Jan Hasak worked for over 32 years as a patent attorney, and most recently at Genentech, Inc., a major biotechnology company that developed and now sells Herceptin, a cancer drug that she took during her second treatment with cancer. Jan retired from Genentech in May 2008 after working there for over twenty years.
A survivor of breast cancer twice, Jan Hasak penned her first book to inspire others to persevere. Mourning Has Broken: Reflections on Surviving Cancer reveals her honest feelings during her blistering walk through diagnosis, treatment, and beyond. The book also addresses the quagmire of lymphedema, a little-understood potential complication of breast cancer surgery or radiation.
In addition to describing medical challenges, Mourning Has Broken also tackles how to parent three relatively young sons while enduring treatment. Additionally, the book includes chapters with advice on forgiveness as well as beauty tips and do's and don't's for caregivers.
The book is endorsed by Saskia Thiadens, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the National Lymphedema Network, as well as by David Rollins, M.D., husband of a breast cancer and lymphedema survivor.
The main reason for writing this book was to provide needed information and hope to other cancer survivors, their friends, relatives, and caregivers. The book is interlaced with humorous anecdotes and "fun facts" to help the reader navigate through the passages. The book concludes with a resource section to assist the reader in identifying additional books and websites of interest on this and related topics.
Jan's second book, The Pebble Path: Returning Home from a Forest of Shadows, emerged after she listened to children's poetry at her biweekly writing critique group. Not having written poetry since high school, Jan was intrigued and decided to try her hand at writing emotive poems relating to her cancer and lymphedema conditions. But she didn't want the book just to be a chapbook collection of poems, because she wanted to put them in context. So as she was walking through the forest near her woodland home she got the idea of using the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel as a basis to tell the story. Thence the Pebble Path was born as an inspirational allegory of her cancer road trip, interspersed with poetry.