Writer flaunts wish on Texan's blog: 35 million to buy and read 'Rollercoaster,' dispel worries
Welcome to Fantasyland, Woody Weingarten version, circa 2015.
During an interview just
published online, I implied that if most of the 35 million caregivers in the United States bought my new VitalityPress book, "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer,"
I'd stop worrying "about getting out my message that there can be light and life at the end of the proverbial tunnel."
|Maryann thinks photo shows my message.|
But my late mother's DNA legacy, a throbbing worry gland, might not let me off the hook so easily.
The interview, which went online last Wednesday, Jan. 28, was carried out by Texas blogger, columnist, novelist and playwright Maryann Miller. It marked my initial dip into somebody else's pool.
It was fun to do.
Here is the lion's share of the interview (for the whole enchilada, check out Maryann's blog, "It's Not All Gravy").
Hi, Woody here. I’m thrilled to be
interviewed/interrogated by Maryann, but I must admit I’m a little nervous.
Although I’m a chronological geezer, I’m actually a virgin — at appearing on
someone else’s blog, that is.
LOL, Woody, that’s the best introduction I’ve had from
one of my guests. And now that you are no longer a virgin at this,
I do hope you will find other blogs on which to do a guest post.
Q. Please tell our readers how you came to write your
I wrote “Rollercoaster” because I believed my experiences,
research and expertise could help those going through a life-threatening
disease or its aftermath. I think male caregivers, often the forgotten part of
the breast cancer equation, are particularly in need of help. But women
also can learn what their partners may be feeling. According to The New York
Times, there currently are 35 million caregivers in the United States. If most
of them bought “Rollercoaster,” I’d be able to stop worrying about getting out
my message that there can be light and life at the end of the proverbial
Q. You have been through the ordeal of having a
spouse with breast cancer twice. Did the fact that your first wife had it, make
it harder when Nancy was diagnosed?
In a word, yes. It was incredibly sad, and frightening,
when the mother of my children ultimately died from the disease. But the fear
has faded over time, and Nancy, I’m happy to report, is alive and thriving 20
Q. There was a lot in the book about chemo-brain, and
I know from my sister’s experience that the memory loss is a problem. Did Nancy
find that her memory improved after being past chemo for some time?
Nancy’s memory did get better, but there still are
blanks and blotches that apparently will never improve. And of course I’m
convinced that, like many otherwise loving wives, she’ll never completely forget
anything I ever did wrong. (Don’t take that sentence seriously. Now and then
she even lets go of my sins.)
Q. What is the hardest thing about writing?
Writing. That’s meant to be a half-joke, and it’s mostly
untrue. The hardest part is rewriting and rewriting and rewriting to “get it
Q. What is the most unusual or interesting research
you have done for your books?
The most interesting by far was discovering that almost
any medical findings, no matter how definitive a report seemed, are likely to
be contradicted by other research in the following weeks, months or years. The
pendulum keeps swinging back and forth, confusing practitioners, patients and
That was equally interesting to me as a reader, too,
Woody, as was the chapter on medications.
Q. What is your fondest childhood memory?
Believe it or not, it’s a cumulative memory consisting
of a series of accidents. I was hit by a moving car while playing ball in the
street. I fell off a school wall into a tree limb that pierced my chest. I cut
my knee when I recklessly stepped through the windshield of a tractor-trailer
that was sitting, shattered, on the ground. The reason it’s my “fondest” memory
is simple — I survived.
And we are so glad you did, Woody.
Q. If you could go through a wormhole, would you go
into the future, the past, or stay right here? Why?
I’d stay right here. I’m mature enough to have learned
more than a thing or two about “giving back” and enjoying life without being
too old to make those things happen.
Great thought with which to end the interview, Woody. As
you say in your book, looking mortality in the face does give you a new
perspective on life. Thanks so much for being my guest today.
"Rollercoaster" a comprehensive memoir-chronicle and guide to up-to-the-minute scientific
research, meds and where to get help. It shows how Nancy Fox and her husband
Woody Weingarten coped with breast cancer, its treatments and its aftermath —
and how you can as well. Almost 250,000 new breast cancer cases are diagnosed
annually. Male caregivers (husbands, boyfriends, fathers, sons and brothers)
typically become a forgotten part of the equation. Yet they, too, need support.
“Rollercoaster” can help provide it. Weingarten, a prize-winning journalist for
50 years, has led a male partner’s support group for two decades. Though he
became an expert reluctantly, he now unflinchingly shares what he’s learned.
LD Masterson: Very nice meeting Woody. I wish this book had been available when my dad was taking care of my mom.
for stopping by, LD. I, too, wish the book had been available when my sister
went through her surgery and treatment.