Novelist Elin Hilderbrand Writes About Her Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Posted on June 13, 2014

Elin Hilderbrand author photo

Bestselling novelist Elin Hilderbrand has legions of fans who wait for her annual beach read to hit stores just in time for summer. Her novels have drama, romance and they are always set at the beach. Her new book, The Matchmaker, features a heroine who must face breast cancer. Just before the book was released, Elin discovered she has breast cancer and will undergo a double mastectomy today. Elin decided to share her story with her readers where she talks about how she got diagnosed, her fears of leaving her children and how she is facing the disease.

She wrote an article for The Huffington Post entitled, "The True Story This Fiction Writer Has To Tell Today." She writes, "I make a living telling stories, and yet my desire to tell the truth here is so overwhelming that it cannot be denied. Just like so many of my beautiful readers, I am facing a serious health crisis. I am anxious, I am scared, I have started crying every time my eldest son throws a strike from the pitcher's mound because life has changed in an instant and I fear, oh how I fear, I won't be around to see him pitch next year."

Elin also discusses the irony of getting breast cancer after spending a year imagining what she would do if she got that diagnosis: "I spent many months trying to put myself in Dabney's [the protagonist's] penny loafers, asking myself: 'What would it feel like to find out you had cancer? How would you react? Would you do things differently? Would you do things the same?' I tell my audiences that I don't write from real life, and yet I had Dabney handle her situation the way I thought I would have."

She also vows to fight like her character Dabney. She says, "I told myself that if I could write a character like Dabney, then I could be like Dabney. I would accept the fact that my body and its current failings were my own, and I would fight and I would smile and I would do everything in my power to live to write thirteen more novels and sit on my throne and let the ocean lap at my feet."

We wish her a full and speedy recovery. Elin's children have created the hashtag #mamastrong for tweets about their mom and for well-wishers. You can follow Elin on Twitter, @elinhilderbrand.

Photo: Hachette Book Group

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