After a troubled upbringing that saw the early death of her mother from cancer, Sarah Gabriel had created a happy home life with her partner and two beautiful daughters. Then, at 44, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and learned that while you can turn your back on your past, you can't escape your genetic legacy. The problem was MI8T, a rare and deadly genetic mutation that was responsible for the death of her mother and countless female ancestors.
In Gabriel's struggle for survival, she takes us on a white-knuckle ride through contemporary genetics, the rigours of her treatment for cancer, and the impact of the disease on her family's dynamics. It is a fight not just for physical survival, but for identity, for sanity, for hope.
Laced with black humour, written with a mixture of passion and clinical accuracy, Eating Pomegranates is an intensely powerful and moving memoir about mothers, daughters and breast cancer that is as beautiful as it is brutal.
English journalist Gabriel fashions an irreverent and tremendously moving memoir about her family s history of breast and ovarian cancers probably related to the BRCA gene mutation. Having ascertained positively in 2004 that she inherited MI8T, the mutation of the BRCA gene that is normally responsible for the suppression of tumors, the author whose mother died of ovarian cancer at age 42 had her ovaries pre-emptively removed, shutting off harmful estrogen production and precipitating a crash menopause. Two years later, when Gabriel (born in 1961) discovered a lump in her left breast (and only eight months after an all-clear mammogram), she was shocked and angry, especially when doctors apprised her that mammograms detect only 23% of tumors (a suspiciously low figure). The situation can be managed, the doctors placated her, when six tumors were revealed and a bilateral mastectomy along with chemotherapy recommended. Telling her two children and dealing with poignant memories of her own mother s death and her father s suppressed grief are some of the heartbreaking issues Gabriel handles frankly and with grace in this vigorously composed memoir.