This is a book about life: the daily lives of ordinary people confronting a deadly disease.

Holding Tight, Letting Go offers the stories of 40 women and men as they struggle to come to terms with metastatic breast cancer. All aspects of dealing with the disease are covered here: from coping with the shock of recurrence and seeking information, to making treatment decisions, investigating alternative and complementary methods, and communicating effectively with medical personnel. Finding sources of emotional support from other patients and friends and dealing with relationship and family issues are often as important as managing the side effects of treatment and the pain and symptoms of disease progression.

Frank and moving descriptions from those who have been there make their stories meaningful to anyone who faces a life-threatening illness, whether they are talking about making end of life decisions, or keeping hope alive through spiritual connections, or seeking loving and compassionate care and the search for meaning in the midst of adversity.

Women with breast cancer live in fear of recurrence. For a third to a half of those diagnosed, the disease will eventually spread. When this happens, most people assume it means an immediate and grim death sentence. The eloquent voices in Holding Tight, Letting Go speak of a different reality: that women with metastatic breast cancer generally go on to live with their disease, often for many years, and that through facing this reality, and gathering information and support, the time that they have can be full and meaningful.

Of the dozens of books and other resources dealing with breast cancer, few discuss the realities of metastatic disease. Holding Tight, Letting Go gives a voice to the side of breast cancer no one wants to hear about, with stories of extraordinary ordinary people, forced by circumstance to call on resources in themselves and their families they never knew they possessed.