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Had I Known: A Memoir of Survival

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In Had I Known, the former host of Good Morning America, health advocate, international speaker, mother of seven, grandmother of one and New York Times bestselling author, Joan Lunden, speaks candidly about her battle against breast cancer, her quest to learn about it and teach others, and the transformative effect it has had on her life. With a large extended family counti In Had I Known, the former host of Good Morning America, health advocate, international speaker, mother of seven, grandmother of one and New York Times bestselling author, Joan Lunden, speaks candidly about her battle against breast cancer, her quest to learn about it and teach others, and the transformative effect it has had on her life. With a large extended family counting on her, giving up was not an option. After announcing her diagnosis of Stage 2 Triple Negative Breast Cancer on Good Morning America, people all over the country rallied around Joan as she went into warrior mode. Joan appeared on the cover of People Magazine bald, showing the world her brave resolve and that breast cancer does not need to define you. Joan’s illness has changed her in profoundly unexpected ways and has redefined her values and most of all, her health. Following a new clean and healthy way of eating, Joan became her best advocate by taking control of her nutrition, which helped combat the adverse side effects of chemotherapy like a warrior. Uncharacteristically vulnerable, irreverent and straight from the heart, Had I Known is a deeply personal and powerful story of pain, persistence, and perseverance in which Joan openly evaluates her decision to go public with her battle, shaving her head, wig shopping, re-connecting with her viewers, rediscovering her purpose, and ultimately realizing that sometimes you have to look back to move forward.


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In Had I Known, the former host of Good Morning America, health advocate, international speaker, mother of seven, grandmother of one and New York Times bestselling author, Joan Lunden, speaks candidly about her battle against breast cancer, her quest to learn about it and teach others, and the transformative effect it has had on her life. With a large extended family counti In Had I Known, the former host of Good Morning America, health advocate, international speaker, mother of seven, grandmother of one and New York Times bestselling author, Joan Lunden, speaks candidly about her battle against breast cancer, her quest to learn about it and teach others, and the transformative effect it has had on her life. With a large extended family counting on her, giving up was not an option. After announcing her diagnosis of Stage 2 Triple Negative Breast Cancer on Good Morning America, people all over the country rallied around Joan as she went into warrior mode. Joan appeared on the cover of People Magazine bald, showing the world her brave resolve and that breast cancer does not need to define you. Joan’s illness has changed her in profoundly unexpected ways and has redefined her values and most of all, her health. Following a new clean and healthy way of eating, Joan became her best advocate by taking control of her nutrition, which helped combat the adverse side effects of chemotherapy like a warrior. Uncharacteristically vulnerable, irreverent and straight from the heart, Had I Known is a deeply personal and powerful story of pain, persistence, and perseverance in which Joan openly evaluates her decision to go public with her battle, shaving her head, wig shopping, re-connecting with her viewers, rediscovering her purpose, and ultimately realizing that sometimes you have to look back to move forward.

