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Most of Me: Surviving My Medical Meltdown
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Most of Me: Surviving My Medical Meltdown

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  101 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
With irreverent and at times mordant humor, Most of Me chronicles Robyn Michele Levy's early, mysterious symptoms (a dragging left foot, a crash into “downward dead dog†position on the yoga mat), the devastating Parkinson’s diagnosis, her subsequent discovery of two lumps in her breast (Little Lump and Big Blob), her mastectomy and her life since then dealing with her
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 24th 2012 by Greystone Books (first published September 9th 2011)
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Olga Godim
Apr 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This review was originally published at StoryCircleBookReviews:

Sometimes, laughter is the only way to deflect despair. Robyn Michelle Levy knows it from personal experience. Her memoir Most of Me is simultaneously amusing and poignant. From the first word, the story pulled me in and never let go, and the pages practically turned themselves. But it was a harrowing read, too, because of the subject matter: a serious, life-altering illness. Or rather two of t
Brooke Binkowski
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I just picked this up and started reading it at random, and I cannot truthfully say I couldn't put it down. Quite the opposite -- I had to put it down, frequently, because to read any further would be too heartwrenching -- but I always picked it back up again.

This is a wry, funny, and extremely heartbreaking book about a woman diagnosed with first early-onset Parkinson's (she first starts having symptoms at around age 38) and then breast cancer and how she deals with it all. It's crammed with ga
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Wow. This author has such a gift for storytelling. She has been through the most awful things, yet she finds humor in all of it. You want to cry one minute and then you literally laugh out loud the next because she is so clever and irreverent with her words. I was so frustrated with her not getting the diagnosis that explained her symptoms for so long - why does that still happen in this day and age of instant information about everything? But so relieved towards the end as things actually do ge ...more
Feb 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This was wonderfully transparent and tragically humorous. It was hopeful and sad and beautiful. The most important thing I took away was the need for strong supportive friendships.
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Um, I just finished this book. Already. That's just over 2 days. I don't think this has happened before... (I'm usually a really slow reader, I swear).

I loved it. As someone who lives with multiple chronic illnesses, I found the author's account of getting diagnosed with early onset Parkinsons, and then within a year, early stage breast cancer slightly horrifying. And also amazingly brave, honest, and funny, amongst the sadness. It's funny in a good way though, not one of those silly comedies ab
Christina Mcdaniel
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The author tells the story of her diagnosis with early-onset Parkinson's disease and breast cancer within 8 mos. of each other. She refers to herself as "the morbid measuring stick" (Levy, 137)--a barometer in which everyone else measures their own suffering. Yet, I have never met a story so full of suffering while simultaneously so full of hope and humor. She doesn't turn the story of receiving two life altering diagnoses in her early forties into a slap stick comedy: her humor is carefully cho ...more
Dannielle Insalaco
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's rare that I review a book about Parkinson's because usually they fit into one of 2 categories: 1) the "now that I have PD my life goal is clearer and I'm happier" or 2) the "I just got the diagnosis and it's not so bad". For obvious reasons there are very few "it takes me an hour to put on my socks,I don't really care if my Depends look like real underwear, and doesn't everyone take 3 naps a day" books. Most of Me is one of those rare books that takes a realistic look at PD and mixes the co ...more
Jean Grant
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing

I loved this memoir. I read it in two sittings, sneaking off to finish it when I had things I was supposed to be doing. I laughed out loud several times while reading it. And I learned a lot--about things every woman kinda wants to know but doesn't really want to ask because you're not quite sure what you're getting yourself in for when you ask about cancer procedures. And I knew nothing about Parkinson's disease, and painlessly and humorously, I learned a great deal. Robyn Levy is a marvelous w
Brett Mackey
Mar 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's unusual that a book affects me in such a profound manner however Robyn writes with fierce honesty and a seriously deranged but delicious wit. The prose alternates between the realities of having serious medical problems and her very funny reactions to dealing with the enormity of the situation. I found the book a page turner and read the book in virtually one sitting.

