Most of Me
Surviving My Medical Meltdown
- ISBN: 9781553656326
- Tags: Health & Wellness, Robyn Levy,
- Dimensions: 5.75 x 8.75
- Published On: 9/16/2011
- 256 Pages
- ISBN: 9781553656333
- Tags: Health & Wellness, Robyn Levy,
- Published On: 09/11/2009
- 256 Pages
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.
Robyn Michele Levy is a visual artist, radio broadcaster, and writer. Her paintings can be found in private and public collections around the world. Her radio work includes documentaries, commentaries, poetry, and sketch comedy for CBC Radio. Her writing has been published in the Vancouver Sun, the Georgia Straight, and the Vancouver Courier, among other publications, and she has also dabbled in stand-up comedy and slam poetry. She lives with her family and her remaining body parts in Vancouver, British Columbia.
" . . . Levy's writing style is so accessible and compelling that reading her memoir feels like sitting down with a good friend over coffee to hear the latest. Every page is loaded with emotion so heart-wrenching it's almost unbearable, yet her tone is so engaging, her humour so dark, that you can't help but keep reading." -Georgia Straight
"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
"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 & Mail
"A deliciously poetic, humor-laced narrative by a courageous and wickedly honest woman who has been handed a mountain of medical lemons in the prime of her life. Robyn Levy's spirit will stick with you long after you finish the book." -Rhona Raskin
"An astonishing debut from a writer adept at handling the delicate balance between laughter and tears." -Cori Howard
"As she says, if she doesn’t joke about it, she'll cry. You'll probably do a bit of both if you pick up a copy of Levy’s book." -Adrienne Brown, Homemakers.com
"Despite the subject matter, Most of Me is filled with irreverent humour and themes of family life that are relevant to almost everyone who's ever lived with a teenager (or been one.)" -Vancouver Sun
"I liked this book for one very big reason: readers watch on as Levy progresses from "What's-wrong-with-me?" to "I-can-do-this" and the transformation is simply tremendous. The powerful woman we know at the end of this book is not the emotional person we met at the beginning and that could be a beacon of hope for anyone facing a long-term illness." -Terri Schlichenmeyer, My Kawartha
"In her debut memoir, Levy provides a dark-humored account of being afflicted with both Parkinson's disease and breast cancer . . . What initially seemed like a dual death sentence provided Levy with a new lease on life, reuniting her with friends and family, all of whom reminded her of the many blessings that remained. A traumatic tale surprisingly liberated by laughter." -Kirkus Reviews
"It was such a privilege to read Robyn Levy's story. Her integrity and honesty simultaneously broke and healed my heart, fresh from my own journey through breast cancer. Riveting and endearingly funny, her story impacted me profoundly, covering me in a blanket of feelings and thoughts that will stay with me forever, like a friend." -Bif Naked
"One nipple up! A must-read for all breast cancer survivors." -Ms. Mastectomy
"Some memoirs are heartbreaking and some are hilarious, but very few manage to balance absurdity and honesty as does this title . . . This memoir is proof of the power of the human spirit. By finding joy in the face of the worst circumstances, Levy shows that what doesn't kill you makes you stranger" and stronger. Enthusiastically recommended." -Library Journal