M. Nicole Bryant was born in St. Louis, Missouri and raised in East Carondelet, Illinois, where she currently resides. She attended Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, before to moving to Oakland, California in 1975.
At the age of 42, breast cancer made an uninvited and abrupt intrusion into my life. Bryant says she recalls how confused and vulnerable she felt. I didn't know anyone who had had breast cancer, black or white. Isolation was just one of the many emotions I felt. On one occasions, after having decided to have a mastectomy, I asked to see a picture of a woman who had had a mastectomy. I was hoping for a picture of an African American woman; I was given one of a Caucasian woman. I was told that the facility didn't have any pictures of African American women who had had a mastectomy. This, along with other situations she encountered propelled her into a life of breast cancer advocacy and awareness. She has taken her message of hope and empowerment everywhere from prisons to churches.
This first time author and 12 year breast cancer survivor felt compelled to write her memoir/resource manual because initially, she wanted to give her daughter and granddaughters a gift of hope. As time passed, she was driven by a sense of obligation and responsibility to all women, particularly women of color.
African American women are more likely to die from breast cancer than all other women. Yet, it's been over a decade since one has written a book about it. A decade is a long time to wait for anything, but it's especially long for an African American woman not to write about the disease that takes the lives of so many of us, and leaves so many others devastated and without hope. The good news is that the wait is over. BREASTLESSNESS ' What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do breaks down the wall of silence that has stood for far too long.
When I first started thinking about writing a book, I reflected on what I needed, wanted, and hoped for at the time of my diagnosis. Consequently, I realized that I had to do more than just tell my story. My responsibility was bigger than that. The scriptures say: For unto whomsoever much is given, of him much is required. I had to provide information that would help the reader make informed and realistic decisions about her/his healthcare'information that could possibly save lives. I wanted to provide the readers with information they would embrace, be uplifted and empowered by.
Like many first-time authors, Nicole knew it would be an uphill battle to get her first novel published. Nicole founded Precisely Write Publishing and self-published her book.
Visit her web site at
by M. Nicole Bryant
Precisely Write Publishing
Pub. Date: 2006
Format: Paperback, 278pp
Description of Book
While this is an African American's woman's journey, the information provided crosses all racial and cultural lines, helping to calm the fear of women (and men) facing this disease.
Part One of BREASTLESSNESS chronicles my personal journey before, during, and after my breast cancer diagnosis. It provides valuable insight for those who are traveling or have traveled the same road. It addresses many issues women encounter during this crisis'body image, self-esteem, intimacy, rejection and acceptance, fear, life and death, inner strength, family bonds, and the power faith and prayer.
Part Two is a complete; one-stop resource guide that includes everything a woman needs to know in order to make informed decisions about her health care. It starts by dispelling the myths about it, followed by information on everything from knowing and caring for your breasts to employment and insurance issues. It gives women myriad questions to ask her doctor(s), medical terms and definitions, information about treatment options (both conventional and alternative), and a list of support groups and web sites to visit. There's even a chapter for men who are suffering in silence (as a caregiver or sufferer) with this disease.
Chapter 5: One Titty Gone
'Tears obscured my reflection in the mirror. It was too late to change my mind about having the mastectomy. I wished I had thought about it more. I wished I could go back to a time when life wasn't so cruel. I desperately tried to remember images of my former self; a lost memory I knew I couldn't recapture. What I would have given to have that inverted nipple again.
M. Nicole Bryant
Precisely Write Publishing
P. O. Box 411
East Carondelet, IL 62240
618.286.4896 ' home
618-646-7111 ' office
618.286.4026 ' fax