For Book Clubs

From Zero to Mastectomy

Discussion Points

Fox had a hard time telling her husband she needed a biopsy. Has it been difficult for you to break medical news to a partner? How did you handle it? How did your partner handle it?

When she got the news that she had cancer, Fox said she just figured it was her turn. How have you handled cancer or another large diagnosis? Did you feel like "Why me?" or "Why not me?"

Fox engaged in "retail therapy" after she was diagnosed. Did you shop for anything special as a treat for yourself or to reduce stress?

Fox discussed the weird way time stretches out when you're grieving or coping with a large diagnosis. Have you experienced time "standing still" while you're waiting for news or coping with a big life event?

Fox leaned on humor and music to cope with her diagnosis and treatment, and also took a "time out" at a coffee shop. What coping skills have you used in dealing with an illness or other stressful
event?

An unlikely but welcome side effect of Fox's cancer was that she rediscovered writing poetry after an absence of nearly 20 years. Has a major life event helped you discover a part of yourself you thought had gone missing? If so, how?

Fox called telling close friends and family a "no brainer," but that it gets interesting when figuring out how to tell others. If you've been diagnosed with cancer or another serious condition, how did you decide whom to tell, and why?

Fox said all of her doctors communicated well but had a couple of bumps in the road, one being when she didn't communicate with her plastic surgeon about follow-up exercises. How do you communicate with your doctors? Do you bring questions? Bring a companion?

Breast cancer strikes at the heart of a woman's femininity. If you have had breast cancer, did you worry about your treatment outcome making you any less feminine? Although she didn't consciously fear it, Fox said she engaged in "underwear therapy" and bought sexy undergarments. Did you take any special steps to feel more feminine?


There has been some backlash both from people who suffer "pink ribbon fatigue" and women who feel pressure to be cheerful at all costs if they're diagnosed with breast cancer. What are your thoughts on that?

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