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Maryellen D. Brisbois’s Why I Hated Pink: Confessions of a Breast Cancer Survivor

By Shelly Aucoinbook-review-why-i-hated-pink2-please-credit-steven-king-baystate-parent

Diagnosed with breast cancer at age forty one, Massachusetts resident Maryellen Brisbois, a caring nurse, devoted wife and mother of three, always knew she would survive. In Why I Hated Pink, she chronicles her eighteen month journey to hell and back, a journey she made with incredible grace. Maryellen’s inspirational story will leave you with a new appreciation for life; you may never look at that little pink ribbon the same way again.

Anyone whose life has been touched by cancer will appreciate Maryellen’s wit. She battles cancer with the rare insight of a person who understands that life is too absurd to take seriously and too precious to waste. She laughs far more often than she cries and never loses sight of what’s important in life ~ her three children, her husband, her vast network of family and friends, and being able to laugh at yourself no matter how bad it gets.

book-review-why-i-hated-pinkIncredibly, her story begins with the question “Are you sitting down?” which she answers with “No. I’m not sitting down but I know what you’re going to tell me.” As a nurse for over twenty years, Brisbois knew exactly what the diagnosis meant and how deadly it could be. She knew all about the chemotherapy, the drugs and the long road that lay ahead of her.

Maryellen’s determination knew ~ and knows ~ no bounds. When she starts to lose her hair she cries, shaves her head, dons a wig and drives her daughter to her soccer game. She continues working towards her degree and graduates the masters program during her treatment. No matter what, she just keeps going. Brisbois’s undying optimism and determination is so contagious, so touching, that it leaves readers feeling empowered.

“There is always someone worse off than we are no matter what the situation,” says Brisbois. “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you handle it.” We could all learn some valuable lessons from this courageous woman and her powerful journey.

For survivor Maryellen Brisbois, the future is bright. Her story ends with these inspiring words: “I will probably have sleepless nights as follow up appointments near, but I continue to live my life after treatment the same way that I did during treatment. If I do the best I can every day, there is nothing else I can ask of myself.”

Why I Hated Pink: Confessions of a Breast Cancer Survivor is available at Borders,,, and other booksellers. A portion of the proceeds from each sale will be donated to support the fight against breast cancer.

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