Hellen Huini's Reviews > Running the Marathon with Cancer: A Story About Life, Love, Running, Friendships, Personal Growth, Self Discovery & Surviving Colorectal Cancer

Running the Marathon with Cancer by Doug Limbrick
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it was amazing

When should we go for cancer screening? What should we use as our red lights? Should completely healthy people that have never had any underlying conditions for over two decades get tested as well? Where exactly do we draw the boundaries? Running the Marathon with Cancer by Doug Limbrick is a memoir that describes the author's journey to recovery after being diagnosed with colorectal cancer. It is a story of endurance, pain, emotional breakdowns, and happiness in equal measure.

Doug formed a habit of running every single day. His healthy frame set him apart from many of his friends and colleagues alike, who often saw him as an ideal role model for physical fitness. He did not smoke, indulge in heavy alcohol consumption or any engage in any other toxic habit, which would have otherwise triggered the growth of cancer cells in his colon, let alone any other part of his body. Moreover, he had not asked for sick leave in the last twenty years and he could certainly bet on all odds that he was free from any infections. His regular check-ups had not indicated any presence of cancerous tissue in his body until he decided to go for a colonoscopy, where everything that he had worked so had to build almost shattered into minute pieces. He had stage three colorectal cancer.

The narration is from the first-person point of view, which has also been furthered through the constant use of flashbacks. I found this writing style very relatable, as it gave me a first-hand experience of what the author went through. This method also endears the emotional and psychological states of the reader to the author; in my empathy, I had instances where I shed tears in sympathy for the vulnerable situation that he had been instantly rendered in. I found it so painful when after running a Marathon a week earlier, Doug was at the mercy of medical drugs and insertions. It was even devastating that he could not share the outcome of his screening with his fellow athletes for fear of destroying their morale.

Doug is generous enough to include pictures and illustrations in this book. The pictures include copies of his colonoscopy results, happy moments with his family, and others revolved around his marathon. These additions not only complimented the author's story but also reduced the monotony of narration. They helped me to form clear mental notes of the author's situation at every stage of his life as a cancer survivor.

It is also important to note the priceless insight that this book accords a reader. After his diagnosis, Doug's friends stood with him all through the journey. They sent him cards, visited and prayed for him, and even took turns preparing meals for him. This went a long way into teaching the importance of investing in social relationships. Doug is positive that the love and support he received gave his recovery a major boost. His creative inclusion of wise quotes from notable individuals in society made the book more original. Occasionally, the author also wrote lines of songs that added variety to the narration and gave the book additional syntheticity.

There is absolutely nothing that I liked least about this book. I only found four typos and can certainly state that it is professionally edited. Out of five, this incredible book merits a perfect rating for its original, simple and amazing presentation. I recommend it to cancer patients as bibliotherapy. Other readers of inspirational books will also find this book a great source of encouragement. Through reading about Doug's hope, perseverance and optimism, and eventual resolve to become a marathoner again, readers will be encouraged to always fight on despite the odds that are against them in life.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
February 14, 2021 – Shelved

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message 1: by Doug (new) - added it

Doug Limbrick What a great review, thanks.


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