30 review for Had I Known: A Memoir of Survival

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    I would give this a 4.5. I remember hearing about Joan Lunden being diagnosed with breast cancer last year. This is her memoir about her battle with breast cancer. She is very honest with what she dealt with. Joan Lunden has always been an active woman. When she was given the diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer. She spent the summer of 2014 getting chemotherapy. She has seven children.Three grown daughters from her first marriage, and two sets of twins who were eleven and nine. Like any p I would give this a 4.5. I remember hearing about Joan Lunden being diagnosed with breast cancer last year. This is her memoir about her battle with breast cancer. She is very honest with what she dealt with. Joan Lunden has always been an active woman. When she was given the diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer. She spent the summer of 2014 getting chemotherapy. She has seven children.Three grown daughters from her first marriage, and two sets of twins who were eleven and nine. Like any parent she worried about how to break the news to her kids. She was honest of how hard it was to Let other people help her by taking her to appointments, sitting with her at her chemo sessions. She even gives helpful advice to others who have been diagnosed with cancer. I was glad I got the chance to read Joan Lunden's up front book on her experiences. She is a real trouper and survivor.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    Joan Lunden shows courage throughout the pages of Had I Known. After her diagnosis of breast cancer, she talks about her challenged of facing this disease both in her public and personnel lives. It is informative, without too much medical jargon, positive and chatty in her writing. She is candid and very personnel as she faces new challenges. As a wife, a mom and a new grandmother, Joan had the desire to forge ahead. A good read - one that will prompt women to be tested yearly. Choice this book Joan Lunden shows courage throughout the pages of Had I Known. After her diagnosis of breast cancer, she talks about her challenged of facing this disease both in her public and personnel lives. It is informative, without too much medical jargon, positive and chatty in her writing. She is candid and very personnel as she faces new challenges. As a wife, a mom and a new grandmother, Joan had the desire to forge ahead. A good read - one that will prompt women to be tested yearly. Choice this book for October 2016 ( breast cancer month). women challenge for KUYH. 5 stars for the message, 4 for overall.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Gloria Steinem, Cynthia Nixon, John Wayne, Diahann Carroll, Sheryl Crow, Jane Fonda, Olivia Newton-John, Hoda Kotb, Robin Roberts, Michael Douglas, Carly Simon, Jaclyn Smith, Kylie Minogue, Melissa Etheridge, Wanda Sykes, Sharon Osbourne, Betsey Johnson, Valerie Harper, Edi Falco, Suzanne Somers, Evelyn Lauder, Betty Ford, Ingrid Bergman, Linda Ellerbee, Elizabeth Edwards, Joel Siegel, Angelina Jolie and Gilda Radner. Those are just some of the household names who have been diagnosed with life t Gloria Steinem, Cynthia Nixon, John Wayne, Diahann Carroll, Sheryl Crow, Jane Fonda, Olivia Newton-John, Hoda Kotb, Robin Roberts, Michael Douglas, Carly Simon, Jaclyn Smith, Kylie Minogue, Melissa Etheridge, Wanda Sykes, Sharon Osbourne, Betsey Johnson, Valerie Harper, Edi Falco, Suzanne Somers, Evelyn Lauder, Betty Ford, Ingrid Bergman, Linda Ellerbee, Elizabeth Edwards, Joel Siegel, Angelina Jolie and Gilda Radner. Those are just some of the household names who have been diagnosed with life threatening cancer. Those celebrities’ quotations on life after cancer begin every chapter in Joan Lunden’s latest title. Lunden’s co-writer, Laura Morton, assisted the TV icon in three other publications, a fitness video, “Workout America” and two previous title books, “Healthy Cooking” and “Healthy Living.” It’s interesting to note that current ABC Good Morning America news anchor Amy Robach published her cancer diary the same year, (2015), that former ABC Good Morning America host Lunden released her own “memoir of (cancer) survival.” In fact, between pages 144 and 145 of Lunden’s bio here you’ll find a picture of Amy Robach presenting the Komen Impact Award to Lunden. (This reviewer read both books simultaneously and his reaction to Robach’s book, “Better” is published elsewhere in GoodReads.) In fact, if you read both titles, you’ll discover Lunden and Robach not only shared basically the same diagnosis but some of the same oncologists. Most notably Doctor Ruth Oratz, who treated both women. Again, if you read both bios, you’ll also learn of the powerful influence Lunden and Robach’s mutual friendship with fellow cancer survivor Robin Roberts had on their joint recoveries. Finally, probably unconsciously, Lunden even subtly mentions Robach’s book title on page 280: “If we’re given the chance, all any of us can do is move forward with our lives and hope to do better, be better, love better and live better.” While both women were given similar, life-altering medical news, each chose a radical different approach to treatment. Told she had “aggressive and fast-growing, triple negative breast cancer,” Lunden chose to begin chemo treatments, followed by a lumpectomy and then radiation. On the other hand, as soon as Robach learned that she had “a tumor in (her) right breast” with apparently no lymph node involvement, Robach vetoed a lumpectomy, “the most conservative surgical approach.” Instead, from the get-go, Robach was “ninety-nine percent sure (she) wanted a double mastectomy.” Lunden, of course, instantly became an iconic hero to the nearly three hundred thousand women in the United States who were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 when she appeared totally bald on the cover of People magazine. That was a huge hurdle for Lunden to leap since often in this bio she admits to worrying about “what will people think when they see me?” Often during Lunden’s nine-month battle, she “didn’t want anyone to see me.” Perhaps the real value of Lunden’s release is Chapter 30. Here she lists the issues she wished she had known before a fateful 2009 interview she conducted with Doctor Susan Love. “That conversation jolted (Joan) into reality on the need for women with dense breast tissue to have an ultrasound as well as a mammogram.” On page 12, Lunden says the “fortuitous exchange” with Dr. Love “likely saved (her) life.” On page 295, Lunden says, “I truly believe that interview (did) save my life.” Earlier, Lunden points out, mammograms alone will not show a tumor if applied to dense breast tissue. The author discovered that life-saving information is not being divulged by mammograms and is not being passed on to patients. While celebrating events like the NFL wearing pink during October, Lunden feels we have plenty of cancer awareness in this nation. “What (she believes) we need more of now is education. Education about how dense breast tissue increases your risk of cancer. Education about how sugar is like “jet fuel for the growth of cancer cells.” Education about “prevention and which lifestyle factors and habits might alter breast cancer risk and recurrence---exercise, weight, diet and stress.” One can only hope that both Lunden and Robach’s nearly twin books will open even more eyes to the truth about cancer.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    "I have become so wonderfully terribly aware of time, of how little of it I have left." ~ Jane Fonda (Actress, fitness expert diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010). A cancer diagnosis is unexpected, with no way to prepare for or predict the outcome associated with catastrophic illness: the chemotherapy, radiation, possible surgery- the collision of fear in daily life. Celebrated journalist, bestselling author, and television personality Joan Lunden shares her courageous battle with triple negativ "I have become so wonderfully terribly aware of time, of how little of it I have left." ~ Jane Fonda (Actress, fitness expert diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010). A cancer diagnosis is unexpected, with no way to prepare for or predict the outcome associated with catastrophic illness: the chemotherapy, radiation, possible surgery- the collision of fear in daily life. Celebrated journalist, bestselling author, and television personality Joan Lunden shares her courageous battle with triple negative breast cancer in "Had I Known: A Memoir of Survival". Lunden, a wife and mother of three adult children, and four children under the age of 11, her first grandchild born as she was under care at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. As a young child, her father, a distinguished cancer surgeon, was tragically killed when the small plane he was piloting crashed in Malibu Canyon, CA. Raised by her widowed mother, she also lost her brother to Diabetes related conditions. Lunden recalled: "While I was terrified, I have never been the kind of woman who crumbles in distress; I use the anxiety to rise to the occasion, and I take all the negative energy and channel it into something positive." On June 24, 2014, while interviewed on GMA by Robin Roberts, (who battled breast cancer in 2007) Lunden publically announced she was one of the 300,000 women with breast cancer. Touched by the outpouring of support from fans and colleagues, so many related their own personal stories. Only 15% of patients receiving a diagnosis have a history of breast cancer in their family history. Lunden stresses the importance of diet, regular exercise, restful sleep, mammograms, and regular check-ups as preventative measures. While most people know this already, Joan raises awareness and connects with readers in a heartwarming deeply meaningful way. Great personal and family photos included. ~ With thanks to the Seattle Public Library.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Pat Buzby

