Books by Betty Rollin

Here's the Bright Side

Here's the Bright Side (Buy This Book)
Of Failure, Fear, Cancer, Divorce and other Bum Raps

Betty Rollin's most recent publication is “a candid, funny book about the surprising benefits that arise from some of life's worst assaults.”

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First, You Cry (Buy This Book)

First, You Cry

NBC News correspondent Betty Rollin, glamorous, successful, and happily married, had it all -- and then she learned that she had a malignant tumor in her breast. Written with wit, warmth, and soul searching honesty, First, You Cry is the inspiring, true story about how one woman transformed the most terrifying ordeal of her life into a new beginning.

With a new introduction and epilogue, this unique memoir serves as a fascinating retrospective of the twenty-five years since Rollin's first mastectomy and, given the continuing threat of breast cancer, tells a story that will inform all women as it touches them with its honesty and humor.

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Last Wish (Buy This Book)

Last Wish

This is the revised edition of TV journalist Betty Rollin's memoir of her mother Ida's two-and-a-half year struggle with ovarian cancer, ending with Ida's decision to end her own life. Reading like a novel, the story paints a realistic picture of difficult cancer chemotherapy and Betty's choice to help her mother commit suicide. The story is moving, engrossing, and even funny by turns, showing how family bonds intensified in response to the illness.

Last Wish is also a case study in failure of medical providers to provide effective symptom management and psychological support, leaving the family feeling like criminals as they explore the only solutions which seemed available to them at the time. Palliative care professionals will see much that could have been done differently in Ida's treatment, and will argue that she might not have desired suicide if she had received more aggressive comfort care and hospice services (hospice care was not readily available in this case). But those who are quick to raise these arguments against self-determination may miss the point of the story, which shows in a moving way how non-professionals struggle to find the best possible care within a fragmented and often unresponsive medical system.

This groundbreaking book was a New York Times Bestseller and a Book Of The Month Club Featured Alternate. The expanded 1998 edition includes current background material on the debate over physician-assisted suicide, a list of resource organizations, the complete text of the Oregon Death With Dignity Act, and a question list about issues for use in discussion groups and classrooms.

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