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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
A Year Lost, A Life Gained: Fighting Breast Cancer with Wit, Humor, Friends and a Perky Poodle is an inspirational, entertaining, and informative personal memoir by Suzanne Dalton. I’ve known of women who died from or survived breast cancer, but I never knew the details of their treatment and rehabilitation, or the extent and duration of their pain and recovery. Dalton describes her experiences in full detail and offers some very useful advice. While every breast cancer experience is unique, there are common issues worth sharing, and not just among women. This is a great book for men to read, as well as medical professionals, to better understand the patient’s point of view. Although her procedures took place in 2001, Dalton includes comments to address changes and current approaches.
Dalton’s honest, clean, and crisp writing style and her well-paced narrative make A Year Lost, A Life Gained a book that anyone can enjoy. You feel as though you are one of her email recipients at the time, and experience the unfolding process along with her. For those (like me) who can’t handle certain topics without getting queasy, Dalton issues “gross out warnings” and tells you how far to skip down. The humor had me chuckling from start to finish. More than a few comedians could take a lesson from it. “Surviving cancer means to rejoice in being alive ... and still have a sense of humor,” Dalton writes. With the good fortune of an early diagnosis and the love and help of her husband, family, friends, medical professionals, and a very special poodle, she did just that.