Review from Publisher’s Weekly
“Maisano, founder of the No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation, examines the delicate personal side of reconnecting after the trauma of breast cancer. Writing in a straightforward, conversational style, Maisano leverages her hard-won firsthand knowledge to create an informative and supportive guide for women in the process of reclaiming their sexuality, post-treatment. Presented in two parts, the book begins with issues related to healing the body and mind. As cancer survivors shift from fighting for their lives to planning for the future, Maisano illustrates the pros and cons of treatment options. A two-time breast cancer survivor herself, she assembles personal stories and explains complex procedures with welcome frankness and humor: “All this will mean a farewell to the ovaries and a baptism by hot flash into the world of sudden menopause.” In Part Two, the author takes a close look at sexuality and intimacy after treatment, offering up-to-date information, nonjudgmental support, and healing exercises for women as they recover in their own unique ways and face individual challenges on the road to health. This book will be vital to women who find themselves in the process of healing, and to all the people who care for them.” (Jun)
Review From The Library Journal
“Breast cancer survivors have a great deal to celebrate, but they may feel alone, worried that they are no longer attractive, and depressed by the changes that surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy bring to their bodies, all of which may affect their relationships and sex lives. Although health-care professionals prepare patients for treatments, they often fail to address the resulting emotional and sexual issues. Maisano—two-time breast cancer survivor and founder of the No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation, which provides support for women coping with post-therapy issues—fills this void. She first examines the practical aspects of dealing with the body after treatment: changes in the breasts, chemically induced menopause, hair loss, pain, and lymphedema. She discusses alternative and traditional drug treatments, nutrition and supplements, exercise, and cosmetic surgery. She then addresses the emotional factors—fear of recurrence, feeling unattractive, anxiety, and worry about sexual relationships—and offers frank and compassionate advice for both single and married women about overcoming these problems, and she shares stories of women who have succeeded. VERDICT: An excellent book that fills a gap in breast cancer collections.—Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland P.L.”
What Survivors Are Saying
From the Breast Cancer Site:
At first glance, one would never know that Gina Maisano has battled breast cancer twice in her life. The beautiful woman has long, flowy hair and looks especially vibrant in photos.
However, it was only nine years ago that Maisano was first diagnosed with Triple Negative, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, according to the Port Washington Patch. After a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation, she was proud to be cancer-free.
Six years later, the cancer returned. Maisano was then diagnosed with Invasive Lobular Carcinoma and underwent a bilateral, skin-sparing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, and nine months of chemotherapy and radiation.
The courageous woman, who is now 100 percent healthy, has chronicled her journey in her book Intimacy After Breast Cancer: Dealing with Your Body, Relationships and Sex. Her tome covers everything breast cancer patients need to know, from the emotional to physical aspects of the disease.
From Fight Pink.org
“Throughout the book, there are stories contributed by other survivors, which offer a wealth of personal perspectives with examples of physical recovery and emotional healing.
Gina covers the gambit in this wonderful book. She guides you through the different options when it comes to choosing your surgical outcomes from your diagnosis, as well as discussing sexuality, and the difference between being a ’single survivor’ or a ‘married survivor.’ Gina has a way of making you take control of your life instead of letting cancer control you.
Intimacy After Breast Cancer is a no holds barred, straight to the point guide for all of us women who have heard the words, “You have Breast Cancer.” It guides you back to your ‘before cancer’ you, helping you to reclaim your spirit, your sexuality and your relationship with yourself, and those around you.” Says, Stacy Martello.
“It’s likely you’ve tiptoed through the bookstore looking for a title exactly like this. Good news: You’ve found it. First, the survivor-written account challenges every reader to embrace her new self, body and spirit– and then it furthers that “reclamation” by exploring sexuality from all angles.
Whether you’re single or married, there are chapters for you, and Maisano’s comfortable style reads like a girlfriend’s chat. Most moving is an essay called “Confessions of a Breast Man” written from the partner’s perspective.”
Amoena, Issue 9 Summer/Fall 2010