Reviewed By: Alysa Cummings
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: September 9, 2007
Dog days of summer indeed. Ninety-seven degrees in the shade. It's too hot to do anything but curl up in the air conditioning with a cool book and lucky me - the mailman has just delivered the very thing ... Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips by Kris Carr, forward by Sheryl Crow.
Maybe you've been hearing promos about the film documentary of (almost) the same name (Crazy Sexy Cancer) whose television debut is scheduled for Wednesday, August 29 th at 9 pm on the TLC channel.
If so, then you already know a little bit of Kris Carr's story: a 31 year old actress diagnosed with an extremely rare cancer (epithelioid hemangio-endothelioma, EHE for short) following an ultrasound that shows her liver covered with tumors ("my liver looked like Swiss cheese"). An MRI reveals tumors in her lungs as well.
Her doctor tells her there's no cure for EHE. What's worse, there's no definitive treatment protocol either. The oncologist does offer her some sage advice though: "If you want to, focus on building your immune system through diet and lifestyle."
Kris accepts that challenge as a stage IV cancer patient and takes off on a healing journey seeking out second opinions, researching alternative complimentary medicine and connecting with a Cancer Posse of fellow young female cancer survivors. In the book she shares her story and theirs and along the way gives readers the gift of 77 excellent tips for successfully navigating through CancerLand. Crazy sexy cancer tips ends up being a cancer support group between two covers, of the best kind imaginable. Incredibly personal and most satisfying!
Body image...insurance coverage...retail shopping therapy...supporting your caregivers...radically changing your diet: yes, these are standard topics that appear in many of the "get-through-cancer" books that line the shelves at Borders. But Kris Carr's voice is entertaining, informative, authentic (a little bit SARK with a dash of Jami Bernard thrown in for good measure,) and ultimately very memorable. The book's special layout, filled with beautiful photographs and quotations, adds even more to the experience.
I challenge any and all cancer survivors to read chapter five ("go ahead-use the Cancer Card") and not see themselves reflected there. What survivor has not tried to get out of a traffic ticket ("I told him that I had just finished a chemotherapy treatment...he gave me back my license and paperwork and told me...to have a nice day.") or to get some other sort of preferential treatment because we are Cancer Club members?
Like that old saying goes, "I've read the book and now I just have to see the movie." Whether you are a survivor still in treatment or someone years along in recovery or even a caregiver trying to support a loved one, Crazy Sexy Cancer is for you. Congratulations to Kris Carr for her excellent contribution to the literature on survivorship. Her unique point of view will leave you empowered and uplifted.
Visit Kriss Carr's website: www.crazysexycancer.com