Technology innovators and venture capitalists were acquiring sudden fortunes, buying up McMansions like the ones I had cleaned in Maine and much larger. Even secretaries in some hi-tech firms were striking it rich with their stock options. There was loose talk about a permanent conquest of the business cycle, and a sassy new spirit infecting American capitalism.
Share via Email Ehrenreich: Stephen Voss If you had asked me, just before the diagnosis of cancer, whether I was an optimist or a pessimist, I would have been hard-pressed to answer. How could I have breast cancer? I ate right, drank sparingly and worked out. When the gynaecologist suggested a follow-up mammogram four months later, I agreed only to placate her.
Still, I was not overly perturbed and faced the biopsy like a falsely accused witch confronting a trial by dunking: My official induction into breast cancer came 10 days later with the biopsy, from which I awoke to find the surgeon standing perpendicular to me, at the far end of the bed, down near my feet, stating gravely, "Unfortunately, there is a cancer.
I had been replaced by it, was the surgeon's implication. I know women who followed up their diagnoses with weeks or months of self-study, mastering their options, interviewing doctor after doctor, assessing the damage to be expected from the available treatments.
But I could tell from a few hours of investigation that the career of a breast cancer patient had been pretty well mapped out in advance: The pressure was on, from doctors and loved ones, to do something right away — kill it, get it out now.
And then what will I mean when I use the word "I"?
I fell into a state of unreasoning passive aggressivity: Fortunately, no one has to go through this alone. Forty years ago, before Betty FordRose KushnerBetty Rollin and other pioneer patients spoke out, breast cancer was a dread secret, endured in silence and euphemised in obituaries as a "long illness".
Today, however, it's the biggest disease on the cultural map, bigger than Aids, cystic fibrosis or spinal injury, bigger even than those more prolific killers of women — heart disease, lung cancer, and stroke. There are hundreds of websites devoted to it, not to mention newsletters, support groups and a whole genre of first-person breast cancer books.
The first thing I discovered as I waded out into the relevant sites is that not everyone views the disease with horror and dread.
Instead, the appropriate attitude is upbeat and even eagerly acquisitive. There is, I found, a significant market for all things breast cancer-related.
You can dress in pink-beribboned sweatshirts, denim shirts, pyjamas, lingerie, aprons, shoelaces and socks; accessorise with pink rhinestone brooches, scarves, caps, earrings and bracelets; and brighten up your home with breast cancer candles, coffee mugs, wind chimes and night-lights.
This is not entirely a case of cynical merchants exploiting the sick. It is also clear that the ultrafeminine theme of the breast cancer marketplace — the prominence, for example, of cosmetics and jewellery — could be understood as a response to the treatments' disastrous effects on one's looks.
There is no doubt, though, that all the prettiness and pinkness is meant to inspire a positive outlook.
I couldn't seem to get enough of these tales, reading on with panicky fascination about everything that can go wrong — septicemiaruptured implants, startling recurrences a few years after the completion of treatments, "mets" metastases to vital organs, and — what scared me most in the short term — "chemobrain" or the cognitive deterioration that sometimes accompanies chemotherapy.
But, despite all the helpful information, the more fellow victims I discovered and read, the greater my sense of isolation grew. No one among the bloggers and book writers seemed to share my sense of outrage over the disease and the available treatments.
Why don't we have treatments that distinguish between different forms of breast cancer or between cancer cells and normal dividing cells? In the mainstream of breast cancer culture, there is very little anger, no mention of possible environmental causes, and few comments about the fact that, in all but the more advanced, metastasised cases, it is the "treatments", not the disease, that cause the immediate illness and pain.
In fact, the overall tone is almost universally upbeat. The Breast Friends website, for example, features a series of inspirational quotes: As in the Aids movement, upon which breast cancer activism is partly modelled, the words "patient" and "victim," with their aura of self-pity and passivity, have been ruled un-PC.Barbara Ehrenreich – American lecturer, journalist, novelist, and critic.
The following entry presents an overview of Ehrenreich's career through Barbara Ehrenreich (/ ˈ ɛər ən r aɪ k /; born August 26, ) is an American author and political activist who describes herself as "a myth buster by trade" and has .
Essays and criticism on Barbara Ehrenreich - Critical Essays. Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of over a dozen books, including the New York Times bestseller Nickel and Dimed.
Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of “Nickel-And-Dimed” an essay about an average minimum wage worker and how they live their lives on a low wage job. She disguises herself and tries to prove that it is impossible or possible to be financially stable. Ehrenreich: 'In the lore of the disease, chemotherapy smoothes and tightens the skin and helps you lose weight, and, when your hair comes back it will be fuller, softer, easier to control, and. Barbara Ehrenreich (/ ˈ ɛər ən r aɪ k /; born August 26, ) is an American author and political activist who describes herself as "a myth buster by trade" and has .
Winner of the Erasmus Prize for her work as an investigative journalist, she has a PhD in cellular immunology from Rockefeller University and writes frequently about health care and medical science, among many other subjects. - Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America Barbara Ehrenreich is a political/social journalist and writer.
She is a best-selling author with a dozen book credits to her name. Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America Barbara Ehrenreich is a political/social journalist and writer. She is a best-selling author with a dozen book credits to her name.