• If you think the hardest time for a breast cancer survivor is during treatment
  • If you think that when hair has started growing back a breast cancer survivor is back to normal
  • If you want to understand how it feels not be a worthy survivor at all
  • If you have a loved one who has gone through treatment and seems different and you have wondered why they’re not the “old” them

This book is for you…



Coming Home from Breastcancerville gives voice to the reality many roadtrippers experience that they and their lives are anything but back to normal just because active treatment is over.

Readers will be left with the message that it’s okay not to be okay and that although there’s no returning to the home you left, finding a new home and a new normal is entirely possible. It’s informative and empowering.

Oh, and like any good road trip, there’s snapshots.

You’re welcome.



This book has been five years in the making. A big reason it took that long to finish it was the fear that people wouldn’t be able to pronounce my name.

For the record, it’s Van Vl-ie-t as in f-ee-t, as opposed to Vli-aye as in plie (you know, the ballerina position). And yes, I have seriously regretted taking it as a married name all those years ago. What the heck was wrong with ‘Pleasants’ anyway?

Exposing the pitfalls and obstacles on a potholed road to recovery

Road trips were a huge part of my childhood so using this as the basis for recounting the pitfalls and obstacles I’ve encountered trying to move forward from the moment of my breast cancer diagnosis made sense. There are indeed parallels that can be drawn from an orange VW Kombi hurtling along the highways of South Eastern Australia and the challenges of struggling towards anything that remotely resembles breast cancer survivorship.

It will make you laugh and make you cry but it will also help you to be a more informed onlooker and bystander to this same road trip undertaken by those you know and love.

Ready to learn what’s beyond the pink ribbon?


  • I think this is such an important book. I can’t think that I’ve seen any books out there that show how the trip home from Breast Cancerville can be just as harrowing, if not more, than the trip out. It’s made me reflect a lot on how I’ve viewed other people’s cancer journeys.

    Kelly Exeter
  • We hear the word “survivor” said so often. We know that surviving takes strength. We know that a survivor must have endured considerable trauma and pain. But how does the process of surviving actually look?

    In Coming home from Breast Cancerville, Liz Van Vliet describes the long, agonising and frightening journey along three highways: treatment highway, recovery highway, and survivor highway. With rarely seen honesty and humour, Liz allow us to understand how every aspect of a person is affected by breast cancer.

    All too often, we attempt to support a friend, colleague or loved one through their breast cancer journey, but we are at a loss for what to say and what to do. For those who are on this same journey or for anyone wanting to know how to develop and show empathy to a person with breast cancer, Coming home from Breast Cancerville is your go-to book.

    Jo Lamble Psychologist
  • Liz's book is not simply a memoir of the road back after a diagnosis of a life-threatening illness. She helps the reader realise 'it's ok not to be ok' when life throws something unexpected at you. Through her engaging style, she details her road back to good physical and mental health in a way that will help many others.

    Sophie Scott Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Medical Reporter
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