|A Love Affair With Cancer
|Chats & Interviews <|> Gig/Tour/Festival Reviews <|> CD/DVD/Book Reviews <|> Photo Galleries
Free Hawkwind Downloads <|> Resources <|> Other Features
News <|> Links <|> Search <|> Site Map <|> Home
'A Love Affair with Cancer' tells the true, powerful and emotive story of an immature teenager attempting to
come to terms with the devastating diagnosis of cancer and the outrage he feels at the attempt of his parents
to deny him that knowledge. The journey outlines the psychological damage that the disease can elicit and the
subsequent change to his personal philosophy.
The story begins with an admission of his failure to comply at school and his passion for one of history's
great rock bands, Hawkwind. It continues with the association and small part that this band played in keeping
John on the straight and narrow, including his first and traumatic experience of the big city. The high jinks
and tomfoolery of young teenagers is an important part of adolescence and the story depicts his eagerness to
play the practical joker, yet soon we discover that he finds himself in a difficult predicament as he follows his
heroes (Hawkwind) to London.
Plagued by an unexpected fatigue John is diagnosed with a life threatening cancer. Yet no one can even
attempt to imagine the destruction and fear that chemotherapy can cause and as an innocent eighteen year
old, John tries to explain the unexplainable and the psychological morbidity caused by an indiscriminate
disease and the equally predatory treatment, but importantly John highlights that cancer is very much about
individualism. No two people are affected the same and yet the mutual peer support is invaluable.
Recurrence of cancer time and time again means more and more treatment until, enough is enough and he
decides that no more chemotherapy can or will be tolerated, whatever the consequences of that monumental
decision may be. The story unfolds the respect John earns for his carers, particularly a young staff nurse
named Sid, who takes it upon himself to persuade John to continue with more chemotherapy. Unfortunately,
even though he accepts more treatment, it fails and eventually his parents, again, without his knowledge, are
told that this cancer is likely to claim the life of their son. Yet, unexpectedly within months the cancer
Continuing with a poignant story unlike any other, John confesses to making knee jerk reactions in a bid to
conform to societies demands such is his feeling at missing out on so much so early on in his fragile life.
Sadly, this decisions proves to be wrong as he enters a marriage destined to fail, but not before he finds the
joys of parent hood followed soon afterwards by the news that all parents fear, a cancer diagnosis of their
child, even worse is to follow as it revealed that Donna is expected to die from the vicious ravages of cancer.
The story gives an insight into the difficulties parents face trying to come to terms with this news and the
coping mechanisms that are needed. Once again, John is faced with an end of life scenario, but on this
occasion, it is not the threat to his own mortality that he fears, it is his precious daughter.
Despite an ongoing handicap the amazing Donna belies all of the odds to become a prolific swimmer and
ultimately represents Great Britain at the 1997 World Swimming Championships in New Zealand, returning
with unexpected honours.
Faced with a decision in respect to his future employment, John decides on a career in nursing but not before
the difficult ordeal of returning to college to attain the requisite qualifications needed to become a student
nurse. But, it all pays dividends as he experiences a meteoric rise to the top, including working as a staff
nurse on the very ward that he himself was a patient on many years earlier. He clarifies the pleasure that
nursing cancer patients brings with it and subsequently returns to his home town of South Shields where he
is appointed as a Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist in haematology, caring for individuals with the same
disease that both he and his daughter had had and using the same rooms at his local hospital to discuss
diagnosis and prognosis with patients today in the same way that on more than one occasion, bad news was
given to him many years earlier. It is evident of his joy working in the same hospital that made his diagnosis
some thirty years ago. And so he has come full circle and believes passionately that much of this is down to
The unique and occasionally tearful story draws to a close with the most unusual wedding ceremony,
walking down the aisle to the sound of Hawkwind, one of his life long passions. Yet, irrespective of all that
has gone before, a love affair with cancer emphasizes just how difficult it is to escape the life long sentence
that is a cancer diagnosis and the permanent psychological scarring that remains, but also how this disease
can change your beliefs and philosophy to make you the person you are.
A Love Affair with Cancer epitomises the individualism that the killer disease creates, but also how every day
is faced with enthusiasm and fervour, a new perspective and appreciation of life itself.
|28th February 2006
The book is now ready and available via the publisher's website and is easily the cheapest (Â£8.00) way
of getting it. P & P is approximately Â£4 (depending on where you live). Check that page out to see the
cover of the book and read a brief extract.
12th March 2006
Here is my review...for what it's worth
|15th March 2006: the East Devon Midweek Herald carries a news story on this very subject!
And there was also the Love Affair With Cancer Launch Party on 11th March 2006!
3rd November 2006: The author now has a website dedicated to the book 'A Love Affair With Cancer'