Getting it off my chest by Janice Day

Janice Day’s book is like one of those medieval tapestries that hang on a wall at Chambord. The main picture may be about a hunting scene in this case Janice hunting for the elements she could use to survive a breast cancer but look down or up; left or right and you will see so much more. Poignancy after wit; sorrow after elation.

This is Janice’s story of her trauma. But she puts the saga (if I can call it that) in the context of her life it wasn’t bigger than her, it was just a part of her. ’One excellent spin off from having a life-threatening disease was that it cured my hypochondria’ Janice tells us. The book specialises in such observations: The dad at school who tried to enjoin her in conversation, ’My mother had breast cancer’ he said pleasantly, as if he was telling me that we had the same taste in cars. How sweet I thought, he’s trying to cheer me up. ’And how is she now?’ He smiled again, ’She’s dead’.

This is a brilliant book, funny and serious all in one; a truly interesting read. It provides a wealth of information. Without boring you it will tell you the difference between ’diagnosis’ and ’prognosis’ or that (according to Janice’s oncologist) ’ultrasound will work as well as a mammogram. But it is not a reference book just the story of how Janice rebuilt her life, and how the angel inside her emerged.

I first met Janice when she summarised her story in the pages of our cancer magazine icon. It’s the UK’s only magazine for cancer patients and can now be found in over 440 cancer centres, hospitals and libraries. Her story was a great success for readers because she detailed her ’personal prescription’: The various elements (from vitamins to complementary therapies and so on) she used to rebuild her life. Readers love that; it saves so much hard work. And that’s how Janice thinks too and why we were honoured to have her as a patron in our charity. ’I wish CANCERactive had been around when I got cancer; it would have saved me so much time all that ferreting around for information. Now it’s all on your web site’, she told me.

That’s our common bond the information to help people survive is out there, but if people cannot access it accurately or easily in an interesting way, then they are not so much dying of cancer they are dying of ignorance. Books like this are invaluable because they help overcome exactly that.

Chris Woollams CANCERactive
Intelligent Information. Independent Voice.

To purchase Janices book, click here.

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