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Cancer and Fishnet Stockings: How Humor Helped Me Survive A Life-threatening Disease, the Loss of My Favorite Nail Polish...and Other Calamities

Cancer and Fishnet Stockings: How Humor Helped Me Survive A Life-threatening Disease, the Loss of My Favorite Nail Polish...and Other Calamities

by Maryann Grau


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“This is a book that will help cancer patients. It will inspire, motivate, engender thought and yes, make you laugh. I will highly recommend it to all my patients.” Dr. Brian DiCarlo, Oncologist.

What does a story about a woman who had just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer have to do with fishnet stockings, a flood, some Russians, the Tenth Commandment, superheroes and Galileo?

In a brief two-year period of mishap and mayhem—the effects of chemo, car crashes, asbestos, a hip replacement, conflicting emotions, guilt and envy—the author began a series of email updates to family and friends to keep them abreast of her treatments and to allay their fears that, as is often the case with pancreatic cancer, she had just been handed a death sentence. Those updates, delivered with humor and a delightful sassiness, expanded to include other catastrophic life events and became the driving force behind her book. In the author’s words, “humor was important because, without the ability to laugh, the urge to surrender would be too strong.”

This book will inspire people of all ages from all walks of life but will be especially meaningful for those facing difficult life challenges, particularly those with a serious or life-threatening disease, such as cancer.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781733590907
Publisher: Maryann Grau
Publication date: 03/15/2019
Pages: 206
Sales rank: 805,527
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.44(d)

About the Author

Maryann Grau was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2016. The devastating effects of the disease were not unknown to her as both of her parents, and an uncle she had been helping to care for, had succumbed to one form or another of the disease. Additionally, both of her younger brothers are cancer survivors. The examples of courage, dignity, and humor demonstrated by beloved family members throughout their treatments were not lost on her, and she was determined to follow in their footsteps. Usually considered a death sentence-only 9% of pancreatic cancer patients survive more than five years-her diagnosis was no laughing matter. And yet, she credits her ability to write about her cancer experience from a humorous perspective as having had a major impact on her recovery. Maryann hopes that anyone facing difficult life challenges will read and draw inspiration from her book.
Maryann was born in New York City but spent most of her life in Southern California where she married, raised three children, and began a 34- year career with the Los Angeles Times. In 1994 she moved to London to establish the Times' first International business office, returning to California five years later. After retirement, Maryann moved into a seaside cottage in the small central California coastal community of Cambria. Her activities include leading aerobics and strength training sessions at the community center, performing in the local theatre, and taking brisk walks along the coast. For quiet time, she enjoys reading, writing and baking. Family being a big part of her life, she frequently travels south to visit her daughter and grandchildren in Laguna Beach. This is her first book.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Harold’s Pancakes

Chapter 2 Can This Be Happening to Me?

Chapter 3 You Can’t Shop if You’re Dead

Chapter 4 A Virgo With a Plan, Or Is That Redundant?

Chapter 5 Fishnet Stockings

Chapter 6 Doctor Doom: The Musical

Chapter 7 Ode to “The Californians”

Chapter 8 Meatballs and Helicopter Moms

Chapter 9 The Oncology Center

Chapter 10 Little Green What?

Chapter 11 Ali’s Artichoke Ravioli…and More

Chapter 12 Chemo Buddy

Chapter 13 Grandchildren: Life’s Greatest Reward

Chapter 14 Stripes or Checks?

Chapter 15 How Can I Help?

Chapter 16 Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Chapter 17 Legal Issues

Chapter 18 Bam! Zap! Kapow!

Chapter 19 Spend All Your Kisses

Chapter 20 The Bald Spots

Chapter 21 False Alarm!

Chapter 22 Joy Is Not the Absence of Pain

Chapter 23 Frankenstein and Wine

Chapter 24 A Year of Living Dangerously

Chapter 25 Two to Five

Chapter 26 Dragon Slayer

Chapter 27 Me and Galileo

Chapter 28 Slaying the Dragon Slayer

Chapter 29 Bionic Woman

Chapter 30 I’m Alive, So Why Not Shop?

Chapter 31 It’s My Body and I’ll Cry If I Want To…

Chapter 32 Ducking Bullets

Chapter 33 Fear Is a Reaction, Courage Is a Decision.

Chapter 34 Speaking of Heaven

Chapter 35 Bucket List?

Chapter 36 A Dream

Chapter 37 I’ve Been Through Hell and I’m Not Gonna Take It Anymore!

Chapter 38 Should I Kill Myself or Have a Cup of Coffee?

Chapter 39 Spoiler Alert: I’m still Here

Chapter 40 R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Chapter 41 Never Give In, Never Give In, Never, Never, Never!

Chapter 42 “Cancer Is Cool…,” Said No One, Anywhere, Ever!

Chapter 43 Harold’s Pancake Recipe

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