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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, Me and My Shadow by John Walker Pattison shares his extraordinary battle with cancer and the journey to becoming one of the UK’s longest surviving cancer patients.
Me And My Shadow
John Walker Pattison’s compelling memoir, Me And My Shadow, offers an unflinching and engaging look at one teenager’s struggle to understand and deal with one the most feared diagnoses known to society: cancer.
Me and My Shadow – Memoirs Of A Cancer Survivor takes the reader through the tumultuous years of Pattison’s youth, beginning at age 18, when most young adults are embarking on new and exciting adventures. Pattison found himself on a drastically different path marked by aggressive chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments that tested the limits of his endurance, as he faced uncertainty, fear and what doctors told his family would be a death sentence.
After years of failed chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments that ravaged his physical frame and almost destroyed his psychological stability – John’s parents were told that he would not survive. Yet, today, he is one of the longest surviving cancer patients in the UK.
Eight years after his unexpected recovery, the news that all parents fear, his daughter is diagnosed with terminal leukaemia. Yet like her father, she too would defy the odds and go on to become an international swimmer.
Pattison turned his life full circle and became a cancer nurse specialist at the same hospital that made his diagnosis decades earlier. He prescribes chemotherapy and cares for individuals with the same cancers experienced by both him and his daughter.
Throughout his journey, Pattison’s inspirations were the space rock legends, Hawkwind. He would get to play on stage with his heroes at the Donnington Festival in 2007.
More significantly, he found solace throughout his cancer journey in the history and spirituality of the Lakota Sioux Nation. In 2018, he would spend time on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation with the indigenous people of South Dakota. The same people who, unknowingly, supported him through life’s greatest challenge: cancer.
A rare glimpse into the emotional and physical trials of cancer ‘Me and My Shadow’ is filled with raw honesty and is a true testament to Pattison’s life-long commitment to helping others fighting similar battles.
John Walker Pattison
In writing this memoir, I wanted to delve deep into the realities of facing cancer at a young age, and how that shifts your perspective permanently.
I found strength and resilience within myself, but also from the most unexpected of places. Of course, my family – who remain true bastions of support but also from space rockers Hawkwind and spiritual leaders like the indigenous people of Lakota Sioux Nation in South Dakota. It’s quite an eclectic group of supporters and cheerleaders, but cancer has a way of uncovering what truly matters and crystallizing life’s deepest meanings.
I’ve been overwhelmed with the responses to the book and believe that if it helps even one person on a cancer journey, it will have been worth it.-John Walker Pattison
John Walker Pattison was born in the wonderful seaside town of South Shields 66 years ago. He is a dedicated Newcastle United supporter since 1969 when he took his first steps through the clackerty clack of the turnstiles at St James Park.
The crucial hinge in John’s life is his beautiful wife, June. “Nothing is more important than family,” says John.
He retired from his post as a senior clinical cancer nurse specialist and head of service in haematology at his local hospital, partially due to his chronic illnesses as a consequence of the salubrious chemotherapy and radiotherapy he received decades ago – the same hospital that established his cancer diagnosis almost 50 years ago; it was then, that his parents were told that he would not survive, yet here he is today, humbled to be one of the longest cancer survivors in the UK.
He has written dozens of articles for national and international nursing and medical press – presented lectures the length and breadth of the country on many aspects of haematology and cancer management. He is honoured to have won numerous awards both locally and nationally for his work in haematology. However, Pattison knows that being one of the longest cancer survivors is his greatest achievement.
Today, John is once again battling cancer and all as a consequence of the salubrious chemotherapy he received almost half a century ago.
Find more from John Walker Pattison now:
For more information about John, including his other books, visit: http://strangetrips.net
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