Cindy Dickson Library


Love is the only thing we can carry with us when we go, and it makes the end so easy. – Louisa May Alcott

Cindy Dickson Breast Cancer Library


I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well. – Diane Ackerman

The Cindy Dickson Breast Cancer Library is the first public breast cancer library in Ventura County. Initiated in February, 2006 this library was started to help those with living with breast cancer, other cancers as well as their caregivers, family members, and friends who wish to be better informed so that a better quality of life can result.

scan0001During a celebration to recognize the life of poet and amazing Amazon warrior, Cindy Dickson, books were dedicated in her honor during an invitational event in January 2005 at Ventura College. The event was called, “Amazing Amazons.” The myth surrounding Amazon women warriors originates from Greek Mythology. Amazons were either an ancient legendary nation of female warriors or a land dominated by women at the outer edges of their known world. The legends appear to have a nugget of factual basis in warrior women among the Scythians, but classical Greeks never ceased to be astounded at such role-reversals. Women in classical Greek society were expected to be passive and dependent on males. In early modern usage, the word was often used to refer to strong and independent women, in contrast to conventional stereotypes of women as weak and passive.

The etymology of the Greek variant “Amazon” means “a” without and “mazos” breast, or “without a breast.” This is connects to the aetiological tradition that Amazons had their right breast cut off or burnt out, in order that they might be able to use the bow more freely…there is no indication of this practice in works of art, in which the Amazons are always represented with both breast, although the right is frequently covered.

scan0003As a member of Ventura College’s Breast Cancer Education & Advocacy Group, Cindy gave permission to Nick Weissman, a student at Brooks Institute of Photography, to film her in a mini-documentary entitled, Blue Jay, while sharing her perceptions about her breast cancer. Around the same time, Cindy also gave permission to Ventura County artist and photographer, Lesley Dailey, to photograph her without hair and publish her words. They are included in Lesley’s book, “Goddesses Don’t Buy Green Bananas”, which include numerous others from Ventura College’s Breast Cancer Group and from around Ventura County. Both Blue Jay and the Goddess book can be checked out at this library—the only library to date that has it.

Cindy’s experiences continue to live in the classroom. Blue Jay is now shared in Women’s Health classes on college campuses and to various local organizations during a presentation given by Lisa Barreto entitled, “Coping with Breast Cancer.”


This Ribbons of Life Breast Resource Center library is now accepting books for the Cindy Dickson Library.  Donations specific to the topics of breast cancer, radiation, chemotherapy, breast reconstruction, and coping skills are needed. Hardbacks are preferred to provide readers with continuous reading.

If you would like to donate a book in someone’s honor or memory, a list of needed books will be listed on this website.  All donated books will be labeled indicating who the book is donated for/from.  More information will be coming soon.

Cindy would be the first to say that life does not end here. It begins here. And your help in that process provides hope to those who acknowledge that breast cancer is not just a medical illness but a social illness as well. Won’t you donate a book now which will help RoL share knowledge to those going through the challege of cancer?  Your act of kindness is a step toward positive and proactive change?

Donations can be mailed or hand-delivered.  Contact for more information. 

The information found in the RoL website and/or Cindy Dickson Library is not a substitute for medical professional help or advice.  These materials are only meant to be used as an aid in understanding breast health, cancer or emotional, social health and may not be pertinent to your medical condition.  Please consult a physician for any health problem or medical condition.