You and Me and Cancer Makes Three is a poetical journey about survival from cancer. An uplifting and enduring tale of his journey with Cancer. John held his hands around his own mortality, yet leaves the clinic whole, with much more than he ever expected: he discovers the true meaning of friendship, redemption and hope as told in his poetry. Discovering he had skin cancer, John Irvine had routine surgery in 2009. However, a few cells had gone feral and radical treatment became necessary. On the advice of his oncologist, he checked in at the Lions Cancer Lodge at Waikato Hospital in New Zealand for five weeks. In this unique poetic memoir, John Irvine tells his story with wit, honesty and emotion. The friends he makes at Waikato will become your friends; you’ll share frustration and laughter and bittersweet tears. You and Me and Cancer Makes Three by Pohutukawa Publishing Limited brings well known New Zealand poet and author to the spotlight with needed attention to cancer survivors.
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Cancer. Two little syllables that conjure up dire images and emotions. Anyone who have ever had anything to do with it will know what an ugly, vicious, all-too-often fatal affliction it can be. The temptation with such daunting subject matter might be to dwell on the horror, the grief, the fear and the pain. Alternatively, one might be tempted to tell stories of miracle cures, those one-in-a-million recoveries that are meant to be uplifting but are ultimately mocking in their rarity.
Author John Irvine is having none of that. “This is no sob story,” he says, right from the get-go. This is a tale told with simple eloquence, of life. Love. Laughter. And that peculiar Kiwi stoicism that rejects self-pity in favour of friendship and connection. Irvine complements his accessible verse with photos taken during his time in treatment, contrasting the sterile, high-tech environment of hospital treatment rooms with portraits of his fellow “inmates”, the latter radiating humour, resilience, and lives well lived.
Amazon purchase link: http://www.amazon.com/You-Me-Cancer-Makes-Three/dp/0994115180/
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Although born in NZ, just five months after Hitler liberated Luxembourg in May 1940, John Irvine lived in Australia for 28 years, three months, fourteen days and approximately fifty-seven minutes, drifting about like a hungry Cryptococcus spore on an unreliable breeze. He is now Poet Laureate for Life in the tiny village of Colville, on the northern Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand. There, on each waning moon, he lets his dark side out to play with the sheep.
He has had several collections of poetry published by non-discerning editors, including himself, and in spite of past financial losses, and against all sensible advice, he did it again in 2011 with a collection of dubious stuff euphemistically called ‘speculative.’ What might save the thing are the utterly splendid illustrations supplied at no cost by empathic and desperate, internationally acclaimed artists suffering similar ongoing delusions…