Monday, October 24, 2016

Speaking out about breast cancer

Every year in October I am reminded that it is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  As a survivor of twenty-six years, I still remember that sense of absolute fear when I was told the news of my diagnosis at 39.  Especially as a mother of two young children, worried that I might not see them grow up.

And when I was diagnosed 15 years later it was even more of a shock, because I’d conveniently forgotten that once you are a member of the Cancer Club, your membership never expires.  In 2005 mine was reactivated.

That fear never really leaves you and it bubbles to the surface with every check up.    But at least today, there are more resources to support women (and men) who have been diagnosed.

I know that for sure because through my newly formed publishing company, I have three books on breast cancer coming to fruition.  Each is very different, but in its own way, will  hopefully provide information, inspiration and support to families impacted by this disease.

The first is One Loop at a Time – A story of rug-hooking, healing and creativity by Meryl Cook.  Hailing from Nova Scotia, Meryl used her rug hooking to demonstrate her emotions as she went through her cancer treatments.  Each rug is beautifully photographed in the book, with her poems and descriptions of how she felt every step of the way.  It’s a feel good book.

Next came Debbie Kerr’s book – When Cancer Takes Flight! in which she takes the reader on her cancer journey, providing useful information and resources so that fellow passengers on this trip, can know in some way what to expect and how humour – and Debbie has it in spades – can make all the difference.

Last but no means least, we have Riding Shotgun, written by Don Kerr from the male perspective of what it was like being the caregiver when his wife was diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer, especially with two young sons.  Not much is written or available for men in the caregiver situation and Don’s book eloquently describes his struggles and gratitude that they all survived. 

All three books will be coming out in late November/early December.  I applaud them all for their courage to tell their stories, and the wisdom they are willing to share with others.