    9/26/14 You have Cancer. 12/11/14 Bi-Lateral Masectomy. 6/24/15 Reconstruction. Every breast cancer patient has dates they will never forget. These are my dates. This year during Breast Cancer month I wore my pink on fridays, I attended the Ribbons of Hope fundraiser I have gone to for the past eleven years, and I listened to Joans book on my commute to work. My husband asked why I had checked this out of the library. Now as a survivor, like Joan, I have become a Breast Buddy, my term. Saddly, sinc 9/26/14 You have Cancer. 12/11/14 Bi-Lateral Masectomy. 6/24/15 Reconstruction. Every breast cancer patient has dates they will never forget. These are my dates. This year during Breast Cancer month I wore my pink on fridays, I attended the Ribbons of Hope fundraiser I have gone to for the past eleven years, and I listened to Joans book on my commute to work. My husband asked why I had checked this out of the library. Now as a survivor, like Joan, I have become a Breast Buddy, my term. Saddly, since my journey two friends have gone through it and I like to think I have been a help as they went the same expereinces I went through. Did I want to be part of this club, no way, but now I hope to help others to make informed personal decisions for their journeys. Information is power. Like Joan I had a great support team, medical team and health care. That is not the case with many. Women need to help each other and spread the word of mammograms, ultrasounds (I must have had 20 over the years because of my dense breasts and a great gynecologist who checked my lumpy breasts and never let me delay appointments as much as I wanted to.) Know your body. Catching my breast cancer early, saved my life and now know breast cancer is not going to be the cause of my death. I may have gotten breast cancer, but it didn't get me. For anyone going through the journey, Joan is informed, compassionate and easy to listen to. I learned some things about her journey and think this book is a good read for women and men(yes they can get breast cancer) going through the journey, family members who are part of a patients support team and survivors who want to count Joan as a their Breast Friend. Girl power support is our responsibility. Urge your loved ones to find a good doctor and get checked.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Irina

