Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

A CancerKid Grown

I wanted to share a book that I recently read. As you can tell from the cover, it is not just about surviving cancer, but long term. Especially if you notice, that there is a title after her name, combined with the title of the book, you can tell that author Heather Flint Ford, O.D. has survived cancer a real long time.

Dr. Ford is the youngest diagnosed survivor I know, at the age of infancy, and has a survivorship longevity well into her fifth decade. Our cancers were different, however, our modes of treatment were similar, which is how our paths crossed.

For some of my older survivors, the cover of the book catches the immediate attention. What I assume to be a snapshot of her health record, the image states “technic: Cobalt 60.” Cobalt was the type of radiation used back prior to the 1980’s. Those of us treated from the 1980’s through the rest of the century, know how harsh our radiation was. Cobalt was even worse. The cover also states the dose and duration, 4000 rads over six weeks. This was very similar to my exposure.

Dr. Ford goes through in very clear lay person detail, her journey through cancer and survivorship. She recites what she was told as an infant, recalls what she did as a teenager, and then reflects on her adulthood.

She then transitions to the stage that myself, and many others currently experience, dealing with the many late developing side effects from our treatment exposures. Not only the late effects, but also the fact just how hard it is to find a doctor who knows what we are experiencing and how to treat us. And finally, she tells of the torment that gets buried so deeply inside of us, the pain, physical and emotional, because we mistakenly believe, it is part of the process.

“CancerKid Grown” is a great book, from a “you don’t have to be a cancer patient to understand” reader level. I enjoyed many of the references she made growing up, as I am from the same area as she was, so reminiscing was fun. And as people read her book, I get the satisfaction that at least more will definitely learn about the medical plights of the cancer survivor. As time goes on, there are only going to be more of us.

“CancerKid Grown” by Heather Flint Ford, O.D. can be found on Amazon.

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