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They were three beautiful, promising sisters, daughters of Jewish immigrants - Mary, Fannie and Regina, young women during the pre-war depression. In a tragic twist of fate, all three were to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Fannie died first, a young mother of three, then in the next decade, Mary, both lonely, painful deaths; while Regina struggled against her recurrent cancer until she was 64. Told by Janet, Regina's daughter, STAYING ALIVE is the story of the sisters - their battle with what seemed an invincible foe and the toll it took on their personalities, their sisterhood, their marriages and their children, particularly their daughters who, too, were likely to be victims. At the centre is the intense relationship between Regina and Janet bound by love and a genetic curse - and ultimately, Janet's momentous and far-reaching decision to be free of it.Candid and deeply moving, STAYING ALIVE is a truly inspiring story of survival, of hope and the possibility of overcoming destiny.
Ann Burack-Weiss explores a rich variety of published memoirs by authors who cared for ill or disabled family members. Contrary to the common belief that caregiving is nothing more than a stressful situation to be endured, memoirs describe a life transforming experience-self-discovery, a reordering of one's priorities, and a changed view of the world. The Caregiver's Tale offers insight and comfort to individuals caring for a loved one and is a valuable resource for all health care professionals. Identifying common themes, Burack-Weiss describes how the illness career and social meaning of cancer, dementia, HIV/AIDS, mental illness, and chemical dependence affect the caregiving experience. She applies the same method to an examination of family roles: parents caring for ailing children, couples and siblings caring for one another, and adult children caring for aging parents. Jamaica Kincaid, Sue Miller, Paul Monette, Kenzaburo Oë, and Philip Roth are among the many authors who share their caregiving stories. Burack-Weiss provides an annotated bibliography of the more than one hundred memoirs and an accompanying chart to help readers locate those of greatest interest to them.
Born into a close-knit and loving Italian family, Giovanna Maria Acciavatti spent her early childhood years overcoming the illness that struck her as an infant. When World War II devastated Italy, her family lost everything except their unbreakable bond. Like so many others, she immigrated to the United States as a young woman, and, despite many setbacks, persevered with indomitable spirit to become a successful businesswoman. Acciavatti recounts her story in language both lyrical and down-to-earth, and spiced with a wry sense of humor.
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