To honor her mother’s deathbed advice to head off breast cancer to be there for her boys, Krista Hammerbacher Haapala chose to trade healthy breasts for longevity and peace of mind. In Body 2.0, Haapala chronicles the personal research, medical process, bodily changes, and the emotional toll involved in the more than two-year odyssey of what she referred to as her Body 2.0 vision quest. Through it all, Haapala shares her insights for living awake during even the darkest times, and captures the raw ebbs and flows she and her family experience in the face of her wrenching decision. She takes on body image, the sexualization of breast cancer, motherhood, and maternal relationships, as well as how to sustain an intimate, loving partnership. An unflinching, irreverent take on preventative double mastectomy, Body 2.0 is a guide to reframing adversity, finding inspiration, and shaping your own life.
What has stuck with me (like glue) since reading Krista’s memoir is the attitude with which she approached everything about this situation. She was straight about all of it, penning her words with a brutal honesty that really packed a punch. “Being intentionally provocative is not my goal, but I’m keenly aware that catalyzing a bit of controversy can be a side effect of my speaking my mind. So if you are seeking calm waters or pretty half-truths, this is not the book for you.” She didn’t sugarcoat anything and she didn’t skip over the ugly parts; she came right out and said ok, this is what has happened, this is what I’m going to do, this is how it went down, and this is where I am today. (I can only hope that if I’m ever faced with a situation as serious and intense, I’m able to be this strong and decisive.) While her strength and tenacity shine through her story like a beacon, they aren’t the only parts of Krista that we get to meet. As someone who always found solace in writing, she included a lot of her original poetry throughout, giving the reader a glimpse beyond what we “see” on the outside. It was a great balance to her no-nonsense can-do attitude.
To be completely honest, it was really refreshing to read this story through Krista’s words. Instead of being an emotional tear-jerker of an account, it felt empowering. She chose to kick cancer’s ass before it could rear it’s ugly head, and she did it with determination and courage. “It was a moment. I’ve had a few of these last nine months since Mom died, these moments where I fully accept my reality. Denial hovers pretty closely, her claws taut. She didn’t get to dig in yesterday. I claimed those scars with a wicked grin to boot.” Thank you for sharing your story, Krista, and for being a fighter. (Random extra tidbit: Krista’s husband Brian wrote the forward, and it was a perfect start to her story. His dedication to and support of her and her decision set such a solid foundation for her words. I really loved everything about this book.)
About the Author (from kristahaapala.com):
Krista is a passion instigator. As a personal, relationship, and sexuality coach, she supports humans of every stripe in creating fiercely fulfilling lives. Since writing after bedtime by the beam of her headlamp, she continues to live awake and break the rules with her writing. Krista finds her own edge daily as a mountain biker, CrossFitter, sailor, and a poet. Living in Maine a few steps from the woods, she is the mama of two sons and partner to her love, Brian.
Thank you to BookSparks for providing me with a copy of this book as part of their Magic of Memoir tour.