Update: during my trip to the Mayo Clinic as Visiting Professor in 2015, their “Healing Words” in-patient TV program invited me to an interview and reading about this subject. Post and video here.
An updated edition of the “Facing Death” chapter from my first book, with a new prolog
This book is for people who are staring death in the face and are wondering, “What on earth do I do now?”
Every day in America, 4,000 people learn they have cancer. Other patients get other mortal diagnoses, and still others learn their cases have worsened. They all come face to face, for the first time, with the question: “Am I going to die, now? Has my time come?”
In 2007 it was me: I learned I was almost dead with Stage IV cancer, and I stared into that abyss. The story of that diagnosis, drama, treatment and success is in my first book, Laugh, Sing and Eat Like a Pig. It includes a chapter on facing death. I’m self-publishing an updated version now, stand-alone at a minimal price, in the hope it will help others on their journey.
The title talks about hope, but this book does not say “Think lovely thoughts and you’ll live forever.” To the contrary, it says:
People who’ve faced imminent death share a certain awareness. If you’ve just joined those ranks, welcome. You should know, some of us live through it, and some don’t. You will be one or the other.
In the end we’re left with the question: What could be said that would make any difference?
There are no guarantees. It’s not scientific to expect extraordinary results; but neither is it scientific to deny hope. This booklet’s about being awake to life, for as long as we have it.
Release Date: September, 2011.
Table of Contents
- Prolog: Discovering the Cancer, Discovering the Odds
- Facing Death
- “Prepare Yourself to Follow Me.”
- Radical Acceptance
- “I don’t know. But we will try.”
- About hope
- Being scientific about the unknown
- Reality is what it is – whether we know it or not
- “We came to give you hope”
- “An incredible life force”
Size: 5×8,” 38 pages
Why print something that was already blogged?
I want everyone who wants this message to be able to have it, so the body of the book (the reprinted chapter) was published last year on KevinMD’s blog, where anyone in need can read it free.
But a lot of people like booklets, especially for a topic like death, where support groups meet, churches give handouts, etc. Plus, this edition includes a new prolog, which provides context. It makes this a standalone, self-sufficient book.
And in the process, I needed to add a (short!) recap of my story, for newcomers. And I saw several things I wanted to add.
About the Price ($5.00):
I’m self-publishing this using Amazon’s “CreateSpace” system, which is pretty amazing in its automation. (My career was in graphic arts technology, so I have some sense of what it means to do it well.)
The CreateSpace pricing system is pre-defined and not bad at all! I used every option I could to keep the price low without selling at a loss. And at 38 pages with color cover, it’s cheaper than copying it at Kinko’s.