    Joan Lunden was a host on GMA before I started watching it, so I don't have a strong connection with her as some of the other viewers or readers. Since I didn't know who she was I read her book without any underlying expectations. She shares a great deal of intimate details about her diagnosis, treatment, and decision making process. It was reiterated many times that each person should approach their treatment carefully and with great consideration and what works for one person may not work for Joan Lunden was a host on GMA before I started watching it, so I don't have a strong connection with her as some of the other viewers or readers. Since I didn't know who she was I read her book without any underlying expectations. She shares a great deal of intimate details about her diagnosis, treatment, and decision making process. It was reiterated many times that each person should approach their treatment carefully and with great consideration and what works for one person may not work for someone else. She was very open about her fears, struggles, and procedures. I was glad that a lot of medical information was provided for her specific type of cancer, and it was especially helpful to read the rationalizations for certain treatment approaches and why she or her doctors chose them. Yet, I still didn't feel in tuned with her on this journey. I have no doubt that her recollections of the events are as upbeat and as positive as she tried to convey. Perhaps when she recalls her struggles she only chooses to remember the positives, but I know with certainty her journey must have been harder. I just hope that she hasn't set the bar too high, so when other women read the book and compare their treatment with Joan's they are not discouraged because it does get a lot harder, getting appointments with well known doctors, the time spent in waiting rooms to be seen can seem endless, the actual treatments and especially the aftermath of the treatments. I believe the book will help a lot of women or men and it will allow for conversation to happen, but I was longing to get more out of it and it just didn't happen for me with this book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    Joan Lunden's courage shines throughout the pages of Had I Known, which is a combination of a memoir and a cautionary tale. Certain that she does not want other women to suffer her fate, Joan has some words of wisdom and some practical advice for her fellow survivors. Part acknowledgement to her family for their help, this introspective look allows the author to champion for her cause while she explains her own involvement. Having been a fan of hers while on Good Morning America, my interest in Joan Lunden's courage shines throughout the pages of Had I Known, which is a combination of a memoir and a cautionary tale. Certain that she does not want other women to suffer her fate, Joan has some words of wisdom and some practical advice for her fellow survivors. Part acknowledgement to her family for their help, this introspective look allows the author to champion for her cause while she explains her own involvement. Having been a fan of hers while on Good Morning America, my interest in this memoir from the outset was to catch up with an old acquaintance. Once I began reading, however, I realized how valuable and important of a message this book conveys. The biggest lesson that I learned from Joan's journey is to ask questions of your doctors, as you are your own biggest advocate. I recommend Had I Known to both sufferers of illness and their loved ones, as well as Joan Lunden's fans.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Forbes

