Monroeville woman pens book on breast cancer
A large part of getting through breast cancer is having a good attitude, said a local author who wrote a book about her experience.
“It was because of my sense of humor that I was able to get through it. You have to have a good attitude,” said Adrienne Weiss, a Monroeville resident, breast cancer survivor and self-published author.
Weiss’ levity on the subject can be found throughout “Boob in a Box: A Guide for Anyone Having a Mammogram.” She self published the 67-page book under the pseudonym “A.J. Funstuff” through Amazon Publishing in April 2018.
Since then, Weiss has sold 33 copies and many others have downloaded the e-book. But she doesn’t pay much attention to the book’s success, or lack thereof. It’s more about helping individuals through the process.
“It’s a subject women don’t want to address until they have to. Why would someone read a book in advance of ever getting a diagnosis? I know it’s not going to be a big seller … I feel like I’m helping others and that is the most important thing,” she said.
Doctors found cancer in Weiss’ left breast in 2011. The finding eventually led to a mastectomy and the discovery of cancer in her right breast. She underwent five surgeries and now prides herself in “going flat,” a term used to describe a double mastectomy and declining reconstruction.
The journey is long and difficult, Weiss said. And the science is imperfect, causing obstacles and road blocks. She hopes the insight offered in her book can help women through the process and perhaps even inspire women to schedule a mammogram.
The book’s title references a silicone breast she wore after her first mastectomy.
“It sits in a pocket in a box … so your clothes don’t hang funny,” she said.
Although she does not wear one now, she appreciated the product that helped her transition to a life without breasts. It represents one option for women going through mastectomies and breast cancer.
Weiss tries to speak about the topic at libraries in the area as often as possible. At the events, she reads from her book and tackles the question: What is your main sense of beauty as a woman?
She has a talk scheduled from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Monroeville Public Library. Along with her will be a nurse from AHN Forbes Cancer Institute in Monroeville, and two representatives from K & J’s Complete Woman, a shop in Monroeville selling mastectomy products — the same place that provided Weiss with her “boob in a box.”
“I’m just glad to get information out there in a simple and entertaining way,” she said.
Her book can be found in paperback on Amazon for $15 or for free download on Kindle.
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter .