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Book details
  • Genre:SELF-HELP
  • SubGenre:Motivational & Inspirational
  • Language:English
  • Pages:274
  • eBook ISBN:9781543956207
  • Paperback ISBN:9781543956191

The Unlikely Gift of Breast Cancer

by Diane M. Simard

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Are you terrified  of cancer and secretly hope it never impacts you or someone you love?
Diane M. Simard takes readers on a raw, inspirational, humorous ride, reliving her 10 months of treatment for late Stage III breast cancer that ultimately helped her embrace her differences and brought more attention to the often-overlooked psychological impact of cancer.
Her enthralling book, named "One of the Best Breast Cancer Books of All Time" by Book Authority, is:

  • A candid, honest, uplifting story for spouses, partners, family caregivers and those who receive a cancer diagnosis.
  • Alternatively witty and heartbreaking.
  • The book she wished she had been able to read when she was first diagnosed and kept asking , "What does cancer feel like?"
  • The account of a life-changing traumatic experience that exposed Diane's vulnerabilities and catapulted her resilience.
  • An unexpected triumph of how Diane used her cancer experience to become the founder of a training program that is being emulated across the country.

Recognized as one of the inaugural National Top 100 Women in Business to Watch by BizWomen.com, Diane's career achievements as a business writer and an aerospace executive also include being named one of the Top Women in Energy and the 2016 Outstanding Woman in Technology by the Denver Business Journal. She has also been recognized as a Girl Scouts Woman of Distinction.
Order The Unlikely Gift of Breast Cancer to experience the story that readers have claimed should be on the New York Times best-sellers list!


Diane M. Simard takes readers on a raw, inspirational, humorous ride, reliving her 10 months of treatment for late Stage III breast cancer that ultimately helped her embrace her differences and brought more attention to the often-overlooked psychological impact of cancer. Her enthralling book, named "One of the Best Breast Cancer Books of All Time" by BookAuthority.org, also won third place in the memoir category of the 2019 Colorado Independent Publishers Association's EVVY awards (an international competition).

"Achingly beautiful"

"Searingly honest and wildly inspirational"

"Once you start reading, good luck putting this one down!"

About the author

Recognized as an award-winning writer and one of the 100 inaugural "National Women in Business to Watch" by BizWomen.com, Diane M. Simard is founder of the Center for Oncology Psychology Excellence (COPE) at the University of Denver. After completing treatment for late Stage III breast cancer in 2015, Diane founded COPE, the first specialty in the country to help train graduate-level clinical psychology students how to work with cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. Her career experience includes service on several corporate boards and she serves as a business mentor through private engagements. Diane has been a keynote speaker at numerous women in business leadership events and posts a monthly blog on her website, www.DianeMSimard.com. Diane was named one of Colorado's Top 25 Women in Business in 2021, an Outstanding Woman in Energy in 2019, the Ray of Hope Cancer Foundation's 2017 honoree, the 2016 Outstanding Woman in Business in Technology and Telecom by the Denver Business Journal and received the Bob Cardenas Award for her support of veterans and the military. In addition, she was the Aurora Chamber Woman of the Year and a Mile High Girl Scouts Woman of Distinction. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Kearney.

Book Reviews

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An amazing book This is an amazing book. It is funny, heartwarming, emotional, and terrifying, all at the same time - and sometimes, all in the same paragraph! Diane's forthright retelling of her experience with breast cancer touched me deeply. I admire her courage as she faced the unknown with her trademark grace and poise. She describes the uncertainty, the suffering, and the fear in detail that gave me shivers and made me cry. I am grateful that she not only survived the ordeal, but gave us all her legacy with COPE - and with this book. Read more
The Unlikely Gift of Breast Cancer Congratulations Diane for giving us the gift of "The Unlikely Gift of Breast Cancer." The first word to hit me after I finished reading was "impactful." I laughed and cried, feared and delighted, soul searched and related, and most of all felt so proud of you. Frankly, after I was halfway through the book, I was too uneasy to continue because I was too afraid to hear your unvarnished account of the physical and mental hell you were going to share about the months of treatment. I felt a sense of anxiety, so I put the book down for a few weeks. I kept it on my bedside table, and each night I looked at you and Rene on the cover. I already knew the glorious outcome: your survival and healing, your gift of COPE, your champion Rene who remained by your side throughout. Maybe I could leave well enough alone. One day as I glanced at your and Rene's picture of love on my table, I knew I was missing a huge opportunity to learn more about how to go through and not back away from suffering. So, I began to read again, was hooked and could not put it down. I was impacted by your brutal truth, your humor, your pain, your love and your courage. Weaving fun stories, tales of family, childhood memories, and love and romance between your journal of excruciating physical and mental pain allowed me to recoup my emotions throughout the book. My feelings ventured up and down, and I struggled with what was worse, the mental or the physical pain? By the end it did not matter. What impacted me was the courage it took for you to feel and tell all of it. So many of us can privately relate to what you felt beyond the physical, like soul searching, insecurities, anxieties, but it takes a few courageous women like you to reveal it, fight through it and come out on the other side making a difference for ourselves and others. Your book touches so many aspects of living with all its happiness, love, pain, suffering, and giving. You captured it all in your book and you did something about it through your legacy of COPE. While many prayers were answered for you and Rene, your life and experience will live on through "The Unlikely Gift of Breast Cancer." Thank you for sharing. I love you. Sandy Read more
The Unlikely Gift of Breast Cancer Diane, read the book in one sitting. Did not put it down. Impressed by your willingness to share your experiences, both good and bad. The rollercoaster emotional journey captured me. An unvarnished account and your hard won victory; inspirational for those diagnosed with cancer and the loved ones that are trying to understand and help. Well done! you tube video review link https://youtu.be/1L6FZ3vJFZc Read more
The Unlikely Gift of Breast Cancer The most difficult time of my life, by far, was watching the woman I adore go through cancer treatment. I relived many of those emotions while reading Diane’s book and didn’t think it was possible to feel any closer to her, I was wrong! Cancer is an individual experience, and Diane’s book doesn’t attempt to tell the reader how to “deal with cancer”. Instead, it’s an honest and personal account of one person’s story of resilience, growth and discovery…I couldn’t be prouder of her! Read more
Diane M. Simard is simply Amazing!!! THE UNLIKELY GIFT OF BREAST CANCER by DIANE M. SIMARD This is a book you won't be able to stop once you've started reading! It is also a definite re-read! It is Diane's story, honestly written to tell the whole world of her personal experiences! She tells us all about her life before, during and after being diagnosed with cancer. In this book she teaches us valuable lessons about life, in her truth, in her misery, in her faith, in her grief, in her celebration, in her hope and mostly in her love! Her amazing strength and courage overpowered any weakness that cancer handed her! Everyone knows there are hundreds of types of cancer and because everyone is different, there is no “one size fits all” kind of treatment. The rough medical side and the difficult mental side are two extremely important areas for healing and curing cancer. She is now committing herself to help current and future cancer patients in the mental health area with “COPE” that she explains in this book. This is truly a special kind of a woman. Her inspiration in this book makes me feel as if I can conquer anything! Being born and raised in small town, to the amazing and successful woman she is today, makes me humbled and beyond proud to call Diane my forever friend! I know she will continue to do great things in this world! I’m so excited to watch her do more amazing things in her future! Diane M. Simard is a cancer SURVIVOR! Read more