes that address both sad and happy days, fears, the future, and the everyday issue of chores and eating healthy. Readers can follow along with his hand-drawn depictions that are witty and cartoonishly fun.

Pink Lemonade: A Jubilant Survivor’s Inspirational Story about Overcoming Life’s Challenges and Emerging Triumphant!

At the age of 45, with no family history Tamara received the staggering news that she had malignant breast tumors in both breasts. With a sense of humor and sarcastic wit Tamara shares the story of her 3 year struggle to accept the things she cannot change (her health), change the things she can (health care) and the wisdom to seek out the best treatment available. Now a jubilant survivor, Tamara, a patient of our Center is telling her story. The story of God’s faithfulness and fortification as she overcame serious health obstacles all while rearing a teenager! Not only does Tamara prudently share the gripping details of her battle, she provides insightful understanding to those facing a life-threatening disease. Perhaps even more importantly; to those who love them.


Breast Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction: What’s Right for You

This is a new book about one of the least-addressed issues women about breast cancer: the surgery nearly all women have and the reconstruction choices they face. The book, one of only a few written about breast cancer surgery options, features moving photos of women by Emmy-award-winning photographer Kathleen Galligan. It covers a wide range of issues, including the choice between lumpectomy and mastectomy; living flat-breasted or one-breasted, without reconstruction; and reconstruction breakthroughs of the last decade, including nipple-sparing mastectomy and tissue-based breast reconstruction. Anstett visited top centers to observe cutting-edge techniques and see how model programs operate.


P.S. You are Loved.

Living the Life of Inspiration, Living with Poland Syndrome

Living with a rare congenital condition that causes disfigurement can be both isolating and depressing. P.S. You are Loved is a collection of inspirational stories from real people all over the world that are living and thriving with a rare birth defect called Poland Syndrome. Included are stories from parents with children, men, women, and teens; tales that will touch your heart, move your soul and remind you that you are loved! There are also educational pictures and chapters from top doctors in the field of Poland Syndrome reconstruction, that offer behind the scenes knowledge you need to know. With 100% of all proceeds going to support people with Poland Syndrome. order the book here.


The Silver Lining, Encounters with Angels

The book is full of excitement and emotion that will keep you on the edge of your seat and versatile enough to cover a multitude of topics and demographics. Everyone goes through hardships and trials. In fact, we spend the majority of our life journey attempting to either resolve or avoid these struggles. However, it is not the depth of the situation that determines our ability to successfully walk through them, it is our mindset. We must believe we can do it. More than that, we must have a willingness to be active participants in our victories, no matter how small our effort, and accept help from the outside to achieve each victory. In this book, the outside help is referred to as silver linings. I hope this book helps you to identify your own silver linings as a life-line to get you through your struggles.

“In the Silver Lining, Encounters with Angels, Gretchen Walker courageously shares her life’s journey with others. It is sensitive and insightful, and serves as a beacon of hope for other who have their own crosses to bear.” – Dr. Scott Sullivan


The Mutant Diaries: Unzipping My Genes

How far would you go to save your life?

Superpowers stem from incredible sacrifices in The Mutant Diaries: Unzipping My Genes, a feisty and frank solo musical from performer/composer Eva Moon. Upon learning she had the BRCA genetic mutation, which spikes the risk of breast cancer to 87% and ovarian cancer to 55%, Moon had to make a life-altering choice: remove her healthy breasts and ovaries or face terrifying odds of cancer. Live music, warmth and generous amounts of humor are all expertly woven in this story of her decision — and the extraordinarily empowering results of that choice.

A one woman show delivered with so much raw emotion and intimacy that the audience may wonder whether they have accidentally wandered into a room where they overhear her private and innermost thoughts after learning of her BRCA gene mutation.  Her journey carries us through the loss of her mother, to the discovery of her own personal superpower.  Her presence on stage reflects the solace of the inner struggle, but the humor that she wraps around her musical delivery pulls the audience into her story as her life changing choices deliver triumph.  It is about life, it is about death, and it is about the beauty of the human spirit, a must see.


Previvors: Facing the Breast Cancer Gene and Making Life-Changing Decisions

The first guide to all surgical and nonsurgical options for women with a high risk for breast cancer.

Advances in genetic testing and risk assessment have changed the face of medicine, but with them has come a Pandora’s box of dilemmas. Imagine discovering you had a significant risk for developing breast cancer. What would you do? Through the incredible true stories of five young friends, as well as interviews with more than seventy top breast cancer experts, health writer Dina Roth Port addresses the universal questions of women everywhere who have watched family members suffer from the disease and wondered, “Am I next?” Full of practical information, Previvors is the first comprehensive book to guide women through the difficult process of determining their risk, weighing the options, and coping with the emotions of deciding to undergo surgery. From navigating health insurance coverage to finding the right medical team, Previvors is an invaluable resource for women facing decisions about their risk and future health. Readers will learn:

  • The pros and cons of getting tested for the BRCA gene
  • How to decide between surgical or nonsurgical options
  • The latest research in breast cancer surveillance
  • The advanced new world of breast reconstruction
  • How to overcome body image and sex issues post-surgery, and more