To those who are pissed at us….

Some don’t like their cancer sprinkled with perks.

In April 2012, Florence Strang (cancer warrior) asked me to write a book with her.  We didn’t know each other (at all) but the fact that we are both healthcare professionals led us to suspect that we shared the same mission statement :

Help others live a better life after a cancer diagnosis.

So even though we lived in two different countries, we started writing.  Flo wrote the 100 Perks of Having Cancer and I wrote the 100 Health Tips for Surviving It.  We sent out our manuscript and landed a publishing contract with a company out of California.

Fast forward 1 year and 3 months, and here we are getting ready to launch the book in Nashville at the Women’s Cancer Survivor’s Convention.  But even though the book is not available yet, some have voiced their distain.

100 perks pic

The title of the book…100 Perks of Having Cancer… is causing some to be…shall we say…less than kind.  It doesn’t matter that they haven’t read the book.  It doesn’t matter that Florence wrote her 100 “perks” while she was actively going through her treatment of chemo, surgery and radiation not knowing what her outcome would be.  It doesn’t matter that they have never read anything we have ever written.  They simply won’t tolerate the words “cancer” and “perks” used in the same sentence. And I respect that.

But many, as we found out in our recent CBC live radio interview, love the title.  We heard from awe inspiring people who told us amazing stories that reinforced what we know and wrote about: That a positive change in your attitude can cause a positive change in your life…no matter how long or short that life is.

I know there are many that have suffered and still suffer with this disease.  I know there are many that have watched loved ones die of cancer.  I am one of them.  I was giving my dad a back rub as he peacefully passed away in hospice of lymphoma.  Believe me, the message of our book is not “Cancer is great! Go out ‘n get you some!”  And never in this book will you read the words “Cancer is a gift.”  (Cancer wrapped up in shiny paper with a bow is still cancer) The “gift”, if you will, is making you aware that you are alive.  Sometimes we forget this.  When you’re faced with not having one, life becomes precious.

But life is full of twists and turns…divorces, unemployment, loss, despair, loneliness and sometimes cancer.  A “survivor’s attitude” is required to get through all of it.

I invite you to read the first two chapters of the book and see what you think.  Are we out of line?   Should we have taken our publisher’s recommendation and changed the title?

Are we just plain bad for wanting to help people feel good?

(I respect your opinion. Please tell me what you think!)

Categories: breast cancer, cancer, cancer prevention, happiness

Tags: , , ,

32 replies

  1. I’m with you. Judging someone else for being positive about a personal experience (and as any survivor knows, cancer is a very personal experience) is just nuts in my book. I’ve always been a very glass half full kind of person so am happy to have found your blog (and Flo’s) to remind me of all that I have learned from this wild ride.

  2. What a great job you did! Loved the chapters you gifted us with to read! So proud of you! ♥

  3. The main title doesn’t offend me in the least. I think what says alot is the sub-title “100 HEALTH tips for Surviving It”. A positive and likely helpful part of one’s journey with cancer.
    Cancer survivors say that they are a different (better?) person as a result of their experience with cancer……..
    Thank you for writing your book.
    Grammom, widow of cancer victim

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment. I am sorry you were affected by cancer this way. One of the messages we want to convey is that your life can be better right now…even if you don’t have a cancer diagnosis. You can choose to be happy right now! We think that’s great!

    • Grammon, always has positive things to say and is such a sweetheart of a person, I look forward to her visits online along with her thoughts and passions.

  4. Nothing wrong with the title. There will always be “grumpies” no matter what. What you two have done is inspirational and will help so many women. Did love the “kitty” bit and I can relate to that! 😉 Good luck with the book!!

  5. Reblogged with my own brand of pissyness >:)
    directed at politically correct numpties with no sense of humour, hope you can see my humour.. LOL ..
    Funny girls, just trying to help out in a small way, keep up the good fight !