    This is such a wonderful book, I honestly don't think I can really say how profoundly this book moved me in many different ways. I, too, am a breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed in May 2014, had a mastectomy, where they removed my left breast, in June of that year, followed by I believe 4 rounds of chemo, and 6 weeks of radiation. If you, or a loved one of yours, has been diagnosed with breast cancer, I very highly recommend you reading Ms. Lunden's book. It is full of information, along wit This is such a wonderful book, I honestly don't think I can really say how profoundly this book moved me in many different ways. I, too, am a breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed in May 2014, had a mastectomy, where they removed my left breast, in June of that year, followed by I believe 4 rounds of chemo, and 6 weeks of radiation. If you, or a loved one of yours, has been diagnosed with breast cancer, I very highly recommend you reading Ms. Lunden's book. It is full of information, along with all the ups and downs she went through during her treatment. I can commiserate with her on so much of what she felt, as I experienced those very same feelings. I plan on taking this book to my local cancer center, where I was treated, and leaving it in the chemo room, where they have books and magazines for those going through chemo. I hope perhaps a few other women will get as much out of this book as I did. :-)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    Although I'm not a fan of memoirs, Lunden's is an excellent call to arms in the battle against cancer. In this powering and empowering intimate story of her 2014 bout with breast cancer, Lunden, former GMA co-host, reads her own memoir and takes listeners step by step through her diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. Lots of detailed medical information as well as you-can-do-it-too advice about how to get involved in your treatment plan. Informative, inspirational, involving, introspective, chatty Although I'm not a fan of memoirs, Lunden's is an excellent call to arms in the battle against cancer. In this powering and empowering intimate story of her 2014 bout with breast cancer, Lunden, former GMA co-host, reads her own memoir and takes listeners step by step through her diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. Lots of detailed medical information as well as you-can-do-it-too advice about how to get involved in your treatment plan. Informative, inspirational, involving, introspective, chatty in style, earnest, and hopeful. A candid account of a personal battle that will resonate widely.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sandy Stern

    I could not finish this book. I sympathize with her greatly but I thought it was so ridiculous to talk about mani/pedis and spray tans that made her feel better. What about all the women who can't afford the kind of medical care Ms. Lunden received? Do you think they are getting spray tans? Very self-serving. It was also so long and drawn out too. There are much better inspiration reads on the subject. I could not finish this book. I sympathize with her greatly but I thought it was so ridiculous to talk about mani/pedis and spray tans that made her feel better. What about all the women who can't afford the kind of medical care Ms. Lunden received? Do you think they are getting spray tans? Very self-serving. It was also so long and drawn out too. There are much better inspiration reads on the subject.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marika

    Just an ok look at Joan's battle with bc. Joan and her coauthor used the term Yikes...a lot. Just an ok look at Joan's battle with bc. Joan and her coauthor used the term Yikes...a lot.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    Disappointed in this book. Crude language. Self-centered.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    This book have a tad too much technicality for me but if I was dealing with cancer then I would not say that. I absolutely cannot image going through what some people go through when they receive the cancer diagnosis. I hope never to know. I do think she is extremely lucky to have so many top of their game people to assist her in her fight to get well. Not everyone has an exercise coach to knock on their door in the morning or a doctor that will go grocery shopping with you. I have always loved This book have a tad too much technicality for me but if I was dealing with cancer then I would not say that. I absolutely cannot image going through what some people go through when they receive the cancer diagnosis. I hope never to know. I do think she is extremely lucky to have so many top of their game people to assist her in her fight to get well. Not everyone has an exercise coach to knock on their door in the morning or a doctor that will go grocery shopping with you. I have always loved Joan and I am grateful for her openness of her cancer journey.

