Ah, that sounds like a tough subject doesn’t it? Cancer is scary. It’s best to stare it right in the face and attack head on. This Sunday marks 18 years since I, myself, was diagnosed with Leukemia. I was eight years old when I found out I had cancer. Thanks to the doctors, nurses, my family and medicine, I quickly became known as a ‘survivor’.
I thought this week I would make a post about my favorite ‘cancer books’ or ‘cancer movies’. Let me know if you’ve read any of these books or if you have any ‘cancer book’ recommendations!
1.) A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
Though I’ve never read the book, I loved the movie when it first came out. I know book to movie adaptations don’t always stay true to the original, so I’ll just be explaining the movies plot. From what I’ve read, the book and the movie are two completely different plots, so I’m going to only recommend watching the movie. Literally, you will be in tears! Mandy Moore gives a fantastic performance in this story.
Landon is the popular, bad boy and Jamie is the preacher’s daughter who always has a Bible with her. Landon has to befriend her when he gets into trouble at school and soon learns about Jamie’s illness, but it’s too late because he’s already fallen in love with her.
2.) Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts
When I was little I believed in Jesus and Santa, spontaneous combustion, and the Loch Ness monster. Now I believe in science, statistics, and antibiotics.
So says seventeen-year-old Zac Meier during a long, grueling leukemia treatment in Perth, Australia. A loud blast of Lady Gaga alerts him to the presence of Mia, the angry, not-at-all-stoic cancer patient in the room next door. Once released, the two near-strangers can’t forget each other, even as they desperately try to resume normal lives. The story of their mysterious connection drives this unflinchingly tough, tender novel told in two voices.
If you’re going to read any ‘cancer book’, read this one. I thought it was way better and truer to the disease that TFiOS.
3.) 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.
A provocative novel that raises some important ethical issues,My Sister’s Keeper is the story of one family’s struggle for survival at all human costs and a stunning parable for all time.
Another book that I didn’t read but actually loved the movie. The plot twist at the end threw me for a loop but I totally sided with Kate’s choice. How long can you push a child to fight cancer before it’s time to let them give up?
4.) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”
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.
I actually read the book and watched the movie for this one. I recommend reading the book and passing on the movie for this one. My only issue is I felt like this book romanticizes cancer too much, I didn’t feel like any of the characters were really sick.
When you have cancer, you’re low on energy, you’re sick all the time to the point you can’t even get out of bed, your hair is (usually) gone, and love is the last thing on your mind (or so it was for me, but I was 8.)