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Like many other individuals, when I was first diagnosed with cancer I struggled to deal with my diagnosis. My first inclination was to learn as much as I could. I scanned and read dozens of books in search of the proper balance of information, guidance, inspiration and hope. But in the end, I found myself exasperated by the fact that nothing seemed to fill my needs.
When a physician recommended that I write a book about my battle with cancer, I remembered that hopeless feeling I had experienced. I was struck by the fact that I may be able to provide some positive insights to help others as they battle cancer themselves or make the journey with someone they care about.
My hope is that you find the inspiration you are looking for in this book.
My doctor told me at the beginning of this process that he wished that the medical profession didn’t categorize all malignancies as “cancer.” As humans, we leap at the opportunity to lump everything into one easily defined, easily understood category. But the problem is that the Big C has all the bad connotations that are associated with the very worse cancers. For we all know someone – often someone we cared for – that has raged a battle against cancer. We also likely know someone that lost that battle, sometimes at a very tender age.
So, in our minds, everyone with “cancer” is automatically branded as someone that might die. From the day I was diagnosed with cancer, I was treated differently by people. I was viewed as fragile, as one of the stricken few.
When I was first diagnosed, a co-worker that had previously battled breast cancer took me out to lunch. She welcomed me to The Club. This was not a club that I had to pay fees to join. I didn’t have to know the right people. I didn’t even have to play golf or tennis. Ours was an elite club, but not a club that anyone aspires to join. In fact, most of us would be thrilled to avoid this club all our lives. This special club was “The Cancer Club.”
I used to think that the type of cancer we had separated us from each other, but I feel differently now. I agree that we may undergo different treatments if we are diagnosed with colon cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, or Hodgkin’s. We may have different outlooks on our life expectancy. Some may undergo surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or some combination of these. But we all share commonalties that band us together for life. We are brothers and sisters, joined not by genetics but by life experiences.
We all remember what it felt like when we were told that we had a cancerous mass growing inside our body. We know what it’s like to feel fear that is so palpable you can taste it. We empathize with the rigors associated with surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation. We understand how devastating this disease can be, not only for us, but also for our family and friends. And for those of us that have been fortunate enough to kill the beast, we know what it’s like to be a survivor, complete with all the ensuing positives and negatives.
Yes, we are part of an elite club. How else do you explain how complete strangers can become your bosom buddies within minutes, once they understand that you have shared the same struggle they have? Or how any one of us can tear up at the drop of a hat when we hear someone else share his or her recent cancerous diagnosis? Or how hearing of someone having their cancer metastasize to another part of his or her body or having a recurrence can rock us to the core?
It’s because we’ve been there. We know what it’s like. We understand.
“While the subject matter of this book is not, at first glance, overly joyful, this is a book that is informative, well written, candid and filled with useful information. Most importantly, perhaps, is the fact that it is a firsthand account of a very serious subject. The author and her journey through the diagnosis of cancer is the subject of this book. There are many passages that are especially difficult to read but cancer isn’t a subject that most people are thrilled to think about, let alone read about. But many people either know someone with the disease or are patients themselves, so this is a much needed volume. On the Other Side: The Journey of a Cancer Survivor is one of the best books on the subject that I’ve ever read. Bravo, Ms. Northey, for tackling a scary subject and giving it a very human face! Kudos, and thank you.” 5 Angels! - Reviewed by: Carly, Fallen Angel Reviews
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
No. of Pages: 144
Paper Weight (lb): 6.4