A New York Times bestseller!
An Amazon Best Books of 2014 selection
"If you're reading this, it means I'm already dead. Just kidding."
In 2009, at thirty years old, Bryan Bishop's life was right on track. Known to millions as "Bald Bryan," the sidekick and soundman on the record-setting podcast, The Adam Carolla Show, his radio career was taking off. He was newly engaged. Then, he and his fiancée Christie were delivered a crushing blow when he was diagnosed with a brain stem gliomaan inoperable brain tumor. Suddenly Bryan's promising future was transformed into a grueling schedule of radiation and chemotherapy while facing his mortality.
In this poignant narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and hysterical, Bishop shares the surreal experiences of writing his will with the bravado of a pulp novelist, taking chemo in a strip club, and (technically) the closest he ever got to achieving his lifelong dream of a threesomewhen a physical therapist had to show his wife how to bathe him in the shower during his weakened state.
Whether recounting his search for the most aggressive form of treatment, how radiation treatment jeopardized his ability to (literally) walk down the aisle or even smile for his wedding photos, or recalling the time his wife inadvertently drugged him in a pool in Maui, Bishop's inimitable voice radiates through his story.
As the author celebrates how treatment shrunk his tumor and gave him a new lease on life, Shrinkage reveals the resilience of the human spiritand the power of laughterduring even the darkest times.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Product dimensions:||9.30(w) x 6.40(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Bryan Bishop has been the on-air sidekick for The Adam Carolla Show since 2006. What started as a syndicated morning radio show evolved into "The World's Most Downloaded Podcast," as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. He has also appeared as a contestant on Comedy Central's Beat the Geeks and on the syndicated game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Bishop was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Christie.
Read an Excerpt
If you’re reading this, it means I’m already dead.
Just kidding. I’m not dead. (Spoiler alert.) I’ve just always wanted to say that. It’s one of three things I’ve always wanted to say with 100 percent sincerity but never had the right opportunity. The other two:
“I suppose you’re all wondering why I’ve summoned you here tonight” and . . .
“Can your casino please provide me with a security escort so I can safely transport my winnings back to my helicopter?”
Of those three phrases, you can clearly see why I chose the first one to start off this book. Although, it’s technically not the first time I’ve used that line. Or maybe it is. You be the judge.
When I was first diagnosed with brain cancer at age thirty, my fiancée (Christie) and I decided to make out a last will and testament. In a sad reflection of my (im)maturity, I cared far less for what was in my will than how it started out. I insisted that it start with the line “If you’re reading this, it means I’m already dead.”
This was comedy of the highest order to me. To Christie, not so much. But this gallows humor would, I believe, help me get through whatever challenges cancer was going to throw at me. So please bear that in mind as you read this book. If a joke seems morbid or twisted or in some other way irreverent, just remind yourself, “This is the guy who thought it would be funny to start his last will and testament with ‘If you’re reading this, it means I’m already dead.’ ”
Table of Contents
Foreword Adam Carolla xiii
1 Breaking Bald; or, A Not-So-Mini Biography 3
2 Making ADHD Pay; or, How I Turned a Disorder into a Career 21
3 Falling in Love; or, "Will You Stop Talking Please? I'm Trying to Kiss You" 37
4 Signs of Trouble; or, "Christie, I'm Sick" 59
5 Diagnosis; or, "Whatever You Do, Don't Google Low-Grade Glioma" 69
6 The Worst Phone Call of My Life; or, "Mom and Dad? I Have Some Bad News" 78
7 Telling Adam; or, "So I Won't Be Able to Come to Work on Monday…" 83
8 Always Bet on Black; or, Everything I Know, I Learned from Watching Wesley Snipes Movies 92
9 Dr. Black; or, The "Rock" Star Brain Surgeon 96
10 Dr. McHottie and Dr. Redneck; or, The Rest of the Dream Team 103
11 The Worst People I've Ever Met; or, My Mount Rushniore of Douche Bags 113
12 Best-Case Scenarios; or, My Trip to the Sperm Bank 126
13 Chemo, Day One; or, A Journey of a Thousand Miles… 133
14 Radiation; or, "I Wonder What She Has" 138
15 My Feel-Good Playlist; or, "You've Got to Pay Your Dues If You Want to Sing the Blues" 146
16 Constipation and Other Early Symptoms; or, When the Shit Doesn't Hit the Fan 152
17 Sobering News; or, Announcing on the Podcast 159
18 Barbara's House of Healing; or, Alternative Therapies 164
19 "Rock" Bottom; or, The Day We Lost Our Engagement Ring 176
20 My Bachelor Party; or, I Can't Be the First Guy to Take Chemo in a Strip Club … Can I? 192
21 Lies Doctors Tell You; or, "You're Going to Feel Like a Million Bucks!" 199
22 Our Wedding; or, Michael Jackson, Simply Red, and Glow Sticks 206
23 Our Honeymoon; or, The Time My Wife Drugged Me at a Kids Pool in Maui 217
24 Worsening Symptoms; or, "You're Not Driving a Car… Are You?" 225
25 My Brother's Wedding; or, "Stuck in Lodi Again" 236
26 Drew Brees, My Secret Admirer, and Poop; or, My Greatest Regrets 247
27 Physical Therapy; or, Koosh Balls, Crutches, and Brightly Colored Shirts 258
28 "Sleepless Nights" and "Pain"; or, Christie's Story 262
29 Avastin; or, The Big Gun 270
30 Inpatient Therapy; or, The Closest I Ever Got to a Threesome 278
31 Family Stress; or, Save the Drama for Your Mama 288
32 The Exam of a Lifetime; or, My Next MRI 297
33 "Laughs for Bald Bryan"; or, "Baby, How?!" 300
34 Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying; or, Italy 308
35 Razor Blades; or, How a Trip to Costco Became My Most Life-Affirming Moment 314
36 Epilogue; or, Postscript, Afterword, Coda, Dénouement, Etc. 316
Acknowledgments; or, Thanks, Shout-Outs, Etc. 319
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I picked up the hardcover last weekend. This is a very well done book. There are quite a few laugh out loud funny parts, and also quite a few "I hope nobody is looking at me as I'm balling my eyes out" parts. Anyone who has been through cancer, or with a loved one will really relate to this book.
Both heartbreaking and hysterical!
This was a great read. I laughed I cried. Thanks Bryan and Christie for telling your story.
fighting cancer ... well done
Even more of an emotional rollercoaster than I expected. Had me both laughing and sobbing uncontrollably. Charmingly honest. I could not stop reading.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!!!! 5 Stars. One of the most enjoyable books I have read since "Wild"...
Could not put this book down. An amazing story, thanks for sharing Bryan. Amazing humor & wit while dealing with a horrific batlle. Inspiring.