  14. 5 out of 5

    margaret pollard

    A Highly informative and Personal story of a Cancer Survivor Joan Lunden shares her experiences through her journey with breast cancer. She uses all available resources to get the best information and medical care throughout. She shares what she learned in hopes of helping others who may be, or are, facing this vicious enemy. Highly recommend.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    A very inspirational and informational book about Joan Lunden's battle with breast cancer. While of course she had access to some of the best doctor's around, she also shares the very personal and real parts of the journey. She is a warrior and an advocate for breast cancer patients. Well written and a great read. A very inspirational and informational book about Joan Lunden's battle with breast cancer. While of course she had access to some of the best doctor's around, she also shares the very personal and real parts of the journey. She is a warrior and an advocate for breast cancer patients. Well written and a great read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Starlak

    One star because she did share valuable information. Personally I found her to be a self absorbed snob. Joan’s response (hissy fit) to the person she called a “hater” because she wished Joan well but pointed out that her experience couldn’t be compared to people (without access to top oncologists and support) was appalling.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Beth Baier

    I really enjoyed this book, the information given and the lessons learned from Joan's journey. Even though I realize that Joan Lunden had a different type of breast cancer than I did, I appreciated her story and the 'had I known' points. I especially liked the last chapter! I really enjoyed this book, the information given and the lessons learned from Joan's journey. Even though I realize that Joan Lunden had a different type of breast cancer than I did, I appreciated her story and the 'had I known' points. I especially liked the last chapter!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    This book was a heartfelt story-of Joan Lunden’s personal journey with breast cancer and her life changing purpose from it. One can not rate this because this is her story, one I feel privileged to understand through reading this book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alehia

    Her battle with cancer. She writes about what worked for her, the importance of being your own advocate, and knowing your body. Base on her book and her willingness to be open has brought new awareness to cancer, the medical industry to be open to communicate and fight for testing.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jeanie

    Great book. I saw it at the library and wasn't certain about the topic. Lots of information and so readable. I've been following up with more reading on nutrition for cancer patients. Great book. I saw it at the library and wasn't certain about the topic. Lots of information and so readable. I've been following up with more reading on nutrition for cancer patients.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amy Weir

    This book was very helpful to me. A lot of the same thoughts I had showed up in Joan's writing and it made me feel better. Also helping me to focus on moving forward. This book was very helpful to me. A lot of the same thoughts I had showed up in Joan's writing and it made me feel better. Also helping me to focus on moving forward.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kathi

    Great book - informational but presented in only the way Joan (GI JOAN) could do. Thank you!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Kander

    This book really touched a chord with me. Being a breast cancer survivor myself, this is one of the most honest stories I've read. So much of what Joan experienced, and how she felt, mirrored my own journey and my own thoughts. It was wonderful to have those thoughts validated by another survivor, let me tell you! I could relate to her anxiety over how to tell her children about her diagnosis, and to her aversion to letting other people help her, even when she really needed it. That was probably This book really touched a chord with me. Being a breast cancer survivor myself, this is one of the most honest stories I've read. So much of what Joan experienced, and how she felt, mirrored my own journey and my own thoughts. It was wonderful to have those thoughts validated by another survivor, let me tell you! I could relate to her anxiety over how to tell her children about her diagnosis, and to her aversion to letting other people help her, even when she really needed it. That was probably the worst part of the entire journey for me--having to admit that I needed help with such simple things as housework and cooking because I was just too tired to do it myself. I loved the quotes at the beginning of each chapter, which came from celebrities who have battled cancer. It's a great reminder that they are human, just like the rest of us, and that they can feel things much the same way we do. They are also a great source of inspiration. I recommend this to anyone who has gone through this journey, is going through it, or knows someone who has or is going through it. **I received a copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    I want to thank the author, Joan Lunden and the publisher Harper, for this ARC copy of Had I Known. Also, thank you to Goodreads for hosting this opportunity through the First Reads program. Informative and inspirational, it makes one aware of how little we still know about the human body, especially in regards to fighting cancer. So much progress in the last decades... So much more to go. Much of the medical field is still by trial and error, with different specialists having different ideas on I want to thank the author, Joan Lunden and the publisher Harper, for this ARC copy of Had I Known. Also, thank you to Goodreads for hosting this opportunity through the First Reads program. Informative and inspirational, it makes one aware of how little we still know about the human body, especially in regards to fighting cancer. So much progress in the last decades... So much more to go. Much of the medical field is still by trial and error, with different specialists having different ideas on the correct methods to utilize. The book is simply written, making it a quick read. There are parts, especially in the first half, where the redundancy gets a bit annoying (sentences repeating same thought/statement from a couple lines above), but hopefully those rough areas will be polished for the final edition.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Susie

