insights

20 July 2019

MY BOOK: ROADS TO MEANING AND RESILIENCE WITH CANCER

Landscape

No one is immune from cancer, this nasty disease. Everyone could get it!

The forty people, whose stories are in the book I wrote, are making meaning and building resilience while living with incurable cancers. I am one of the forty people.

I interviewed thirty-nine people with lung cancer, and in this book, I share aspects of our stories.

We are fortunate to be alive at a time when science has made it possible to survive with advanced lung cancer for more than a few months.

I wrote this book to explore answers to our existential struggles. I also wrote it to open space for others to advance the conversations around their existential inquiries.

By writing this, I hoped that patients, caregivers, and health care providers could find insights about patient experiences. I hope this work will help develop language to explain our struggles as cancer patients so that others can understand us better, and with that, also they better understand themselves.

It is important here to notice that these stories are of people with lung cancer who have developed diseases that are not related to smoking. I am borrowing their privilege to call out the nonsense of the stigma around lung cancer as it relates to smoking.

People with lung cancer still feel stigmatized because of the association of their illness with tobacco use. I am one of them; I feel the stigma around my disease, and this is not right. I have not smoked, and yet I got lung cancer, and that is the case for most of the participants in this work.

I am leveraging our stories to call attention to the need for more research and support for lung cancer patients, whether or not they have ever smoked.

We are living at the limits of time, longer than we initially expected, and this has made our experiences resemble nothing that many of us have lived or witnessed before.

I hope the work will help patients, caregivers, and doctors. Although I believe the general reader will find in it meaning as well.

You can pre-order the book at Amazon.