You may have seen the pink ribbons on downtown parking meters in Waynesboro and Greencastle.

You surely know October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

And you probably know someone who has been affected by breast cancer—there are more than 3.1 million women with a history of breast cancer in the United States, with a 1 in 8 chance any woman will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime, according to

Nobody wants to think about having breast cancer.

I know.

I was diagnosed almost three years ago. I had no family history. It was found during a routine mammogram. I was 46 years old.

I'll spare you the details, but after two surgeries, 18 weeks of chemotherapy and seven weeks of radiation, I feel great.

My hair is back and, thanks to a new diet and exercise program, I am probably in better shape than ever.

But it wasn't easy.

What I discovered was when you get a cancer diagnosis, you suddenly find yourself in a new world full of doctor appointments ... and looks of pity. With one simple screening, I had become a victim!

As a career writer, I got through treatment by doing what I do—writing about it.

I discovered that there's a whole lot they don't tell you about this stuff!

My notes turned into a book about my experience, as well as tips for others who are going through cancer treatment. I titled it "The Snarky Girl's Guide to Breast Cancer."

If you are going through treatment, have been through treatment or know someone who is going through it, pick up a copy. It was written to address the challenges of "fighting" breast cancer with an honest, humorous approach.

The book is available at Brio Coffeehouse on the square in Waynesboro or at The Write Cup on the square in Greencastle or on

And since it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, come celebrate with me at a book signing during The Snarky Girl's Pink party on Friday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. at The Trellis Terrace at Penn National. There will be food and information on breast cancer, entertainment and fun. Tickets are $20 in advance and all proceeds will benefit the Cumberland Valley Breast Care Alliance. For tickets or more information, contact me.

And if you are a woman 40 or older, please get your mammogram. Sure, it's scary to think you may become a statistic. But it's far better to catch it early when it can be treated, if not cured.

Contact Andrea Rose at or 717-762-2151 or on Twitter @AndreaCiccociop.