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When Cancer Came Knocking cover

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    • 978-1-5255-4341-8
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  • Keywords
    • cancer,
    • health care,
    • family and friends,
    • death and bereavement,
    • brothers,
    • chemotherapy,
    • lymphoma

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When Cancer Came Knocking
How One Family Answered
by Reverend Stephen Garrett

One in three people in North America will be directly affected by cancer in their lives, but how we deal with the emotional and spiritual impacts of the disease is rarely discussed. It’s time that changed. Cancer hit the Garrett family as an unwelcome guest and shattered the life of the author’s brother, Peter. In this raw and moving account of his brother’s illness, Stephen Garrett looks at the emotional impact of the disease, and how its effects rippled far beyond the hospital walls. Each chapter reflects on part of Peter’s six-year walk through the diagnosis and treatment of the disease, and includes reflections from loved ones as they navigated the changing family dynamic. It is an intimate and raw look at what happens during the struggle with cancer and ultimately the death of a treasured family member. This remarkable journey is part tribute to the author’s brother and part reminder that the process of grieving is natural and personal. It seeks to reframe the concepts of grief and loss to help show death as a source of inspiration that can help us live a better, fuller, and more complete life. Peter’s story is filled with humor, authenticity, love, and compassion, and stands as a firm reminder to value those around us while we can.

I walked into Peter’s room in the Vancouver General Hospital and saw him lying painfully in his bed. He was hidden by the paraphernalia of his chemo treatment machines. He looked like shit. The room felt heavy and in need of a bit of my irreverent humor. I happily complied. “Chemosabe how are you doin’ today?” I asked cheerfully. “Not so good Taunto1” was Peter’s immediate response.

Reverend Stephen Garrett is a life coach, public speaker, ordained minister, and author with a background in finance and social work. He has spent over thirty years helping others face some of life’s most difficult challenges. He is the author of several books, including Men Read This: A Spiritual Guide for the Regular Guy (2004), Monks without a Church: Life Beyond Religion (2009), and When Death Speaks: Listen, Learn and Love (2013). Reverend Garrett lives with his wife, in-laws, and two cats in Maple Ridge, British Columbia.


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