Friday, April 10, 2015

Writer's letter emphasizes thriving after cancer

'Rollercoaster' author — in letter to editor — stresses life, not death, overcoming fear

Despite many substantial advances in treatments and meds, cancer still can be devastating for patients and caregivers — because of fear.

Sensationalized scare tactics from the media don't help one iota.

And that's why I, Woody Weingarten, author of "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," which is aimed at a patients as well as caregivers, recently wrote a letter to the editor of the Marin Independent Journal, the only daily newspaper in my home county.

The letter, which I hoped might help quash some cancer fears, was published this week.

Here it is, in its entirety:

TV special on cancer 
misses focus on living

Why does cancer, the subject of the recent three-part Ken Burns executive-produced PBS series, like so many other documentaries and media reports on the subject, focus on death and not life? Why are primary caregivers — especially males — forgotten or treated as if they're invisible?

My new book, "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," shows there can be light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

For both caregivers and patients.

Why am I sure? My wife had breast cancer 20 years ago, then a melanoma 11 years later. I had prostate cancer eight years ago.

Not only did we survive, we’re thriving in our mid-70s.

And I’ve been running Marin Man to Man, a men’s support group, for almost two decades. I believe every attendee would agree we all should live out a cliché: one day at a time.

How? As the old song suggests, by accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative.

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