4.9 [33 reviews and ratings]

Running from Cancer

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You can run, but you can’t hide. Like everything else in my life, I found this out the hard way. When it comes to cancer there are no rules and nothing is fair. It’s a nasty ordeal. The therapy used to battle the disease can be just as nasty. I can attest to the saying “they have to just about kill you before they cure you” as being quite accurate.

Enduring the process is much easier when you know what lies ahead. Half of my anxiety and nervousness was due to lack of knowledge. I knew nothing about cancer. Until I got the disease, life was busy with no health-oriented focus or goals. Then I lost half a breast and gained a few scars. The positive news is I now weigh less, have thicker post-chemo hair and, best of all, I developed a killer attitude on how to stop running from cancer. Now I stand firm and fight back.

I fell into the cancer sea as a “surface girl,” mere flotsam on the water refusing to get in too deep … until the diagnosis of breast cancer threatened to sink me. I came out a virtual cancer lifeguard, eager to aid others to stay afloat.

Like pregnancy texts that never admit childbirth is painful, the cancer texts never say with clarity what breast surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are really like in terms of what you feel, before, during and after. It’s not a picnic but it is certainly do-able. Knowing more about the experience from a survivor’s side can help you or someone you love take steps to prevent cancer or to deal effectively with the disease once it’s diagnosed. That’s why I wrote this book.

sample from Running From Cancer


Cyril Barkved - May 30, 2014

Awe Inspiring

Hi Debilyn, my name is Cyril Barkved. I picked up your book at the Vernon public library yesterday and I finished it today. The reason I was the first to pick up this book at our library was I have 5 daughters and I did the eulogy for my good friend Steve who died from cancer last month. I think your book is humorous, witty, awe inspiring, practical, tear jerking and hopeful. I wanted to thank you for your tremendous work, and to let you know that I deeply appreciated your book. As I am a Luddite, my wonderful wife Kara did all the work to get this email to you. Yours sincerely, Cyril. PS....hi Debilyn , I haven't read your book yet, and I must confess, I am a little scared to, only because breast cancer after menopause seems to be rampant in my family background. Sister, cousins, aunts, etc. every year that I go for a mammogram, and the extra diagnostics when called for, I hold my breath and have anxiety attacks, until they conclude that they can't find anything. I feel like a time bomb. I will read your book, both to honour you, and to give myself, both hope and a reality check. Thank you for sharing so deeply, my husband was really touched by your story, as I am sure I will be as well. Kara

Esther Larsen - May 4, 2014

Running From Cancer

Thanks for writing this book. You made me laugh, you made me cry, you educated me and most of all you motivated me. It's hard to believe the vibrant energetic woman we see at the pool is the same person who wrote about fighting for her life. You inspire me! Thank you for signing Dawn's book, I know she will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Kristine Kelham (Veillette) - March 1, 2014

Excellent Read

This book was a very beautiful read. I both laughed and cried, but overall finished with a sense of empowerment. This is a great book for those in healthcare to read. I appreciated the honesty of thoughts from front to back, and the bravery to break down stigma surrounding mental health at the end of the book.

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