  6. Reblogged this on Wilderness Return and commented:
    So you have Cancer
    so you create a blog, write a book, look to the humour in all things, positives in things, great Then people get all pissy at the title, rude comments, make you feel bad! So if this sounds like something you would like, be against or for (depending on the way you just read what I wrote) then go, follow the link to these Sisters in blogs and books and give support to them. Why, because some numpties with small minds and political correctness orientated ways are slamming these ladies for sharing their their story and making is helpful and fun !
    Bullocks I say.. Bullocks, think for yourself, go and see as well as read, most importantly read between the words and Think for yourself ! Challenging, I know !

  7. I followed Florence’s post along her cancer journey….she could not change the effects of cancer and its treatment on her body but she could prevent it from taking away her spirit….Congrats and let the naysayers read the book before judging it….

  8. Having read both blogs, I understand where you are coming from in referencing perks. The entire experience can’t be darkness and misery, it just cannot be that exhausting all the time. Our own FCT blogger just put up a post today about the good moments that happened during her treatments.

    I was looking at your first chapters, they look great and read very well. AND I like the correlations between life events and physical events. That kitty bit – well, it made me smile and it made me nod.

    Good luck with the book,

  9. If Kris Carr can name her book/dvd Crazy Sexy Cancer and be successful, you can name your book 100 Perks of Having Cancer. Congrats!

  10. Looks interesting … I just added it to my wish list in Amazon and will watch for its release in August! Thanks for the update!

  11. There will always be naysayers. I try to ignore them and listen instead to the people whose opinion I value, such as all the lovely commenters on this blog.

  12. I love the title and I think the premise of the book is a much needed one. Cancer is serious enough on it’s own – it’s good if you can take a lighter approach to it occasionally. For me, I try not to take it too seriously. There are times when it’s nothing but serious, but most days, I try to see the up-side of having cancer – you know, the blessings in disguise. 🙂 It doesn’t matter what title you selected for the book – I think there are those who would be upset no matter what. So proud of you both for this accomplishment!!

  13. Some would not be able to see the comedy of a clown in front of children at a hospital, some would not hear the sound of merriment from children, adults or animals while at a park.

    To some if you do not conform to them 100% you’re evil incarnate, if you say NO or maybe then you are wrong.

    Tell them, thanks for your little opinion now move along !
    O wait, that is what I do now after my little inconvenient brain injury, well similar and thank you.
    Cheers ~Wild_E

  14. I think you, Florence, your blog, and the book are inspirations! People will always have their opinions about many things, usually things they don’t know about, but I’m sure the people who will reap the benefits from your books will outweigh the naysayers. Good luck! 🙂

  15. While I may be biased as Florence is my second cousin and I may have shared many feeds of flat chips made in the cast iron frying pan from her mothers key Mac oil stove while I was having sleepovers with her sisters, I have no problem what so ever with the title. In fact, us Newfies have managed to overcome a lot of hardships( both past and present) with the help of the feel good chemicals released from using our sense of humor to get over adversities. I admire the authors of this book- am glad they shared it. People truly should not judge a book by its cover- google it and check out the blog- a fine side splitting read it is! On a serious note, I went through a cancer treatment myself six years ago- was just given the all is cured speech. When my diagnosis was confirmed and my husband and I were driving home, I consoled myself between the tears with sarcastic remarks about my cancer, tasteless jokes and I laughed hard( and laughed and laughed) I continued to do so until my first year check- up. While my husband didn’t quite get it, how I could joke at a time like this, I needed those chemicals that only humor could release to get me through it. Thank you for sharing some of that with the rest of the world.
    Keep perking!!!

    • Jane, you are an inspiration! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I’ve been to “the rock” twice now, (planning the third trip in November) and I just love the spirit of everyone there. Enjoying life is a requirement there it seems 🙂

  16. My sense is that you will get more positive feedback vs negative.. as the saying goes…ya can’t please all of the people all of the time…..and especially after your book comes out the good will out weigh the bad for sure…..your CBC interview was magnificent! Keep the perks coming!!

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