So, I went downstairs to have a cup of tea to start my day. My mom was in the living room watching tv when she said ‘Do you know it’s world cancer day?’ I said “Oh is it?” Then went ahead to google it because she stays listening to the radio and sometimes “they be talking shit.” Haha! It is indeed World Cancer Day which means more awareness which is great! I immediately thought of sharing 10 books about cancer and that is the backstory of how this post came about. I made sure to include some non-fiction.
LOSS, GRIEF, CANCER.
Please grab your box of tissue before you start any of these books because you will likely cry.
My sister’s keeper by Jodi Picoult
‘Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate—a life and a role that she has never challenged… until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister—and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.’
Before i go by Colleen Oakley
‘On the eve of what was supposed to be a triumphant “Cancerversary” with her husband Jack to celebrate three years of being cancer-free, Daisy suffers a devastating blow: her doctor tells her that the cancer is back, but this time it’s an aggressive stage four diagnosis. She may have as few as four months left to live. Death is a frightening prospect—but not because she’s afraid for herself. She’s terrified of what will happen to her brilliant but otherwise charmingly helpless husband when she’s no longer there to take care of him. It’s this fear that keeps her up at night, until she stumbles on the solution: she has to find him another wife.’
Before I die by Jenny Downham
‘Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is Sex. Released from the constraints of ‘normal’ life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallised in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time finally runs out.’
The fault in our stars by John Green
‘Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.’
All of us are warriors: Cancer stories of survival and loss by Rebecca Whitehead Munn
‘In All of Us Warriors, Rebecca Whitehead Munn paints a realistic picture of the impact cancer has on an individual’s life, and she attempts to demystify the experience by sharing heartfelt stories from twenty survivors and the loved ones of those that passed. They are mothers and fathers with seven types of cancers and all stages of the disease, as well as advice regarding how to approach someone you love living with cancer and tips and tricks for helping others feel joy in the midst of pain.’
When breath becomes air by Paul Kalanithi
‘At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.’
A summer to die by Lois Lowry
‘Thirteen-year-old Meg envies her sister’s beauty and popularity. Her feelings don’t make it any easier for her to cope with Molly’s strange illness and eventual death’
Counting thyme by Melanie Conklin
‘When eleven-year-old Thyme Owens’ little brother, Val, is accepted into a new cancer drug trial, it’s just the second chance that he needs. But it also means the Owens family has to move to New York, thousands of miles away from Thyme’s best friend and everything she knows and loves. The island of Manhattan doesn’t exactly inspire new beginnings, but Thyme tries to embrace the change for what it is: temporary.’
The last wish of Sasha Cade by Cheyanne Young
‘ The day Raquel has been dreading for months has finally arrived. Sasha, her best friend in the whole world — the best friend in the whole world — has died of cancer. Raquel can’t imagine life without her. She’s overwhelmed and brokenhearted.
And then a letter from Sasha arrives. Has she somehow found a way to communicate from the afterlife?’
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
‘When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs. So she convinces her best friend, Harvey, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge as it is about hope.
But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission, and now she must face the consequences of all she’s said and done.’
I know this is a book blog but I also think it is vital to talk about important issues relating to our health and general wellbeing. Like I always tell my friends, ‘Na person wey dey alive dey blog’ which basically means ‘You cannot be a book blogger if you’re dead’. Here is a great website about World Cancer day. Take some time to visit it, read, educate yourself, and support a cause.
Sending out massive love to survivors and fighters. <3
If you like book lists, you should check out some here.