>Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips by Kris Carr – BOOK REVIEW

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Amazon Summary:

An advice-from-the-trenches cancer survival guidebook for young women with cancer.

Actress and photographer Kris Carr thought she had a hangover, but a Jivamukti yoga class didn’t provide its usual kick-ass cure. A visit to her doctor confirmed her “liver looked like Swiss cheese,” covered with cancerous tumors. She entered trench warfare (wearing cowboy boots into the MRI machine, no less), vowing, “Cancer needed a makeover and I was just the gal to do it!” She began writing and filming her journey, documenting her interactions with friends, doctors, alternative “quacks,” blind dates, and other women with cancer–sadly a growing group. These include hip, young women such as illustrator-author Marisa Acocella Marchetto (Cancer Vixen), Glamour writer-editor Erin Zammett (My So-Called Normal Life), MTV personality Diem Brown (Real World/Road Rules Challenge), model Sharon Blynn (founder, Bald Is Beautiful), and music manager Jackie Farry, among others.


This was an impulse download for me. Sometime after my diagnoses I was surfing the free kindle books on Amazon and ran across this one. I thought why not. I’m sure I’ll be adding lots of books on cancer to my to be read pile.

There were many things I liked about this book. There were some things I didn’t.

First, I think there must of have been some glitch when transferring it from a print book to an e-book.  The formatting was off and that was sometimes distracting.  I mention this, because for some readers this can be a big distraction and keep a reader from finishing a book.

Second, some of the tips Carr offers are just not practical for many women.  Not all women diagnosed with cancer have the financial means to take a “cancervation”, shop at Whole Foods or attend the retreats around the country – and many women will not have the means to travel across the country searching for the right treatment plan. (Though I do think that it is important to get more than one opinion and to search for the right fit on medical care.)

Some of the reviews I’ve read of this book have criticized the book for making cancer seem more fun than it is. I thought the point Carr was making is that cancer is not fun, it’s devastating, but that doesn’t mean you have to let it define you. You have to choose how you’re going to fight it.   I think she’s encouraging you take as much control as you can. Yes, cancer is going to make you feel like something scraped off the bottom of cattle rancher’s boot, but part of fighting the cancer is fighting that feeling. Maybe Carr’s tips are not practical for everyone, but they are worth considering.

I liked the irreverent approach Carr took towards fighting her cancer. I don’t think she was making light of it at all.  Carr refuses to let cancer OWN her. She fights it with laughter and a fierceness I rather admire.  Even if your cancer is as “innocent” as mine, it’s often hard to find a reason to laugh. Carr’s book made me laugh. It made cry sometimes. It made me think. It made me appreciate the many good things I still have in my life.

For me, this book worked.  However, you must realize that this is the story of a cancer survivor (Carr’s cancer will never be cured. The best she can hope for is that it will stay dormant.) It’s not a medical how to book or a clinical study.  The Susan G. Komen for the Cure encourages cancer patients to share their stories.  What works for Carr might not work for you, but it might work for the next person who reads her story. Or just maybe there is one thing in Carr’s book that will be helpful for you. It’s worth giving her book a try. If you find her approach too irreverent or just not what you are looking for you don’t have to finish the book.

I needed to hear the story of someone who is doing her best to kick cancer’s butt and not let it be the other way around.  Even though there is no cure for Carr’s cancer, Carr seems to be winning the overall battle. (And yes, once I finished the book I googled her to see if she was still alive. You can find out more about her by visiting her website.)

It’s not a medical resource – it’s an account of what worked for one woman and her group of friends. If you read this book, take what you find useful and disregard the rest.

A side note:  Carr also made a documentary for the Learning Channel. The documentary was supposed to be based on the book. I checked the DVD out from the library, but found for some reason that Carr’s vibrance that bursts forth in the book, somehow didn’t make the transfer to film.  The documentary was rather disjointed. I think you will get more from reading the book than watching the film.

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