Book guides patients through non-medical aspects of the cancer journey
White Bear Township, Minn. – As Breast Cancer Awareness Month kicks off, a Minnesota Oncology patient and breast cancer survivor has released her self-published book to help patients navigate the non-medical aspects of their cancer journeys. Authored by Minnesota resident Terese Mascotti, Chemolicious: Getting to Your Best Self, is an honest – and sometimes humorous – compilation of stories that share the good, bad and ugly of living with breast cancer.
Diagnosed in 2012, Mascotti has undergone eight surgeries and 18 months of chemotherapy under the care of Andrzej Petryk, MD and the care team at Minnesota Oncology’s Maplewood Cancer Center. After finding that the majority of existing literature speaks of cancer and chemotherapy in clinical terms, Mascotti felt compelled to share her personal experiences on the underpublicized, non-medical aspects of cancer treatment. Examples include the pros and cons of wearing a wig, what foods to eat for a faster recovery, why physical and mental therapy is imperative to survival, and advice for caregivers from a patient’s perspective.
“To me, ‘chemolicious’ is a state of awareness – both in mind and body – that your outlook and quality of life are dependent on you,” said Mascotti. “As cancer patients adjust to their ‘new normal,’ I hope this book will empower them to enjoy a rebirth into a stronger, healthier, and more chemolicious version of themselves!”
Chemolicious is a 55-page book written chronologically over the life of a cancer journey. Many of the anecdotes in Chemolicious are direct excerpts from the regular email updates Mascotti sent to her family and friends during her treatment at Minnesota Oncology. Much of what she learned during her journey can be attributed, she says, to her care team at the Maplewood Cancer Center, including Survivorship Program provider Stephanie Neitz, PA-C and Heidi Ganzer, MS, RD, CSO, LD.
"It is so great that Teri put her experience into a very constructive book that will help so many people," said Neitz, who worked with Mascotti to improve her quality of life during and after treatment.
Minnesota Oncology provides patients with access to a variety of helpful services such as social workers, dietitians, a survivorship program, support groups, educational opportunities, clinical trials, financial counseling, genetic risk evaluation, palliative care, and more.
“I just felt like they take care of the whole patient,” said Mascotti, a self-employed businesswoman who resides in White Bear Township.
“If the art of living and fighting is the ability to use hardship in a constructive fashion, this book is a magnificent example of how this is to be accomplished,” said Andrzej Petryk, M.D., oncologist at Minnesota Oncology. Petryk was Mascotti’s primary oncologist during her treatment.
For more information about Chemolicious: Getting to Your Best Self and Terese Mascotti, visit chemolicious.net.
Listen to a podcast of Teri Mascotti's radio interview with Jordana Green on WCCO News Radio from Wednesday, October 7 (scroll down to 10-7-15 Jordana Green: 9:30-10 PM).
Enter to win a copy of Chemolicious: Getting to Your Best Self (Note: We will have several drawings throughout the month of October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Some copies will be signed. Books will be mailed to winners. Good luck!)