This book is a must for all health care workers - doctors, nurses, students, caterers, cleaners, porters - the team needed by patients facing The Big C.
Stage 2a, stage 3b, stage 4 are numbers which tell us about diagnoses and planning treatment.The numbers do not tell us about who is on zero hours contracts or in insecure housing at risk of losing work and home, who is fretting about bus fares, who is caring for children or parents, the disruption to study and relationships, the time, the time, the time.
This book does tell us about people, the numbers and the NHS. Read it for your patients and yourself, to celebrate our part in this amazing service which is there for everyone when people need it.
Dr Coral Jones, GP and Chair of Hackney South and Shoreditch Labour Party
I picked up this book expecting to be educated, entertained and amused. I put it down having ticked all of those boxes. The NHS is quite literally the best thing there is in the entire world. We must never stop fighting for it.
Kate Smurthwaite, comedian and activist
Janine's blog has turned into a book and the book is so bloody good she deserves the first ever Booby Prize for Literature for it. It’s definitely the breast book I have ever read on the subject: full of clarity, worry, humour, explanations about how capitalism hampers medical practice and love, praise and commitment to the NHS.
It demystifies and humanises the cancer experience and inspires and entertains the reader.
Attila the Stockbroker, The Morning Star
Open, honest, entertaining, informative, but most of all a bloody good read! This book has a real twist of knowledge, with Janine’s personal story and some very interesting facts. I really enjoyed this, and I’m sure everyone who reads it will get something from it.
Michelle Rodgers, National President, RMT trade union
Janine's openness, humour and honesty, combined with her poetic sensibility leads us by the hand through her experience with cancer. Although her manner is often matter of fact, the effect at times is to leave us breathless on her behalf and on behalf of all women facing such a challenge.
Henry Normal, poet, writer and producer
An eye-opening collection of journal extracts, photos, poems, meticulous research and substantive politics which chart her battle against breast cancer. ... Published by the ever-expanding Flapjack Press, and typeset in a sans-serif font to make it easier for dyslexic readers, the book provides a clear picture of every step of the journey, from what to look for during self-examination to ‘getting over it’. Raising essential questions about how cancer research and treatment is organized, funded and managed, this book could quite easily be titled ‘Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Breast Cancer (But Were Afraid to Ask)’. Littered with daft boob jokes and ‘tumour humour’, comedic takes on various tests, treatments, and side effects, I would describe the heart of this collection as stoical, inspirational, as well as reassuring and very, very funny. It delves deep into the darker side of what it’s like to have cancer, a place most people don’t want to think about unless, or until, they or a loved one are diagnosed.
Laura Taylor, Write Out Loud
Janine tells her story through fast-paced narrative, puns (lots of puns), poems, and informative, highly relevant digressions on topics such as the workplace rights of the cancer patient and the unwelcome roles played by private medicine and Big Pharma.
You will laugh and cheer as Janine successfully confronts and overcomes each obstacle in the way of being cured (to be honest, it’s a wonder she’s still standing). You probably won’t cry because, well, it’s just not that kind of book, although you can tell that Janine probably did at points on her journey, not least when she remembers friends and comrades whom cancer did take.
Whatever cancer you or your loved ones face, you will doubtless come to appreciate the NHS more than you ever did before, at the same time as not being able to overlook the strain it is under: stressed nurses, delayed appointments, lost blood tests, etc. Janine Booth’s tour to promote her book is, rightly, titled “The Big J (and the NHS) vs The Big C”.
... The ideas in Janine’s book can provide a great basis and inspiration for our campaign.
Vicki Morris, Solidarity
This book is a fascinating take on the patient experience with cancer. It provides very useful information about tests and procedures with frank and amusing anecdotes. This is interspersed with great poems and interesting discussions on NHS, drug companies and other organisations such as NICE. An easy read and especially worthwhile for patients, relatives, medical teams.
Dr Andrew Gellert
A brilliant, moving and fact-filled book.
Craig Parr, LGBT+ Officer, Hackney South and Shoreditch Labiour Party