To Canadians, Dr. Marla Shapiro is best known as the respected medical consultant for CTV News, the host of Balance: Television for Living Well and as a health columnist for The Globe and Mail. Admired for her intelligence and many accomplishments, Dr. Marla, or Canadas Doctor, as she is known, seemed to have it all. But on Friday, August 13, 2004, Marla Shapiro found out she had an invasive form of breast cancer. Like the more than 20,000 Canadian women who are diagnosed every year with this disease, her world changed forever. But unlike most of those women, her status as a physician meant she had an insiders knowledge of the disease and its treatments.
Life in the Balance is Dr. Shapiros intimate, inspiring and often surprising account of her battle with breast cancer, from the shock of the initial diagnosis to multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and her agonizing decision to have both breasts removed, followed by reconstructive surgery and recovery. She candidly recounts her struggle going from the woman who routinely delivered all the seemingly right answers to her patients and her family, to the woman who quickly discovered that there were no right answers when it came to her own life-altering decisions. A story infused with emotion, humour, family support and Dr. Shapiros unwavering passion to learnand teachthis is a book for anyone whose life has been touched by cancer or who knows someone who has.