    So I would never wish cancer on anyone. Have lived through it via family and friends. With that being said, and at the risk of being a "hater" as Joan puts it, I had some trouble with this story. I guess I would have renamed the book Privilege Meets Cancer. I always have such a hard time listening to celebrity health success stories when they are able to have the very best treatment, foods, support and environment. To hear about Joan convalescing at her lakeside cottage in the summer was tough. So I would never wish cancer on anyone. Have lived through it via family and friends. With that being said, and at the risk of being a "hater" as Joan puts it, I had some trouble with this story. I guess I would have renamed the book Privilege Meets Cancer. I always have such a hard time listening to celebrity health success stories when they are able to have the very best treatment, foods, support and environment. To hear about Joan convalescing at her lakeside cottage in the summer was tough. In her defense, she does mention that she is aware of her ability to have the best care. The other factor that was so difficult was the fact that Joan is a very upbeat person and she was the narrator of the book and her upbeat tone of voice created a contradiction for me throughout the book. I watched Good Morning America in the 70s so I wish her nothing but he best.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Cobb Sabatini

    I won Had I Known, by Joan Lunden, from Goodreads. Had I Known is far more than the author's "memoir of survival" of breast cancer. It is also the author's story of transcendence, empathy, and activism in the face of a life-threatening disease. With Had I Known, Lunden disseminates useful information about the diagnosis, treatment, and management of her particular breast cancer and of breast cancers in general. G.I. Joan's story is beyond inspirational; it is full of practical advice (and tons o I won Had I Known, by Joan Lunden, from Goodreads. Had I Known is far more than the author's "memoir of survival" of breast cancer. It is also the author's story of transcendence, empathy, and activism in the face of a life-threatening disease. With Had I Known, Lunden disseminates useful information about the diagnosis, treatment, and management of her particular breast cancer and of breast cancers in general. G.I. Joan's story is beyond inspirational; it is full of practical advice (and tons of empathy) for the thousands of women going through their own cancer hell.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Gary Myers

    This is probably a good book for those whose lives have been touched by cancer, a category that does not include me. The narrative often includes details that seem superfluous and, for this reader, were not interesting or entertaining. The further I read, the more I skimmed. This book must surely hold the record for one-sentence paragraphs. For me, this device was extremely overused, but Lunden & her co-writer Laura Morton have written many best sellers, so I guess it works for them.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marcia

    My thoughts and notes on this book are personal to me alone. Joan Lunden and I fought different cancer battles, but we fought them with the same fears and emotions. You're stripped down to near zero, but most people come out the other end feeling more like themselves than ever before. ~Kylie Minogue My thoughts and notes on this book are personal to me alone. Joan Lunden and I fought different cancer battles, but we fought them with the same fears and emotions. You're stripped down to near zero, but most people come out the other end feeling more like themselves than ever before. ~Kylie Minogue

  29. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    I felt like I was reading Joan's diary as she went through her battle with breast cancer. Loved the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. Sounds like she had some amazing doctors to work with and everyone going through the same battle should be as lucky. I felt like I was reading Joan's diary as she went through her battle with breast cancer. Loved the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. Sounds like she had some amazing doctors to work with and everyone going through the same battle should be as lucky.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    This was written in such a breezy style, I was able to skim parts that were of little interest or, for that matter, substance. That being said I did learn more about breast cancer treatment options and the need for the patient to team with oncologists to make appropriate decisions.

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