Dr. Kimberly Allison diagnoses breast cancer for a living. But as a 33-year-old healthy new mother, she never expected to find herself looking at her own malignant cells under the microscope. Like many others diagnosed with cancer, Dr. Allison was starving for stories of other survivors. She wanted to hear someone’s tale, to feel their experiences and look for hidden clues to what her own future might hold. Ultimately, the story that Dr. Allison was looking for was found in her own life.
Red Sunshine is a memoir about Dr. Allison’s sudden journey from physician to patient and her attempt to make the most of this terrifying and unexpected ordeal. Her experience reflects the incredible power of the bonds of friendship and family. It is about paying attention to the magic that is waiting to be uncovered in everyday life.
Red Sunshine is an uplifting story of survival in which Dr. Allison shares all the intimate details of her emotional journey with both humor and honesty.
About the Author
Kim Allison, M.D., is the director of Breast Pathology at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, where she continues to initiate women on the same journey. She is actively involved in breast cancer research, clinical diagnostics, and teaching. Kim and her husband live with their two children on Mercer Island, WA. When not chasing her children and husband around, she enjoys writing, painting, yoga, running, and double-tall lattes.
“A moving memoir from a physician who became a patient with a very difficult diagnosis. This book offers an infusion of hope and inspiration for cancer survivors, regardless of their stage.”
—Julie Silver, M.D., Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School and author of What Helped Get Me Through: Cancer Survivors Share Wisdom and Hope
“Dr. Allison’s perspective is both unique and familiar. As a breast cancer specialist, she knows all too well her prognosis and treatment plan as soon as she’s diagnosed. She then embarks on an emotional journey through uncharted territory, warmly related in Red Sunshine. Her description is both heartfelt and down-to-earth. I’d recommend it to my patients as well as my colleagues.”
—Julie R. Gralow, M.D., Professor and Director, Breast Medical Oncology, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA, author of Breast Fitness: An Optimal Exercise and Health Plan for Reducing Your Risk of Breast Cancer
“Red Sunshine is full of honesty, reflection, and information that people diagnosed with cancer, as well as those who support and treat them, will find so helpful. So many books sugar coat things but this memoir really gives a realistic picture of the experience and still manages to be funny, uplifting and a great read.”
—Kristine Calhoun, M.D., Breast Surgeon and Associate Professor, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA
“I could not put this book down. As a survivor myself, I was struck by the similarities in our experiences with cancer; the fear, the determination to be here for our children, the love and support from friends and family and our willingness to explore a variety of traditional and non-traditional ways to heal our bodies and our minds.”
—Julie Wheelan, Director, Center for Integrative Health & Wellness, Marin General Hospital, Marin County, CA
“When your doctor is advising you on a serious health issue it’s so easy to think, ‘Easy for you to say, buddy!’ Well, the doctor is in the patient’s shoes in Red Sunshine and that is what makes it such a great read. Dr. Allison is honest and clear-sighted, but this is no angsty cancer memoir. She is in a place of privilege when it comes to medical knowledge and connections, but has the good sense to know that all that knowledge and all those connections can’t change her diagnosis. She also knows that it is up to her how she responds and she does so with grace, dignity, and wit. I recommend this for both doctors and patients.”
—Debra Jarvis, author of It’s Not About the Hair: And Other Certainties of Life & Cancer