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Book Club: Everything Changes, Chapter 5

Welcome to the comments and discussion of Chapter 5: Malignant and Indignant of the book, Everything Changes: The Insider’s Guide to Cancer in Your 20s and 30s!  Catch up on Chapter 1: RamenonmicsChapter 2: When G-d Things Happen to Sick People, Chapter 3: Single, and Chapter 4: Human Spectacles.

Let’s get started!  Chapter 5!


I really appreciate those who are open and honest about what cancer really looks like. With my experiences, it is rarely a thumbs up and smile for a photo. It’s raw, painful, terrible, hard, and expensive. I have to admit…while I’m involved in Relay for Life and work with the American Cancer Society, their images (usually with the word SURVIVOR in bold) are a pretty upbeat representation of a cancer patient. When I think of cancer, I think of images like these.

To be completely honest, this chapter was a difficult read for me. I found myself feeling angry with Geoff for his lack of care and respect for his own body when first diagnosed and through most of his first year.

“So what do I do now? I felt like I had post-traumatic stress disorder or something.”

I hear this a lot. I’ve even been told that post-cancer world is even more difficult than fighting it. Having a set schedule (chemo, tests, doctor, chemo, tests…) was comforting (in a weird way) because you knew what to expect, what’s next. A clean bill of health is everything you want and spend time fighting for. But as soon as you get it, you don’t just go back to “normal”. How could you? How do you adjust? This is a topic that we need more research on and we should talk about more openly. I believe that insurance should cover therapy during your fight and after your clean bill of health, if you are that lucky.

Thanks for joining us for our Chapter 5: Malignant and Indignant of Everything Changes: The Insider’s Guide to Cancer in Your 20s and 30s!  Join in next Monday for Chapter 6: Something in the Air.

If you’re just joining us, here are some logistics:

We will talk about a chapter each Monday until the book is done.  Then, we’ll use one more Monday to talk about general feelings from the book and anything else you’d like to discuss.  We’ll also have a great “meet the author” post coming up!  Join in, in the comments every week!  Also, there will probably be spoilers.  Read along with us!

How are you enjoying our young adult cancer book club?