Geralyn Lucas has been called “the sassy face of cancer survival” (The Washington Post). Her memoir Why I Wore Lipstick (to My Mastectomy), an irreverent, at times heartbreaking but also hilarious testament to womanhood and beauty during those moments when we feel least feminine and most vulnerable, broke the mold in terms of its honesty.
Diagnosed with breast cancer at the shockingly young age of 27, Lucas was forced to make the harrowing decision of whether or not to undergo a mastectomy. When she was diagnosed, Lucas had recently graduated from the Columbia Journalism School and was settling into her life as a producer for Lifetime Television with her husband, a doctor. Why I Wore Lipstick detailed her internal struggle with womanhood after losing a key female-defining characteristic, and the soul searching she had to do to find her “inner cleavage” and feel sexy and whole once again. We are by her side at a strip club contemplating what it might be like to lose a breast; we are with her when she endures chemotherapy treatments; we cheer as she makes the courageous move to get a heart tattooed where her right nipple used to be, and we rejoice when she becomes pregnant with her daughter, Skye.
In her new book, Then Came Life: Living with Courage, Spirit and Gratitude After Breast Cancer, Lucas, now in her forties, dares all women who have experienced a stumble in life to harness their fighting spirit. One mastectomy, two C-sections, three pant’s sizes, and lots of red lipstick later, Geralyn Lucas is dealing with the same issues as other women her age. Her miracle babies have grown into a typical tween with a fierce eye-roll for her mom’s failings and a tornado of a little boy who won’t play by his preschool’s rules. Her storybook romance with her husband has spiraled into couples therapy and her perfect-if-demanding corporate job as a TV producer has abandoned her for L.A. When she looks in the mirror at her hard-won wrinkles, all she wants is . . . Botox. Celebrating her sweet sixteen cancerversary she’s thankful for her second chance and ready to be daring—but can she survive life’s new ups and downs with the same courage she’s always had?
With an infectiously funny voice and a true sense of empowerment, Geralyn harnesses her fighting spirit to live life loudly and lustily, and to grab on to all the moments that might never have happened. Knowing she can only pedal forward, she mines every day for boldness, joy, and gratitude, and eventually falls in love with life again. Then Came Life is not just for cancer survivors; it’s for life survivors—a call to rediscover the resilience and optimism it takes to reinvent yourself at any age.
For more, check out www.geralynlucas.com, https://www.facebook.com/geralynlucassocial, and follow Geralyn on twitter: @GeralynLucas, and @thencamelife.
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