The Adventures of Cancer Bitch
Laying it out there with stunning realness, incorporating funny yet saddening as well as humorous but serious moments, S. L. Wisenberg presents blog entries of her journey through breast cancer discovery, surgery, and recovery in The Adventures of Cancer Bitch. Sharing many—if not all—of her life’s vulnerable moments with the reader, the author demonstrates the humanness of living through cancer.
Illuminating but difficult experiences fill Wisenberg’s writing. She delves into self-absorption as well as utter hysterics due to her bare bones admittance of recovery drugs and daily living through the painful process. As a reader, it is easy to feel her stress and sympathize as if you are on the sofa next to her as she wallows in her pain. This pain does not make Wisenberg bitchy; on the contrary, it reveals her true character questioning the world around her and why the commodified pink ribbons have become a "catch-all" for the destructive disease we all encounter at some point in our lives.
In addition, Wisenberg feeds background to the reader: both her Jewish culture and Texas childhood pop up at different moments throughout the book. These points give Wisenberg even more credibility and realness as she elaborates on her mother, her attendance at seder, her self-proclaimed yuppiness, and her interactions with close friends who lost their son to cancer at a very young age. Literary allusions as well as other anecdotal stories lend a substantive and creative fill to the book.
I found myself laughing at the author's antics while dealing with the seriousness of her condition, and I found myself sobbing at points where her depression and darkness haunts her recovery through chemotherapy. Weisenberg is so real. I find her journey an adventure indeed, but her "bitch" title more of a friend who puts it out there, no lies, no holds barred. Folks, if you have cancer, you may attest that this person's story is very close to yours.