Why I Wore Lipstick To My Mastectomy

Geralyn Lucas

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

224 Pages



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Having recently graduated from Columbia Journalism School and landed her dream job at 20/20, the last thing 27-year-old Geralyn expects to hear is a breast cancer diagnosis. And there is one part of the diagnosis that no one will discuss with her: what it means to be a young girl with cancer in a beauty-obsessed culture. Trying to find herself, while losing her vibrancy and her looks, Geralyn embarks on a road to self-acceptance. Although her book is explicitly about a period of time where she was driven by fear and uncertainty about the future, Geralyn managed a transformation that will encourage all women under siege to discover their own courage and beauty. The important and outrageous lessons of Why I Wore Lipstick come fast and furious with the same gusto that Geralyn has learned to bring to every moment of her life.


Praise for Why I Wore Lipstick

"This totally charming, hilarious memoir will give women, especially young women, a model of how to proceed even when they're scared to death. Highly recommended."—Library Journal

"Lucas was 27, happily working as a 20/20 producer, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Suddenly, her world became a blur of appointments with surgeons and emotional breakdowns. Her book's catchy title belies its substantial content: this is an honest, perceptive memoir from a feisty survivor who's willing to discuss every detail, like getting sick in cabs during chemo treatments, baldness and sex. In fact, the book opens with Lucas, who's now 36, recounting her visit to a New York topless bar as she agonizes over losing a breast and contemplates reconstructive surgery. Lucas doesn't dismiss her fears; she talks about wanting to have a child and how her husband withdraws when so many other people step in to provide her with emotional support. What makes her memoir so moving is the author's breezy style and her focus on the daily details of her illness ('I am in the shower, and when I start lathering my comb-over, most of it stays in my hands. The big patches of hair just come out. No warning'). The story of Lucas's recovery, and of the birth of her daughter, make her book surprisingly optimistic and immensely empowering."—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

Chapter 5
Why I Wore Lipstick

I look at my right breast for the last time ever.

It is the morning of my mastectomy surgery. The digital clock flips to 6:33 A.M. It is still dark outside but I am standing topless in a...

Read the full excerpt


  • Geralyn Lucas

  • Geralyn Lucas graduated with honors from the Columbia University School of Journalism. She was an editorial producer at ABC News 20/20 for seven years before becoming the director of corporate communications and public affairs at Lifetime Television. She is also a proud member of Lifetime's Stop Breast Cancer for Life initiative. Geralyn lives in New York City with her husband, Tyler, and daughter, Skye. She never leaves the house without lipstick.

  • Geralyn Lucas