I could go on and on describing a very readable and enormously satisfying book that will appeal to a wide range of readers bu
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
So after a surprise diagnosis of Parkinsons disease, Robyn Michelle Levy is just beginning to live with that when she discovers she also has breast cancer.

With an older husband, a teenage daughter and older parents dealing with their own health issues, most of us can understand her bewilderment at the changes going on in her life. I admire her ability to keep her sense of humour throughout, and to be able to laugh when I know that I would have broken down and cried.

A 4/5 from me.
Becky Ziaja
May 19, 2013 rated it liked it
The author shares her story about having both breast cancer and Parkinson's in her early forties with sarcasm and humor. I was left wondering how dark things got for her. I had a hard time accepting someone could be so lighthearted about having these diseases so young. The most she touched on this side of things was referencing her "Cry Lady" which I couldn't relate to.
Suzie Q
Jul 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great book, touching and funny all at the same time. Mom in her 40s discovers she is going through early onset Parkinson's as her father is also going through it. Then on top of everything else she discovers she has breast cancer.

this was right along the same lines as the book the Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan
Jan 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
With lots of grit and determination, Robyn Levy faces some incredible medical challenges. Her sense of irony and humor seems to have gotten her through some devastating diagnoses. This was a relatively quick read and in spite of the subject matter, is not the downer you would think. It's quite a lesson in spunk!
Apr 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Robyn Levy is a Vancouver artist/broadcaster who was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson's and then breast cancer. She writes with wry humour and brutal honesty and I couldn't put it down. Ironically, her neurologist and oncologist are the same as Mum's. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
I appreciated learning more about Parkinson's disease, with which the author was diagnosed at 43 (followed in rapid succession by breast cancer). The wise-cracking style wore on me a bit, but that's a matter of taste.
Ally Cabella
Oct 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this memoir. After facing two life altering diagnoses, the author gets through her challenges with humor and honesty. She writes candidly about how her life has been affected and how she's evolved because of it. Very good book.
Barbara Gard
wonderful , informative, insightful, funny surprises that delight you.
May 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Smart, tragic, hilarious, real!
Apr 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Veers almost uncontrollably between funny and sad. More honest (i.e., helpful) than the Michael J. Fox books I would say.
Jul 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: snc-book-club

I really enjoyed this book, I love her sense of humor through all that she's going through.
Lexi Haskell
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Hilarious and heartbreaking I read this in two days. Love her sense of humor and reflection on the ups n downs life throws at her. I'd recommend!
Chantal Saville
Apr 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved some of the lines in this book - the kind of wry humour that takes some of the sting out of very difficult situations.
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Funny, snarky, and oh so truthful. A really good read.
Anastasia Richardson
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Humorous yet honest revelation of dealing with the diagnosis of 2 terminal diseases.
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I laughed out loud.
My review in Library Journal
Samantha Elkrief
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully told story of one woman's battle with early onset Parkinsons and breast cancer. Her story telling is humorous, despite the subject matter
Ann Scott
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
A great story about a young woman dealing with 2 devastating diagnoses; Parkinson's disease, and 8 months later breast cancer. Splendid wit and humor. A great fast read!
Apr 09, 2017 marked it as abandoned
DNF. I appreciate the attempt to take a bunch of hard stuff and try to write a darkly comic take on it all but I honestly got bored.
rated it really liked it
Jan 12, 2013
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Jan 25, 2017
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ELEVEN READER'S CLUB: Update 5 (Final) 1 4 Jan 11, 2013 06:29PM  
ELEVEN READER'S CLUB: Update 4 1 4 Jan 10, 2013 07:11PM  
ELEVEN READER'S CLUB: Update 3 1 6 Dec 27, 2012 10:46AM  
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ELEVEN READER'S CLUB: Update 1 1 8 Oct 22, 2012 08:31PM  
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Robyn Michele Levy was born in 1964 in North York, Toronto. She is visual artist, radio broadcaster, and writer. Her paintings can be found in private and public collections around the world. Her radio work includes documentaries, commentaries, poetry, and sketch comedy for CBC Radio. Her writing has been published in the Vancouver Sun, the Georgia Straight, among other publications. She has perfo ...more
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