I have battled cancer four times, including two bouts with brain cancer over the last 18 years of my life. As a professional engineer, I wondered what I would do with the rest of my life having short-term memory loss and other side effects from both the chemotherapy and the cancer. In 2012, I had a chance meeting with a woman whose adult son was battling the same disease. During my 104 days in the hospital, she said seven words that gave me a new perspective on life and the people I share this world with.
This story details how my perspective changed through experiences with my failing health and the people who raised me up when I could no longer do it on my own, saving my life.
Meet CancerOwl and the artist that created him: Matthew Paul Mewhorter.
Matthew used art to heal from cancer, and his art went viral. CancerOwl takes a hard (and funny) look at the various experiences of cancer. Enjoy!
Worms on Parachutes-Mystical Allies In My Cancer Survival by Sarah-Jane Phillips
This autobiography, with its quirky and up-beat title and enchanting naive illustration on the front cover, will certainly attract the most discerning reader whether they are travelling along the breast cancer journey or know of someone in that situation.
The author who is brave clearly displays how she has met adversity head on, not only once but twice in her short life time. Her courage, indomitable spirit and triumph over all that was “thrown” at her on her personal cancer journey, was due to positive thinking, loving family, friends and excellent medical care.
A short synopsis reveals Sarah-Jane as a 16 year old battling Hodgkins Disease with the help of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Overcoming that hurdle and getting “back on track with her life”, she embarks on a career, marries and has two small daughters. Then beyond her control, breast cancer gives her yet another challenge in her life.
Sarah-Jane writes and shares with the reader an easy to read account of her “journey”, all her feelings and experiences felt during her diagnosis , treatment and early years following treatment with warmth and honesty, humour and finally success, being able to resume her life with her loved ones, healthy and well. It never ceases to amaze me how courage and positive thinking can be given to us when we have HOPE.
Elizabeth Gross is a wife, swiftiemom, cancer battler, invisible illness spoonie, wildlife gardener, good news sharer, chocoholic, and award-winning author. ‘Dream Accomplished: A Story of Cancer, A Mother’s Love & Taylor Swift’ is her first book, & it has won the Mom’s Choice Award, New Apple Award, Readers’ Favorite 5 Star & Readers’ Favorite Gold Memoir Award.”
With The Snap of a Glove by Dan Hennessey
Dan provides a very honest–and funny!–look at prostate cancer. Join us for some laughs and a lot of insight into the reality of dealing with this disease. A must watch for both the men and women in the audience!
This book was a James Beard Award nominee and 2016 Books For A Better Life Award winner. It’s for everyone who faces food and nutritional issues through treatment.
Laura Linney stars in her Golden Globe winning role as Cathy Jamison, a 42 year-old schoolteacher who has always played by the rules. That is, until she receives a life-changing diagnosis. But instead of giving up – Cathy decides to live it up!
“Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love. “
Also available in video.
The Healing Circle by Rob Rutledge, MD and Timothy Walker, PhD
“The Healing Circle… integrates science, wisdom and compassion, and offers a practical approach and fresh perspective on how to heal at the levels of body, mind and spirit. The Healing Circle is primarily for those who have been given a cancer diagnosis and their loved ones, but is also highly relevant for medical professionals and everyone on the healing journey of life.”
“When visual artist Tina Martel was diagnosed with Stage Two breast cancer she decided to document everything. Throughout her treatment she created a stream of sketchbooks, photographs, paintings and video, in response to and frequently in spite of what was happening to her.
Not in the Pink is a “graphic narrative” of the pain, frustration and frequent hilarity of her day-to-day dealing with the eccentricities and bureaucracy of the medical system. It is also a candid and moving exploration of the expectations often placed on you once you are diagnosed with cancer: by the people around you, by society and ultimately by yourself.
