A Tale Of Two Titties: survivor story like no other

Mother and daughter Tanya Curran Brown and Georga Brown at the launch A Tale Of Two Titties at the Novotel Wollongong Northbeach. Picture: GREG ELLIS

Mother and daughter Tanya Curran Brown and Georga Brown at the launch A Tale Of Two Titties at the Novotel Wollongong Northbeach. Picture: GREG ELLIS

When twice as many people than expected turned up to her recent book launch, Unanderra hairdresser Tanya Curran Brown was humbled by the interest of so many and her publisher saying there had never been a book like it before. But it was the proud words of her daughter that almost left the dynamic businesswoman speechless.

Georga Brown was amazed at how much her sick mum had still managed to do for her when she was diagnosed with breast cancer a decade ago.

"I just want to say how proud I am of my mum," she said.

"She has gone through a lot. She worked through chemo while still looking after me and looking after our house and doing everything. She is an inspirational woman. I hope when I am her age I am exactly like her."

The breast cancer survivor's use of humour to write a memoir about her personal journey fighting cancer is already attracting national attention.

Her book, A Tale Of Two Titties, is in book stores across the nation, but her ability to face adversity with a good-humoured approach will not surprise anyone who knows her.

The popular businesswoman come author is always up to the task of taking a positive approach to any situation and even managed to do it when she was fighting for her life.

Ms Curran Brown, of Serendipity Hair By Tanya, has trained countless apprentices during her career. But when she was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer in 2005, she decided to teach herself as much as possible.

She wanted to give herself the best chance of winning the battle she faced while still running a business and raising her daughter. It was not easy but she was optimistic, even during the brave decision to have a double mastectomy.

Now she is helping others and has described her first book as a true personal story of how she gave breast cancer the flick.

Essentially the writing started as something personal that was initially designed to help her, but she quickly saw more potential.

"We had to write a little journal in the days during the chemotherapy to help us get through it.

"I thought if I have to write this, I might as well write a book. When I started doing that, I thought 'hold on, this is all right'. It was a few years in the making. Basically what it is when this type of thing happens ... you think 'there is so much reading I can do' but it all felt like doom and gloom. So I thought 'if I had something like this to read, it would be great to know it was written by a person who had what I have ... and she got through and came out the other end and I think I can do this'."

She had never written or published anything before so what she used was her own personality to tell her story - using humour to share her experience and the impact her breast cancer journey had on her and her family.

She is not a trained writer but she hoped that shining her own personal light on such a serious disease would help other women seeking a hand to hold.

"I hope it gives women going through this something they can relate to. It is my take on a lot of things."

That approach resonated with so many people, a wall had to be removed and more seats found at the book launch.

Many knew her and spoke of her courage and positive attitude.

A Tale Of Two Titties was released in April by Love & Write Publishing and Ms Curran Brown thanked her publisher, Lisa Hanrahan, for help making it all happen.

Ms Hanrahan said she felt honoured to be involved.

"I hope so many people buy this book because this is a book about hope and humour," she said.

"There has not been a book like this out there before for people who are going through breast cancer. It is not only for people with breast cancer but also for people who are caring and supporting someone with it. So I think this is a very important book."

She described Ms Curran Brown as an amazing businesswoman with so much courage to tell her story so openly and honestly and be willing to laugh about herself.

"Her story is a difficult story to tell but she tells it with such great humour, and that is a beautiful quality.

"With every book she sells, she is donating a percentage to breast cancer. It is in bookshops but you can also buy it at www.tanyacurranbrown.com.au."

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