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What People Are Saying

“This is truly a unique book, and despite a few personal misgivings, I’m honored to be a part of revealing it to the public.

“You Mean, Besides the Cancer?” Is a creative non-fiction book set up as a series of blog posts written by Bob Marcotte throughout his wife’s battle with a very unique type of cancer. Whether the book is actually a compilation of posts or not is never explicitly stated, but it seems completely genuine. It is so well organized that the reader is never left confused or looking for a post they missed, and yet it reads like the very personal, private blog of a man going through (as he often calls it) hell.

“The author, also a photographer, adds in powerful photographs at just the right places. Black and white images of personal mementos, scenes from daily life, hospitals, his wife, etc. accompany many of the posts and add a very poignant and personal touch.  Really, the set up is just awesome; and the look and feel of a personal blog made it easy to ignore the occasional run on sentence or infraction of grammar rules. The author also uses the occasional quote or poem in just the right places. As he mentions at one point in the book, I believe Bob Marcotte truly has the heart of an artist.”

Lisa Taylor  ~ Writer’s Block Party

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“Bob Marcotte does a spectacular job of revealing the road that lies ahead, with all the pain, exhaustion, frustration, and even anger for a caregiver whose spouse may fall to a catastrophic illness. He paints a portrait of himself as a warrior, warts and all, that is sometimes brutal in its honesty. Future husbands and future wives, grown children of elderly parents, siblings with brothers or sisters who have no one else, and life partners would all benefit from this read. Even if they never have to face such a daunting adversary.

It’s also an honest, raw, and stunning love letter to the most important person in his life. Reading it forced me to examine how I might perform under the same circumstances and marvel how he did.

Here is a man of God with a frank, self-examining, and sometimes wavering faith as he struggles to make sense of the devastation brought upon their home. He finds both miracles and the strength to battle the greatest adversary that there can be. His is a voice of the Christian that isn’t usually heard on a national level but probably should be.

Here is also an artist who weaves a beautiful tale of a terrifying ordeal through his words. I found his description of the moments of waiting passing, as if he were being pushed through panes of glass, particularly vivid and moving.”

Mark Wright  ~ Amazon Reviewer

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“Balanced with thoughts on God, art, worship, purpose, and love, You Mean, Besides the Cancer? flows smoothly, shaded with light and dark in the writing as well as the accompanying photographs—most of which Marcotte took himself. Faith plays a role in Marcotte’s journey, and he doesn’t fail to notice the blessings sprinkled through his experience: there is praise for quality physicians, pride in Carole’s endurance, gratitude for the prayers and help of others, and mostly, love for Carole, which saturates every page.”

Susanne Dietz ~ Tea and a Good Book 

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“Powerful, insightful, and courageous.  This is possibly the most honest book yet, written by a man and giving a male voice to care giving.   It is long overdue.  It goes to the heart of the matter in every way.”

Frieda Brooks, LCSW ~ California Cancer Center

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“As I read your book, it was as if I was sitting with you, feeling the agony, the struggle with God, the deep and abiding love you have for Carole, and the intense barrage that Carole is having to endure.

Your willingness to articulate these intensely personal difficulties make your writing deeply moving. 
I think that if given an audience, you will find that people welcome your openness and the willingness to explain the utter mercilessness of Cancer, of human frailty, and the quality of a man who stands up to it and with the love of his life.
I admire your gift of writing, your willingness to expose your struggle & pain, and the quality of your character.”

Paul from Madera, California

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“Treat the patient, a human being, not just the disease.” 

This is a commonly quoted, almost to the point of cliché, phrase given by many of my mentors during medical school.  Patients are not a collection of Latin terms and medical jargons, they are not “Bed One”, they are not “that woman we removed the tumor the other day”.  They are exactly you and me, having family, friends, loved and hated ones, belief, and emotions.  Furthermore, for every single second of their life, 365 days a year, they have to experience some of the most extreme situations anyone has to endure. 

Mr. Marcotte’s account of the journey his wife, Carole, is taking is genuine and touching.  It serves as a refreshing reminder, to medical professionals like me, of what matters to our patients and what a privilege we have to participate in their lives.  It highlights a different perspective than heavy emphasis on neutral, blinded, randomized and controlled analysis of statics in modern medicine.  It shows that medicine is as much humanity and art as science and technology. 

Coming from a family with many members with cancer, some of them sorely missed, his book comes especially close to home.  I am sure many more people, facing similar situations, will see the strength from it. 

I sincerely hope Carole and Bob will have a smooth recovery ahead, and thanks for sharing their experience with the world.  “

Shih-Chun David Lin, M.D., Ph.D.  

Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience

Johns Hopkins University

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The author provides the reader with keen insight into the complexities of the journey of both the patient and care giver when faced with a potentially lethal diagnosis.  The complex balance between quality of life and quantity of life is appropriately revealed through candid conversations between the patient and her surgeon. Perhaps most importantly, this book highlights the power of faith, love and compassion when facing medical adversity.  It is a truly inspirational body of work.

James P Chandler MD
Professor of Neurological Surgery and Otolaryngology
Surgical Director, Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute

2 Responses to “What People Are Saying”

  1. laura says:

    i dont know how to sound a little selfish when i say this… because of this book, i see things a little differently now. i appreciate my relationship w/my boyfreind of 6 years a little more than i did a few days ago. i was reminded that there is a true deep love for that special someone, something i hope to have for many years w/my boyfriend. thanks bob

  2. Ron Mansfield says:

    “This book could have simply been titled “Courage,” or “Devotion.” It is a life-changing, re-calibrating read.

    I worked with Bob as he and Carole’s story unfolded. He would come into the office exhausted, but positive, albeit obviously frustrated. He would tell me stories like the ones about waiting all weekend for pain meds, or trying to get Carol’s glasses replaced and I’d respond with “hang in there,” and the other nonsense outsiders spew while trying to be helpful.

    It wasn’t until I read “You Mean, Besides The Cancer?” that I had any idea of the context–what these two brave, devoted people were battling. And in reality, none of us will ever know. Thank you both for sharing this. God speed. Let me know when you would like to borrow the Airstream.

    Hugs,
    Ron

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