Cancer on $5 a Day (Chemo Not Included)

If you enjoy a good laugh, and are not easily offended, then this is a book you simply must read. In Cancer on $5 a Day (Chemo Not Included), Robert Schimmel describes his true-life adventures battling cancer. Schimmel was a comedian whose fortunes were in the fast lane – HBO specials, bestselling CDs, and sold-out club appearances – when, in 2000, he learned to his horror that he had Stage III Hodgkin's Lymphoma, hardly a fit subject for a stand-up monologue. Unless you choose to make it so funny it doesn't hurt so much, which is what Schimmel has done.
He tries to keep the dread news light by indulging in some grim repartee with his docs and putting a smile on the faces of the fellow patients he encounters.

It isn't always easy. At one group session he hears from some other cancer sufferers:

"One guy, testicular, tells us that he was diagnosed five years ago and now he's skiing and snowboarding and skydiving. I choke up when he speaks. I vow that that's going to be me. Minus the skiing and snowboarding and skydiving."

His description of having one of his testicles removed and replaced with a prosthetic sphere is laugh out loud funny, but for mature audiences only. The twice-divorced dad who lost his 11 year old son to cancer, manages to be heroic without the sappy sentimentality we’re used to in such survivor stories.

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