by Susan J. Gonzalez and Florence Strang
A bilateral mastectomy for stage III breast cancer, chemotherapy and subsequent hysterectomy gave Susan Gonzalez a lot of "down time.” Turning to the computer, she went looking for answers as to why this healthy 40 year old registered nurse had a two and a half inch tumor growing in her breast. "What I found when I went looking for answers was more questions." said Susan. "So I decided to make some sense out of the reliable information I found and share it with others through my blog "The Savvy Sister…small changes for healthy living.” It was in the blogosphere that Susan met fellow breast cancer survivor and blogger, Florence Strang.
Six months after being diagnosed with stage III breast cancer, Florence found herself faced with a life altering choice. With just over a 50% prognosis of survival, she realized that she had a difficult journey ahead. She could choose to face this journey by focusing on the harsh, ugly realities of cancer, or she could choose to confront it with a positive attitude. As a psychologist, she was acutely aware of the mind-body connection and the health promoting benefits of a positive attitude. Although under attack from a difficult chemotherapy treatment, Florence convinced herself that cancer was not that bad. In fact, it even had its perks. She then issued herself a challenge to find 100 perks of having cancer, and to honor this commitment, she decided to blog her efforts (www.perksofcancer.com). "I started this blog as a way to keep my spirits up during my treatments for cancer, "says Strang", "I had no idea that thousands of other people would find hope and inspiration in my words."
While Florence found herself tuning in to Susan’s blog for healthy living tips on exercise, nutrition, medication and supplements, Susan would visit Florence’s blog for its humour and inspiration. As Florence neared the end of her perks challenge, she invited Susan to join her in writing a book which would combine the information from both their blogs into a book that would address the needs of body, mind and spirit. Together they share a vision of promoting the message that cancer does not have to be viewed as a death sentence. Whatever the diagnosis or prognosis, it is possible to live a happy and healthy lifestyle following a cancer diagnosis.
It is not every day that you hear the words “healthy”, “happy” and “cancer” mentioned in the same sentence, but that is precisely what gives 100 Perks of Having Cancer Plus 100 Health Tips for Surviving It (Basic Health Publications) its unique character. Its authors not only “talk the talk” of living a healthy lifestyle with a positive attitude on the cancer journey, they also continue to “walk the walk”.
Florence’s perks, which are a combination of inspirational and humorous anecdotes, have made her audiences laugh and cry. Susan’s tips are sought after because of their educational content with a witty twist. Together they provide a valuable resource which will inspire and motivate their readers, while keeping them smiling.
100 Perks of Having Cancer Plus 100 Health Tips for Surviving is scheduled for release in August, 2013. Susan and Florence plan to officially launch their book at the Women's Survivors Convention in Nashville in August. After that it will be available at bookstores everywhere and online. Plans are also in the works for an online version of the book with daily tips on meditation, and menu plans to help get you started. You can find out more at www.100PerksOfCancer.com.