Joining FORCEs Newsletter

Joining FORCES is the FORCE newsletter with news, views and supportive information for individuals concerned about hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.

Books: Apron Strings

by Barbara Pfeiffer

Apron StringsIn the preface to Apron Strings, Diane Tropea Greene says: “I would prefer that [the book] be looked upon as a symbol of all that can be learned from the past—and all that the future has waiting for us. We only have to look for it.”

Apron Strings delivers this message through the story of the Fraine family. With four siblings—Ms. Greene’s mother, aunt and two uncles—all dealing with a cancer diagnosis (three of them diagnosed with breast cancer), the Fraine family seems to be under a dark cloud. When Diane finds out her breast cancer was caused by the BRCA2 mutation, a light begins to dawn.

As her story evolves, Ms. Greene uses her family memories and her own journal entries to weave together a powerful, sometimes sad, but more often uplifting story of a BRCA family who faces their challenges with a tremendous sense of humor and a lot of love.

Beginning with Ms. Greene’s memories of her mother, aunt and uncles, Apron Strings takes us from one generation to the next as Ms. Green, along with her sisters and cousins, learns about the BRCA test, goes for genetic counseling, and makes her own personal decisions about testing, surveillance and prophylactic surgeries.

In “The Rest of My Life,” the book’s final chapter, Ms. Greene shows the same optimism she and her family applied throughout their journey. While acquaintances who learn her story feel sorry for her and her family, Ms. Greene feels differently. “I have come to appreciate all that [being BRCA] has taught me.”

You can order a copy of the book at


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