By Richard Pretorius, Washington Post
If you said a book about breast cancer was a love story, you might attract eyebrows and an undesired kind of attention.
But Rick Baker in "The Guys Guide to Everything to Know About Breast Cancer" has indeed written an easy-to-read, hard-to-put-down story of the heart.
First, this is a powerful tale about Baker's love for his wife Becky, who died of the disease following a nearly 40-month battle after she had been rather curtly told she had only three months to live.
Second, the book is about the love Baker has for his fellow humans, even the guys who talk about women's breasts with a teenage boy's fascination, no matter their age. As Doug Howe, director of the Insignia Foundation, writes in the book's forward: "When men are talking about breasts it is usually in the contact of sexual objects and not ticking time bombs."
The unflinching honesty shown throughout "The Guy's Guide" will no doubt help Baker get the reading eye of more than a few of the machos out there.
Baker says he tells Becky's "story for one reason and one reason alone: I don't want our story to ever become your story."
He skillfully chronicles Becky's fear of not wanting to tell him about the lump the size of BB she found in her left breast nine months before the cancer diagnoses because of misguided sense that he would not desire her anymore or she would become a burden. Baker details the medical treatments and the search for alternatives to the standard procedures. The reader learns not in biology class or a medical textbook, things about the female breast that really do fascinate.
Coming from Baker, the telling resembles a guy spouting off the scientific facts over a few beers. Uncomfortable male readers will be comfortable.
He talks about his own sense of guilt about not noticing the lump in Becky's left breast and not having paid more attention as a man to a disease that affects one in every eight women.
Baker's book is also about a different kind of love, the passion that comes when we find a cause much bigger than ourselves. What if we had the money to truly make a difference in a major way?
Do we use the financial windfall for a bigger home, a trip around the world, the Ferrari we always wanted?
Baker used the funds from a million-dollar life insurance policy "to launch the Becky Baker Foundation, providing mammograms and thermograms to assist women in the most important step of cancer prevention, which is early detection and identification."
Finally, the book shows a writer's passion for challenging conventional wisdom and the powers that be in the breast cancer fight.
Baker rails at drug companies profiting from medicines that are often too expensive and ineffective, at doctors who prescribe them and say one thing and do another when it comes to always putting their patients first. He also takes on the ultimate sacred cows ¬- the pink ribbon-flying corporations and public interest groups that put their own agendas, funding and political futures ahead of the women they are supposedly fighting for.
As for finding a cure for breast cancer, Baker has some disheartening news:
"Will there ever be one anytime soon?
"Nope. That's according to the honest scientists, who say that we should not count on a cure in the near or far future. Instead, they say we should find a way to live with it."
Living on! Despite!
The Guy's Guide: Good medicine for us all.
Richard Pretorius, an editor on the Washington Post foreign desk, has also been an editor for newspapers based in Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong and Tunis. His mother survived breast cancer but died at 86 of probable stomach cancer.
By Tommy Wong for Readers' Favorite
The Guy's Guide to Everything Breast Cancer: Do You Know Enough? by Rick Baker is a book with a mission, which is to help those who might have breast cancer and those who care for them.
In 2013, when Rick Baker's wife Becky was first diagnosed with breast cancer, Rick did not know much about the disease. He has since found out, particularly through caring for Becky, and written this book to fill the knowledge gap. Breast cancer is well covered in the two sections of this book: understanding this evil disease, and preventing breast cancer in your loved one.
The book is further enhanced by the contributions of two guest writers: Dr. Carla Garcia, and Kevin Barnes.
Breast cancer is considered an epidemic as one in seven women in the U.S. gets this dreaded disease in their lifetime. Fortunately, it is preventable, and this is one of the main focuses of The Guy's Guide to Everything Breast Cancer by Rick Baker.
I really liked the presentation of this book, as it is filled with facts and real-life emotional stories. It is also well written, clear, and rational, which makes it easy for men (and women) to understand the disease and how to prevent it.
One of the main messages in the book is that oncologists are not God, and patients can live longer than the survival period predicted by oncologists - powerful stuff.
I was really moved by the chapter written by Becky Baker herself, in which she shared her LAFF2LIVE Program. LAFF stands for Lifestyle, Attitude, Food, and Faith, and the program can extend the lives of cancer patients.
I highly recommend this book to all men and to those who are interested in breast cancer.
By Lisa McCombs for Gannett News Service
I began reading The Guy's Guide to Everything Breast Cancer by Rick Baker out of curiosity, to be swiftly overwhelmed with a variety of emotions: anger, pity, anger, fear, anger, injustice.
As the author discusses his wife's courageous journey with breast cancer, he uncovers numerous upsetting facts related to the disease, the cause, and medical treatments.
Becky Baker was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic ER Positive Breast Cancer in 2013. Unbeknownst to her husband, Becky kept the discovery of a lump in her breast secret. Rick goes on a rampage and fights the system to earn Becky an additional thirty-four months to the oncologist diagnosis of an otherwise projected three-month life span. Within these pages, Rick Baker is brutally transparent in his description of the ravages of a disease of which one in seven women in the United States is directly affected.
In this moving, honest expose, Rick Baker gets real about Big Pharma, fundraising realities, and the horrors of his first-hand experiences. Upon Becky's death, the Becky Baker Foundation was born. At the time of this book's publication, the foundation had provided over 2,400 free screenings for those who are uninsured or underinsured. Rick Baker's pledge to his wife rings true: "I promise you, Becky Baker, that no one will ever forget your name."
With a Foreword by the Reverend Douglas Howe and with chapter contributors, Dr. Carla Garcia and Mr. Khevin Barnes, The Guy's Guide to Everything Breast Cancer is a must-read for patients and caregivers of breast cancer victims.
Order yours today on Amazon HERE