CANCER COMMUNITY

Christine Clifford

CEO/President of The Cancer Club; author of 'Laugh 'Til It Heals: Notes from the World's Funniest Cancer Mailbox' and 'Cancer Has Its Privileges: Stories of Hope & Laughter'; www.cancerclub.com

Books - and theories - on cancer have not changed much since I was diagnosed in 1994. 'My Cancer Is Me' is a profound book; a game-changer in terms of looking and acting upon cancer in an innovative way. Vijay and Nilima Bhat are thought leaders in the field of oncology. Read this book, and you, too, can soar, following a diagnosis of cancer

Harmala Gupta

Founder-President, CanSupport; www.cansupport.org

This book may not be what the doctor ordered. It is, however, essential reading for anyone embarking on a journey of self discovery, which is what cancer is all about. It has the potential to make you bigger and better than you ever dreamt you could be.

Vandana Gupta

Founder & Trustee, V-CARE Foundation; www.vcarecancer.org

The word 'cancer' is dreaded by one and all, partly because of its association with pain and suffering and partly because of the (mistaken) notion that a cancer diagnosis equals certain death. What compounds the fear is that most people are ignorant about the causes, detection methods and treatments for cancer. 'My Cancer Is Me' will be extremely helpful to both patients and caregivers in dealing with the disease, because it provides a holistic perspective drawn from the authors' personal experiences, their interactions with the medical fraternity as well as their psychological and spiritual insights.

Shubha Maudgal

Executive Director, Cancer Patients Aid Association; www.cancer.org.in

Having interacted with cancer patients personally since 1986 and professionally since 1999, it is evident to me that there is more to the disease than the disease itself. I experienced the fear and trauma when my mother was being treated and I have witnessed a reflection of that fear in the face of every patient and family member I have counselled. In some ways, it is the stage at the end of treatment that becomes the hardest to bear. Until then, one is running on the mindless treadmill of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, struggling to comprehend what is happening to you. It is when the treatment ends that you have to face the uncertainty of the 'what now' questions.

I had the opportunity to interact with Vijay and Nilima when CPAA organised a week-long retreat for 19 cancer patients and their caregivers in idyllic surroundings at Deolali, near Mumbai. I went along for the ride and ended up a believer. Their blog 'Cancer Awakens' provides an insight into the philosophy this wonderful couple is attempting to spread. Having gone through the experience themselves makes it easier for them to convince those going through them now. Or does it? Imagine how difficult it must be to relive those traumatic events day after day. And yet they have made this sacrifice and committed their lives to helping others. Vijay once said, 'Cancer is my prasad'. May that prasad bless them and guide them on their chosen path.

LANCELOT (LANCY) PEREIRA S.J.

Author of 'The Enchanted Darkness' and co-author of 'Death: The Final Freedom'

'My Cancer Is Me' has succeeded in shaking me up. I have not encountered another book on cancer so loaded with powerful insights and so brutal in its authenticity. The authors have quite literally stripped their own lives of all pretense and shown us what it took to face bravely and nakedly the challenges which cancer brought to them as individuals, married partners and fond parents. Is it possible that without these struggles, Vijay and Nilima might never have discovered the bottomless depths of their own humanity? There is much to treasure and learn in this book, notably the provocative view that without something like cancer, I might never know me.

Kishore Rao

Founder & Managing Trustee, Bangalore Hospice Trust - Karunashraya; www.karunashraya.org

It is not often that one comes across such a positive view of what is widely, and wrongly, seen as a devastating disease. Vijay, one of the authors, had the cancer but it was addressed by both authors - a young husband and wife team living far away from their usual support mechanisms. The fact that they don't deny the possible ravages of the disease is in itself refreshing and the holistic manner in which they deal with it is encouraging not only to patients and their families, but also to those who are interested in health and related happiness.

Sandhya Sharad

Founder-Director, Samiksha Foundation - Caring for Children with Cancer; www.samikshafoundation.org

Perhaps the most striking feature of Vijay and Nilima's writing is their powerful use of language to influence our ways of thinking about cancer. For example, by replacing 'statistic' with 'anecdote'and 'survivor' with 'thriver', they have created a fresh approach that is encouraging and invigorating for anyone who is directly or indirectly affected by cancer