Lee's Summit, MO - Sept 15, 2010 - Just after learning the fatal news that he was losing his battle with testicular cancer, Ian made one request. The young man asked his mother, Karen McWhirt, to write a book about his experiences with late-stage cancer and treatment-the elements of cancer that no one talks about-to raise awareness of testicular cancer, the most common cancer in young men. Now, five years after Ian's death, Together We Will Win has been published and Ian's message lives on.
The book's title-Together We Will Win-reveals Ian's personal motto. The subtitle- What Happens When We Don't Talk About Testicular Cancer: A Young Man's Story- illustrates the purpose behind the book: to increase awareness of this disease and to illustrate the consequences when testicular cancer goes undiagnosed for too long. Ian wanted all young men to learn about the symptoms of testicular cancer in order to avoid the suffering and intensity of late-stage cancer treatment.
Together We Will Win is written in Ian's voice, and at 364 pages, it is filled with information no young man should be without. This book brings the reader into the frightening arena of cancer treatment, with an unflinching account of the suffering, the anguish, the frustration, and the private, often hidden aspects of how cancer and its treatment affect everyday life, relationships, and even the patient's self-worth as he struggles to live.
Also included in the book are important facts about the disease, what symptoms to watch for, and a simple explanation on how to perform a self-examination to catch testicular cancer in the earliest stage, when it is completely curable.
Karen McWhirt was Ian's main caretaker during his four-month struggle to overcome testicular cancer. She kept a detailed journal of his hospital care, treatment regimens, doctor and specialist visits, side effects of treatment, and many conversations. She pulled it together with medical records and research to compile his poignant story.
"People ask me if writing this book has been therapeutic for me, but this book is not about me, my feelings, or my grief. It is solely about Ian and his experience with cancer treatment, and how it affected him in every way. It is about what he wanted other young men to know, so they might not have to go through it. The only way that it is about me is that I was with him through it all. It's about what Ian shared with me in our time together," McWhirt said.
Ian's mother plans to give away a CD of his professionally recorded music with every book purchased, plus a reminder bracelet with the book's title, Together We Will Win, in honor of Ian's wish to remind all young men about testicular cancer awareness.
About the book:
Together We Will Win by Karen McWhirt
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Date of publish: August 31, 2010
About the author: Karen McWhirt is a freelance writer and has been a testicular cancer awareness advocate since the year her son was diagnosed with the disease. Karen currently manages two websites, volunteers at health fairs, offers free public speaking and testicular cancer publications, and has published a music CD-all in the interest of testicular cancer awareness. Future book signings will be announced soon.
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