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Cancer and fiction

Posted 14 November 2016 02:29:38(UTC)

Hi Guys,

One of the things common to all diagnoses of almost any cancer, is that it makes us confront our mortality.

For me, the cancer diagnosis coincided with oncoming retirement, and the opportunity to do some of the things I had always wanted to do, but had been too busy to get around to, while I was getting on with the day-to-day trivia of living my life.

During the early years of my life, my reading had been confined to practicalities, maths, science, engineering, navigation etc, and it is only since retiring that I have wandered across to the fiction section of my local library.

I have read anything and everything, from Dickens to Steinbeck and on my last visit I picked at random 'Crossing to Safety' by Wallace Stenger.

It is a nice, gentle, thoughtful story of life in America, which amongst other things deals very nicely with the emotional issues of dying from cancer.

It set me wondering, are there other good books, story books not textbooks, that deal with cancer?  

I look forward to any suggestions, there must be many a good story dealing with cancer, are you guys out there able to recommend any good reads?



Posted 14 November 2016 11:21:36(UTC)

I read your post an hour ago, and nothing came to mind. then I stumbled on this:

And as I write, it's free on Kindle!

John Grisham says THE TUMOR is the most important book he has ever written. In this short book, he provides readers with a fictional account of how a real, new medical technology could revolutionize the future of medicine by curing with sound.

THE TUMOR follows the present day experience of the fictional patient Paul, an otherwise healthy 35-year-old father who is diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Grisham takes readers through a detailed account of Paul’s treatment and his family’s experience that doesn’t end as we would hope. Grisham then explores an alternate future, where Paul is diagnosed with the same brain tumor at the same age, but in the year 2025, when a treatment called focused ultrasound is able to extend his life expectancy. 

Focused ultrasound has the potential to treat not just brain tumors, but many other disorders, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, hypertension, and prostate, breast and pancreatic cancer. 

For more information, you can visit The Focused Ultrasound Foundation’s website. Here you will find a video of Grisham on the TEDx stage with the Foundation’s chairman and a Parkinson’s patient who brings the audience to its feet sharing her incredible story of a focused ultrasound “miracle.” 

Readers will get a taste of the narrative they expect from Grisham, but this short book will also educate and inspire people to be hopeful about the future of medical innovation. 

It's only 67 pages, apparently, but probably worth a look, if you're OK with Grisham's style.

[free, and i get no commission for recommending it  :-( ]

Good Luck!



-- Andrew --

"I intend to live forever, or die trying" - Groucho Marx
Posted 14 November 2016 15:05:46(UTC)

I would definitely NOT recommend Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years - it was the worst and most stereotypical description of prostate cancer you could ever imagine :-(

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

Posted 01 March 2017 19:15:28(UTC)

Hi Dave

Just came across this post of yours.

I am just reading The Cancer Whisperer by Sophie Savage for the second time.

I won't try to explain the book other than to quote the write ups.

This remarkable book, part memoir and part practical and spiritual advice, has already been acclaimed in the press and cancer community as a breakthrough, providing an inspiring compass to help cancer sufferers and carers negotiate their way through the illness.

It's good.


Posted 01 March 2017 20:22:25(UTC)

By chance I was sent this link to an interview with Sophie Savage today: sounds like she knows what she's talking about.


Posted 03 March 2017 01:10:59(UTC)
The C Word by Lisa Lynch.

Not PC but dealing with cancer.

Also is a film with Sheridan Smith
Posted 04 March 2017 12:33:06(UTC)
Lisa was not only a close personal friend of mine, she was also my Editor on Real Homes magazine. "Mac" was a northern lass with a brilliant mastery of the English language. Her blog www.alrighttit.blogspot.co.uk is as funny as it became tragic. We were diagnosed broadly around the same time but she was only in her late 20s and only recently married with the whole of her life in front of her. I urge anyone who appreciates dark humour to read either her blog or the book. It is most definitely NOT politically correct. The film was okay but in my view was not as detailed as the wonderful life Lisa tried to live following her terminal prognosis. Tea and tissues needed.

Sleep easy Lisa

I am Spartacus - with the strength of iron, a will of steel and the fight to give this disease a real run for its money.
Thanked 1 time
Posted 04 March 2017 13:28:57(UTC)

Read her book and saw the film. For me it definitely brought home the message about living for today


Posted 08 May 2017 09:55:38(UTC)

Hi, Everyone. My first post.....so here goes. If any of you want to read a book about what it feels like to have a male cancer then I suggest 'The Shrinking Man' by Richard Matheson. Yes, I know it's sic-fi and it wasn't written about cancer but I think his feelings about his predicament are very real. He writes about physical changes, sexuality and relationships, distancing from loved ones, how to tell the kids, a search for a cure, breaking bad news and so on. its all there.

Thanked 3 times
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