Remember this book?
Not the Meerschwein, the normal-sized one, Vad ska en flicka göra? by Annika Lantz.
I’ve finished reading it and I loved it.
This is also a book about cancer, like I kroppen min by Kristian Gidlund, which I mentioned not too long ago. Led to me sort of expecting it to be kind of like Kristian’s book.
Obviously it’s not. In so many ways. This is a different kind of brilliant altogether. Two main differences contributing to the genius of this book:
- It’s a funny book. Laughing out loud kind of funny. Just ♥♥♥
- It’s very graphic and describes in detail what happens to the body when you treated for cancer. Horrible and interesting all at once!
I’m not going to lie though, I did struggle a bit at first. The first half of the book is not about her illness at all, it’s about her life as a kid, in general. I’d been told it was about her cancer diagnosis so I was confused. And a bit disappointed. I’m not overly interested in children nor tellings of childhood.
But then she entered puberty and got her period. There’s an entire chapter about menstruation. An entire chapter! On menstruation! Now that’s on my list of interests, right at the very top.
A few of my favorite parts on the subject:
He squeezed my tender breast and said that it was engorgement. “But she’s sixteen”, mum said, who never struggled with sharing relevant information. “Oh”, the doctor said. “And she’s not breastfeeding, because she hasn’t given birth”, mum said. “Oh”, the doctor said.
I knew you couldn’t go swimming with a sanitary pad – if for no other reason then that it was the size of a tanker and would sink like a stone the second it started taking in water.
I’m not going to lie – I didn’t change my sanitary pad. … I usually use a sock these days.
Let’s pause for a minute. Annika has read Liv Strömqvist’s Kunskapens frukt, it’s a graphic novel and I own it. Obviously love it.
However, unlike Annika, I was’t affected by Liv pointing out what a waste of the Earth’s resources sanitary pads are. And how they’re not biodegradable. I don’t even remember this particular part at all.
In my defense, I don’t use sanitary pads but tampons. Which are probably not great either. Really should make sure to get informed on this subject.
See this is another reason I loved this read; it teaches me things and and makes me think. Even though it’s not the point of the book at all. It’s just a happy side-effect.
OK then! Enough side-tracking.
“But then what is this slime exiting my body attempting to down the neighborhood once a month?”
… “smear tests are an imprecise instrument” (oh!?!) “they only catch eighty percent.” (OH YOU DON’T SAY!)
…did you know this? I honestly thought smear tests were, well, fool-proof? Maybe I just didn’t read the fine print?
Also. They way she talks about her tumor, it’s brilliant!
This tumor must be thinking we’re morons the lot of us! How it’s been sitting there giggling while my gynecologist has been directing the ultrasound around my pussy like some sort of conductor.
To avoid confusion, the transducer used for vaginal ultrasound, it ain’t the size of a conductor’s stick. But how I wish it was. One of the many perks of PCO; you get to have a peek at your insides via vaginal ultrasound. Funfunfun! Especially if one of your ovaries is playing hide and seek.
Final words on this book before I manage to get off track again:
If you heard her radio talk back in June, you’ll recognize the topics and large parts of the book. Which is not a bad thing at all. Unlike Kristian, her talk is well worthwhile. Bit like stating the obvious, considering how talking on the radio is her main profession, she should be quite good at it.
She also manages to cover more ground, she goes beyond the cancer, while still managing to give us all the horrible details, by which I’m not saying this is a better book. It’s just different and could well make a difference in your life.
If I was grading it I’d give it top marks: should be translated and required reading for one and all!