Wednesday, February 11, 2015

'Rollercoaster' full of resources, asserts blogger

Zealous writer: 'Rollercoaster' can make cancer diagnosis 'a little bit easier on us all' 

M.J. Joachim
M.J. Joachim is a "very passionate" author and writer from Mesa, Arizona.

A fellow blogger, Philip Verhese Ariel, explains that her passion, in part, has been aimed at "making the world a better place…by raising awareness."

One small step toward that goal, I'm absolutely thrilled to report, occurred when she gave my new VitalityPress book, "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," a glowing review.

Below, starting with the next paragraph, are excerpts from M.J.'s piece, which was published on Feb. 3, 2015. The full review, of course, is available on her website.

Breast cancer is one of those scary, taboo subjects nobody wants to talk about, despite the fact that millions of people are and have been affected by it. 

It’s personal. Cancer always seems to be so darned personal. 

For decades we’ve danced around the big C word. 

Until now! 

How I wish this book had been around when my father and uncles died of cancer so many years ago! How I wish this book had been around over the years when I had two benign breast biopsies - one at 28, another in my mid 30’s.

Weingarten is the caregiver of his wife Nancy and her breast cancer; years later, he is also the patient with cancer. 

Seems many of us get to deal with the big C more than once in our lives, and in various ways too. 

For all the research, money raised, government programs, medicines and treatments tried, things which Weingarten fully addresses in this book, we still don’t seem to find the answers we need. 

This book doesn’t offer any false hope. Weingarten describes in scrupulous detail the evolution of cancer meds and treatments since the 70’s. It’s an important section in the book, and if I ever do get cancer, you can bet I’ll never opt to take tamoxifen, partly because of what I learned in this book.

All the big C talk aside, Rollercoaster is a love story about a man and a woman dealing with her diagnosis, treatment and side effects (those little things no one really wants to talk about like loss of sex drive, anger and anxiety, relationship challenges, an entire myriad of fears ranging from how to deal with hair loss to night sweats and coping with nightmares, even eating to deal with stress)

Twenty years later Woody & Nancy are still happily married survivors of the big C that changed and redefined their lives forever. 

Marin-Man-to-Man is a drop-in, dues-free support group open to any male whose partner has or has had, breast cancer (or another life-threatening disease).” Much of this book makes reference to this excellent resource and support group for male caregivers living in the San Francisco Bay Area, a group Woody himself attends. 

Closing chapters are full of valuable resources and books for both caregivers and cancer sufferers alike. 

If you haven’t personally been touched by cancer yet, you’re lucky. I strongly recommend this book to everyone, because this book has the ability to make the dreaded big C diagnosis a little bit easier on us all.

Thanks so much for taking time to share your story, Woody. I trust and hope many people will be extremely fortunate to read Rollercoaster and benefit from you and your wife’s experience with breast cancer.

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