Author: Jessica Jones
Jessica Jones shares her emotional journey in an unfailingly honest account of her experiences with breast cancer. The Elegant Art of Falling Apart conveys the sense of humour with which Jessica must approach her life so even though there isn’t a lot that’s funny about the period of her life that this book addresses, you will still find there are places you laugh with her.
The Elegant Art Of Falling Apart is as inspiring as it is heartbreaking and I found myself outraged by passages of the book. Jessica writes in a way that is extremely intimate, it draws you into her circle of confidence and really takes you along for the ride.
I have never had cancer, and I hope never to have cancer, but like many people I know people who have or have had cancer. So even though I can’t sit back and say yes I know exactly what you’re saying, I can still apply what I’ve taken away from this book to my life.
Every person is different so it stands to reason that every cancer patients experience is going to be different; they will react to medications differently, their emotional reactions will differ, their life circumstances are different and so chances are their needs will differ as well. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t something you can learn from this book in your own journey, whether that be as a cancer patient or a friend wanting to offer support.
Jessica Jones led quite a complicated life very big on experimentation and self-destructive behaviours so this led her to become involved with therapy and 12 step programs. She pulled her life back together and got away from all of that – rebuilding her career, becoming prosperous and embarking on a new relationship.
Just at that moment of almost pure perfection, unassailable happiness… the very moment that if something is going to go wrong, it will. That’s when Jessica was diagnosed with breast cancer.
This memoir is a pared back account of Jessica’s life, it is brutally honest and it is heartbreaking – it is definitely one that will invoke your empathetic responses, you can’t help it. Cancer treatment would be extremely stressful on a new relationship, that is to be expected, but what Jessica goes through emotionally in her relationship throughout her battle with treatment is commendable and would be sure to hobble many women.
The Elegant Art Of Falling Apart begins in December, a couple of months after Jessica loses her beloved cousin Gaby to cancer. It follows Jessica through two years of intense emotions on a roller coaster ride of love, pain, betrayal, break-up, breakdown, depression, fatigue, anger and resilience. For the most part its written like a diary, without being separated into single day entries, but we still need to catch up on the back story and get to know Jessica. This has been done by Jessica stopping to tell us stories of her background, which don’t interrupt the flow at all.
Jessica’s story is inspiring as it tells us of how, if you have the courage to change your thinking the biggest losses can also be used to change the focus and learn to live for the moment. She takes us through her personal treatment experiences and the uncertainty of trying to decide what’s worth risking, all of the way affirming that there is only one person that can make the treatment decisions – regardless of what everyone around you thinks these can be life or death decisions and they all come down to you.
The love and support of fabulous family and friends makes all of the difference, surrounded by that love and support anything really is possible. A book that I probably wouldn’t have picked up but that I am really glad I read. The book references Jessica Jones’s blog and if you would like to go check it out the address is: www.chemochick.blogspot.com.