Due to the rich video content, we don’t have our wonderful musical intro. But we DO have an amazing #CancerBookClub discussion to share:
Warrior Pose by Brad Willis aka Bhava Ram
Bhava Ram’s TED talk:
“Warrior Pose is Indiana jones merged withGautama Buddha…a miraculous affirmation of the power of self-healing, a war story, a love story, and a spiritual journey epic proportion. It is your story, my story, the human story.” -Dr. Emmett Miller, Pioneer of Mind-Body Medicine
#CancerBookClub Date: Sunday, January 15, 2017
Dying To Do Letterman: Turning Someday Into Today by Steve Mazan
Please pardon the format of this! We had some technical difficulties with this session.
Steve Mazan’s someday was to perform on The Late Show with David Letterman. In his early thirties Steve was diagnosed with an incurable form of cancer that spread to his liver. Doctors told him he might have only five years left to live. So Steve did something strange: he started living. In a literal race against time, he decided to chase that childhood dream and turn someday into today―he would perform his act live on The Late Show with David Letterman . . . even if it killed him.
With his confidence in a rut and his healthcare bills mounting, Steve finds himself filing for bankruptcy, receiving rejection after rejection, battling death, and questioning his dream.
Short on time? Steve’s award winning film, Dying To Do Letterman, is also available on Amazon for $3.99.
Click here to download some questions to guide your reading.
Click here to join the conversation.
#CancerBookClub Date: Sunday, December 18
Anticancer: A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber MD, PhD
The revolutionary New York Times bestseller about powerful lifestyle changes that can fight and prevent cancer—an integrative approach based on the latest research
An international phenomenon, Anticancer has been a long-running bestseller in the U.S. since Viking first published it in fall 2008. Now, this updated edition draws on the most recent clinical studies and offers more tips on how people living with cancer can fight it and how healthy people can prevent it.
Click here to download the #CancerBookClub questions for AntiCancer.
#CancerBookClub Date: November 18, 2016
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Klanithi
“What makes a life worth living?
At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.
What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.”
Click here to download the talking points for #CancerBookClub’s When Breath Becomes Air.
#CancerBookClub Date: August 24, 2016
From Both Ends of the Stethoscope by Kathleen Thompson, MD
WINNER OF WORDS FOR THE WOUNDED BOOK AWARD 2016 – FIRST PLACE
Whilst dealing with her own breast cancer, Dr Kathleen Thompson recognised the desperate need for a ‘going through breast cancer’ guide. Her experiences make a fascinating story in themselves, and Kathleen uses them to guide the reader through diagnostic tests and treatment options, what to do when things go wrong, and when mistakes are made. All the while she explains what is happening and why.
Recognising that anyone encountering cancer is in a state of shock, she delivers factual information intermingled with her own story, in an easily-digestible, and often amusing format. Each chapter ends with further information sources and a summary.
Kathleen looks back on her cancer journey with honesty, humour and compassion, and with the benefit of her medical understanding and knowledge of the system.
Later in the book she also explains medical research and how to assess the credibility of the numerous cancer treatment claims, and what we can all do to protect ourselves from cancer.
Click here to join the conversation.
#CancerBookClub Date: September 18, 2016
Lucky Dog: How Being A Veterinarian Saved My Life by Sarah Boston
Lucky Dog is a hilarious and heartwarming memoir by a renowned veterinary oncologist who tells us what we can learn about health care and ourselves from our most beloved pets.
What happens when a veterinary surgical oncologist (laymen’s term: cancer surgery doctor) thinks she has cancer herself? Enter Sarah Boston: a vet who suspects a suspicious growth in her neck is thyroid cancer. From the moment she uses her husband’s portable ultrasound machine to investigate her lump — he’s a vet, too — it’s clear this will not be your typical cancer memoir.
She takes us on a hysterical and thought-provoking journey through the human health care system from the perspective of an animal doctor. Weaving funny and poignant stories of dogs she’s treated along the way, this is an insightful memoir about what the human medical world can learn from the way we treat our canine counterparts. Lucky Dog teaches us to trust our instincts, be our own advocates, and laugh while we’re doing it.
Click here to join the conversation.
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