Monday, 30 October 2017

Update and new book

I'm very happy to announce that my book is finally published and available now on Amazon.

After months of hard work, tears, paranoia, frustration, sleepless nights and agonising over small details such as, should the book have light yellow or school bus yellow cover, I’m happy to announce that my book is finally published! I’m also excited to announce that I’m not planning on writing one more for a long time.

In all seriousness, it’s been a really fun side project and I highly encourage you to publish at least one book in your life. First, there is nothing like longform writing to clarify thoughts in your head. Second, I felt very content holding the first paperback copies in my hands and knowing that my family, friends and future children will be able to read my story one day (or use the book as a doorstop).

As I shared in a few posts before (here and here) the book is a story of an experience I had with cancer. I was 18 years old when I was diagnosed with a stage II Hodgkin lymphoma, and for a year I spent days and nights in hospitals, underwent chemotherapy and endured pain like never before.

Cancer of any kind (or any stage) cannot be taken lightly. The physical side effects are visible, often all too clearly, but cancer is much more than that. It acts on a deeper level, touching your mind, emotions and spirit. Yet it is not part of our culture to share this openly.

Eighteen and Cancer is my story of that difficult year. Through the chapters of this short book I share my experience of:
  • Understanding what fear is and how it affects my life
  • Learning that I am my own worst enemy
  • Discovering mindfulness practices
  • Losing almost everything because I got in my own way
  • Surrendering: accepting and learning to live with cancer
  • Questioning modern medical practices
  • The joy of hearing those magical words: “It is over”
  • Dealing with the void after the disease (yes, there was one)

This is it in a nutshell. This is not a three-step guide to dealing with the disease. I never had one. Rather it is a practical book for dealing with adversity. The timeline took much longer than I initially expected but it’s for the better (my editor would agree).

Perhaps the best part about the book is the philanthropic organisation I was fortunate enough to partner with. There is a wonderful foundation in Hungary, where I was born, called Bátor Tábor (“Camp Courage”) and they have an inspiring mission:

“Bátor Tábor returns cancer-afflicted and chronically ill children to their carefree childhoods. Our camp is not a summer camp in the classical meaning of the term. We place children outside of their comfort zones through special experiences. By overcoming their fears, they can recognise that they are ready to confront not only the challenges involved in their adventures, but also their illness. We put smiles on their faces; we give them power for their struggle. We change lives.”

10% of the net proceeds from the book sales will go to support their amazing mission. Take a few minutes to watch this video to get an insight into their great work. 

Thank you for reading so far and your support. I hope the book will serve you well on your journey.

P.s. I also started a new website to go along with the book and updated my Twitter feed as well.