Even before Three Weeks Less a Day is published, people are asking why I created a fictional main character with breast cancer. Good question.
The answer? To increase awareness about breast cancer and shine a light on a reality that men, too, can be afflicted with this insidious disease.
Three Weeks Less a Day tells a good story people will enjoy reading, and my novel certainly doesn't dwell on the subject of cancer. Rather, discovery of breast cancer is a trigger for some decisions John George Mortimer makes and hovers in the background as the story unfolds. I use this device because I think a novel should entertain, but also deal with real issues.
Two people inspired me to create a character with breast cancer. During a routine medical exam in her thirties, our daughter learned she had breast cancer. Tracy is a survivor because of outstanding medical treatment and her overwhelming determination to overcome the disease and get on with her life. She stoically battled the pain of surgery and withstood the nasty effects of chemotherapy and radiation with quiet grace and stalwart good humour. Perhaps most important, she survived because she was otherwise very fit and cancer was detected early.
About the same time, I learned that Murray, a former colleague and friend, was fighting his own battle. Previously, I had never known someone with male breast cancer. In fact, it had never occurred to me that men should even be concerned! Murray, too, confronted cancer with positive determination and credits early detection as a key factor in his survival.
Both incidents motivated me to create a major character with breast cancer. Hopefully, after you enjoy reading Three Weeks Less a Day, you’ll also think about checking your body for any signs of breast cancer. Further, medical science has learned that many cases may be preventable with a healthy lifestyle and exercise. If Three Weeks Less a Day can play any role in making you more aware of cancer, while you enjoy a few hours of good reading, my mission will be accomplished.
Looking forward to reading your book, especially after your explanation for cancer subject. Cancer awareness should be spread in any form, thank you, Gary
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