Cancer is a bitch of a disease. Every single person who’s experienced being diagnosed and treated is a hero. There are a lot of cancer books out there. What’s different about this one?
Maybe nothing. Maybe a lot. I’m a psychologist by trade. About fifteen years back, I started writing novels. Unfortunately, there’s not a scrap of fiction in Alive. There are also no dragons, unicorns, or magical worlds. This book was tough to write. In places, it will be equally tough to read. In addition to my personal saga, it includes stories from other brave souls who volunteered to be part of this project. There are also chapters about the etiology of cancer, cancer as big business in America (and elsewhere), avoiding scams, and integrative oncology.
Like most, I started my cancer journey believing the MDs had my best interests at heart. A few did, but to so many others I was nothing but a number, a statistic, many steps removed from a human being.
My hope for Alive is it will empower others to stand up for themselves, to ask questions, to do their own research. Ultimately, everyone’s life is precious and worth the effort of self-advocacy.
I'm basically a mountaineer at heart. I remember many hours at my desk where my body may have been stuck inside four walls, but my soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. There's a timeless element to the mountains. They feel like old friends as I visit them, and visit them again. There's nothing like standing on a remote pass where I've been before and seeing that the vista is unchanged. Or on an equally remote peak. Mountains are the bones of the world. They'll prevail long after all of us are dust. It feels honest and humbling to share space with them. I hope I'm blessed with many more years to wander the local landscape. The memories are incomparable. They warm me and help me believe there will be something left for our children and their children after them.