What Doesn't Kill Us chronicles Brandy's journey with an aggressive, rare breast cancer at the age of 31. The book reflects on the parallels between her experiences with cancer, and her American father's and Vietnamese mother's trauma and survival during and after the Vietnam War. The book crosses borders, from rural, Amish-country Pennsylvania, where Brandy had grown up, to Vancouver, where she lived with her parents, husband, and two young children while enduring aggressive chemotherapy, radiation, and a double mastectomy. The book also explores the enduring legacy of chemical warfare on three generations. That both of her parents had been heavily exposed to Agent Orange does not escape Brandy, who searches for reasons why she would have cancer despite not having a family history, as well as having had epilepsy as a child. She also wonders how this exposure has touched her own children. Brandy tells her story with razor-sharp humour and wit, leaving readers a lasting impression of the meaning of survival.