Book review: The C Word by Lisa Lynch

‘Carrie Bradshaw fell in Dior, I fell in Debenhams. It was May 2008, and it was spectacular. Uncomfortable heels + slippy floor + head turned by a cocktail dress = thwack. Arms stretched overhead, teeth cracking on floor tiles, chest and knees breaking the fall. It was theatrical, exaggerated, a perfect 6.0. And it was Significant Moment #1 in discovering that I had grade-three breast cancer.’ 

The last thing Lisa Lynch had expected to put on her ‘things to do before you’re 30’ list was beating breast cancer, but them’s the breaks. So with her life on hold, and her mind close to capacity with unspoken fears, questions and emotions, she turned to her Mac and started blogging about the frustrating, life-altering, sheer pain-in-the-arse inconvenience of getting breast cancer at the age of 28.

The C Word is an unflinchingly honest and darkly humourous account of Lisa’s battle with The Bullshit, as she came to call it. From the good days, when she could almost pretend it wasn’t happening, to the bad days, when she couldn’t bear to wake up, Lisa’s story is emotional, hearbreaking and often hilarious. The C Word will make you laugh and cry, and ultimately reaffirm your faith in life.

‘A treasure trove of keen insight, coping strategies… and uplifting slices-of-life’ Telegraph.

Hello everyone!

So you’ve seen the new look?

Do you like it?

Let me know by posting a comment below.

I thought it was about time to move with the times and go for a more sleek look. It’s rather nice. At least it makes me look like I’m taking this blogging world seriously.

Let’s get on with the book review.

As many who are diagnosed with this horrible disease also survive. A third of us will be diagnosed and half of us will know someone who has it. It’s bleak and yet hopeful set of statistics.

Everyone has someone in their life who has been affected by it.
I have witnessed those who have been diagnosed have chosen to deal with this information with dignity and a deeply infectious, dry, dark sense of humour.

This book isn’t any different.

Although I haven’t been through something like this, I know how important it is to have a sense of humour just to plough through everyday. *Touchwood* scientists find cures before anymore of us are diagnosed, but you never can tell with the odds these days. Especially, if you consider the sheer number of cells that make up the human body, and thereby the associated threat of The Big C with each individual cell.
The author clings to her dry, sarcastic brand as though her life depends on it. It is no wonder, when cancer brings with it some of the darkest days imaginable.

Also, the other great thing about this book is the sense of gratitude. Witnessing someone have to drag themselves through punishing, rigourous treatment plans of chemo or radio or both, is horrific. You have to remember that despite what you see, this is what will save them. In the end, the doctors and nurses will return them to you. They may be bruised, battered, tattooed & thus more than slightly altered by the event, thank goodnesss the person is still with you. You may even find yourself changed too, perhaps you might wake up one morning and think about reevaluating your priorities.

Twenty years ago, there wasn’t really a cure and now the partnership between scientific researchers and technology are moving ever closer. We are not there yet, but this is still something to be celebrated.

There is not much that I do not like about this book, ladies and gentlemen. Perhaps the only thing that can be really criticised is the “me, me, me” part, but even then there is not much of it to be found in the book. Cancer is a selfish, indiscriminate disease that robs people of their confidence, enthusiasm and willpower. Often sufferers do think “Why me?” This is particularly prevalent when the author is detailling the pain she is suffering and describing how hard her life has become. There is empathy and sympathy for the author and their loved ones who have cancer or who are there providing support.

However, I cannot help but think that on a bad day I have mistaken this selfish attitude for the dry, dark, sarcastic wit I’ve grown up with.

 

That’s all until the next book review,

You can find out more about the author on her blog, now run by her family.

You can find her Twitter page (still being used by her family)  and her widow’s Twitter page, and her mates cancer charity Coppafeel.

Here is the TV programme based on the book starring Sheridan Smith and Paul Nicholls, just close the multitude of other windows that open after you keep pressing play. Also may be worth investing in a box of tissues as it is a serious wobbler (trust me, even Twitter had a meltdown).

You can buy the book via the author’s blog (just click on the link and scroll down) or you can go onto Amazon US or Amazon UK. You can buy the DVD from the BBC on Amazon US or Amazon UK if this is what you prefer.

You can find me as always on Twitter and on Goodreads.

DISCLAIMER: Just to let you know I don’t make any money at all from any of this. I’m just passionate about books and want to spread the word on value of reading.

 

 

LexC

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