Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Baxlala’s #CBR4 Review #27: Now It’s Funny: How I Survived Cancer, Divorce and Other Looming Disasters by Michael Solomon

I was one of five to receive this book as a review copy through Cannonball Read and I’m so behind on my reviews that, two months later, I’m finally writing about it. That…is embarrassing. Oops.

This book pretty much validated all of my fears about going to the doctor. I hate going to the doctor. I mean, no one really LIKES it, do they? But I get super freaked out, my blood pressure spikes, and I spend my entire waiting room stay worrying about all of the things that might possibly be wrong with me. WebMD doesn’t help.

Michael Solomon wrote this memoir as he was battling cancer and going through a divorce, all while living in NYC during 9/11, because just one of those things isn’t stressful enough. The Universe is a total dick sometimes. Solomon went to the doctor one day for something routine and came away from that experience with cancer. Now, I know, I KNOW, that going to the doctor didn’t GIVE him cancer, but before he went, he had no idea he had it, no health problems whatsoever, so you can’t entirely convince me that going to the doctor DOESN’T give you cancer, OK? Such is the logic of my brain. And maybe your brain, too. Brain twins!

Anyway. Solomon delivers the details of this experience, gory and otherwise, with irreverent humor and he doesn’t shy away from talking about what most people would consider embarrassing moments. My guess is (and I really can only guess here), once you’ve had and beaten cancer, you are left with a general “who fucking cares?” attitude about such things. Because, you know what? YOU BEAT CANCER. FUCK WHAT ANYONE ELSE THINKS. You have earned the right to talk about almost pooping yourself on the sidewalk of NYC (true story) all you want.

Solomon states in the beginning that he wrote this book as the story was happening, which shows. There’s not a whole lot of the soul searching that seems like might come at the end of such a battle (though, I can’t speak from experience, obviously) and I believe that comes from the author not having quite removed himself from the experience quite yet. And who could blame him? That kind of thing could take decades to sort through. Having read this, however, I’m glad Solomon didn’t take decades to write it. I felt almost as if I were reading someone’s private journal, which I suppose I was, and I can’t say that was a bad thing. Especially since I was given permission.

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