Most of Me
Surviving My Medical Meltdown
by Robyn Levy
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The imaginative, hilarious, and moving memoir of a woman coping with both Parkinson's disease and breast cancer.
At age forty-three, Robyn Levy was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and, eight months later, with breast cancer. With irreverent and at times mordant humour, Most of Me chronicles Levy's early, mysterious symptoms of breast cancer (a dragging left foot, a frozen left hand, and a crash into "downward dead dog" position on the yoga mat), the devastating diagnosis, her discovery of two lumps in her breast, her mastectomy and oophorectomy (after which she discovers there is no ovary fairy), her continual struggle with Parkinson's, and her life since then dealing with her diverse disease portfolio.
Levy is accompanied on her journey by a fantastic cast of characters, including her Cry Lady (who always makes appearances at inopportune times) and perky Dolores the Prosthesis, as well as her loyal dog and a convoy of health professionals, family members, friends, and neighbours. She makes the best of her visits to those health professionals. At an appointment with her neurologist, she participates in party games such as "try to move the patient's rigid left arm." After "make the patient lose her balance but catch her before she falls," Levy is sorry that the party is over, especially when she gets a prescription instead of a grab bag.
Both heartbreaking and hilarious, Most of Me offers a unique glimpse into a creative mind, an ailing body, and the restorative power of humour and fantasy.
"It is a brave story, not because of the private emotional reality [Levy] bares -- all memoirs require that. It's her determined levity in the face of so much suffering that's heartbreaking and raw." -- Globe and Mail
"Robyn Levy, never one to do things by half, was diagnosed with two life-altering illnesses. Most of Me is her funny/sad and delightfully bawdy account of a dangerous and memorable journey. Long may she travel, and more may she write." -- Bill Richardson
- Greystone Books Ltd., September 2011
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