Open Library logo
New Feature: You can now embed Open Library books on your website!   Learn More
Last edited by Ann Tracy Marr
March 20, 2017 | History

Dear Cancer 1 editions

Dear Cancer
Ann Tracy Marr
About the Book

Dear Cancer, a diary, follows my experience of being diagnosed and treated for triple negative breast cancer.

I started the diary for myself. I am a published author and comfortable at the keyboard. The beginning is a letter I wrote spontaneously, ‘Dear Cancer,’ when my mammogram and ultrasound showed problems. Early on, the focus was on how I handled things psychologically. How did I feel? How did I deal with telling my family and work with doctors? It was self-therapy.

I felt a compulsion to learn everything I could about breast cancer and the treatment of it. When the doctor mentioned MRI’s, I wanted to understand what an MRI was and what it would do for me. What happens, step by step, when you have a CAT scan? I described my experience. That compulsion remained with me throughout treatment. Sometimes it was the only link with the real world I was interested in maintaining.

I questioned doctors and nurses and wrote up what I had been told. It wasn’t enough. I turned to the Internet to find out more – to dig out details. Information was scattered and I fought to find the most accurate, up-to-date sites. Some information was buried, as if the medical community didn’t want the layman to hear of it. I spent hours researching the latest points, large and small.

I used the Internet to decipher medical tests and my results and wrote the information into my diary. There are sure to be things I missed discussing, but the diary kept track of where I was in the treatment process and kept me informed. I used my own work as a resource while I went through treatment.

Frankly, I was scared to death. I wrote the diary to keep my head above water and to make sense of what was coming.

I was offered one clinical trial and then was told I was not eligible for it. Then I was offered a second, and thanks to Internet research, refused it. Both are described fully in the diary.

Under the duress of treatment, feelings were buried. Life boiled down to basics. Side effects became the most important aspect of life while I suffered from them. I’d ask doctors and nurses what to do about them. Then I would go on the Internet to find more information. I tried to locate solid medical advice and included it all in the diary. I used my writing to remind myself of details my treatment. So yes, I used this book as another reader might.

When I got to better feeling days, I researched side effects that I did not suffer. At last, I decided to write up information on all the side effects I could find.

I do not pretend to know everything there is to know about breast cancer treatment and I’ll never try to be a medical authority. I frequently say to check with your doctor. I did make an effort to use information from the American Cancer Society, WebMD and other medically approved sites like I went into chat rooms to learn about other people’s experience, not for solid advice. What I did not do was keep a list of the sites I referenced. I mention various Internet addresses in the diary, but I didn’t feel good enough to maintain a list and frankly, didn’t care. At that time, I didn’t expect to publish the book.

To the reader, the value of Dear Cancer might be to know you are not alone. Get a sense of how I felt, know what happened to me and how I dealt with it. Get blow by blow accounts of medical procedures. Have the results of my research gathered in one place rather than spend hours trying to collect it yourself. My diary might scare you, but it might also be a comfort. It all happened to me and I survived. You can survive also.

Links (outside Open Library)

1 edition First published in 2016

Edition Read Locate Buy
Cover of: Dear Cancer
2016, Ann Tracy Marr
Dear Cancer


Download catalog record: RDF / JSON
March 20, 2017 Edited by Ann Tracy Marr new book info
March 20, 2017 Created by Ann Tracy Marr Added new book.