Monday, June 1, 2015


Amy Burns with her book, Breast Cancer at 35, a memoir

My long-time blog readers know that The Cook on Fifth Street is someone very dear to me, so when Sister told me that a diagnosis of cancer was given, my foundations quivered, so to speak. There were appointments with specialists, a biopsy, day-surgery, and waiting on pathology reports. 

I am thankful to be able to report things are going to be okay. The right measures are being taken for this particular kind of cancer for this patient for this stage of life. And above all, she has been following our Lord Jesus Christ for all of her adult life, so she can be at peace no matter what develops.

For those of us who have walked the road of Christianity for a very long time, it's easy to say everything will be okay but when our peace is threatened with serious illness, a wise person will step aside for at least a time to assess what is going on and how they feel about it. The advent of tough news is a  signal that we need to find a private place to pray and ponder the options. 

It was while I was turning over in my mind the possibilities for my dear one that Long-Time Friend sent me a copy of a book recently written and self-published by her daughter-in-law who, as a young adult, was dealing with her own cancer diagnosis. Long-Time Friend had told me that the book was in process, but I had forgot. So when the big yellow envelope showed up in my mailbox this past weekend, I was pleasantly surprised to discover what was inside. The arrival of the book could not have come at a better time for me.

Amy Burns is a well-educated high school English teacher. She has used her skills to write a memoir about her surprising cancer diagnosis at the age of 35, just a short time after giving birth for the first time. She is a Christ-follower, but as we all know, God's children are not exempt from the trials of humanity. 

With frankness she shared the thoughts and apprehensions that confronted her through the process of an unexpected diagnosis, more tests, surgery, and the treatments that followed. Dreams shared with her husband had to be re-examined while accommodations were made with regard to family routines and her career.

This book is a quick read because it's only 74 pages but at the same time, impossible to put down. While thus far I have been blessedly spared cancer in my own body, people all around me have had to face it. We need to ask them what it's like, how they are feeling, and what motivates them to press on. They need to know we care and we need to learn from them. Amy expresses herself well. I am grateful for the opportunity to be taught from her experiences.

The book is Breast Cancer at 35, a memoir by Amy Burns. It is self-published by Fighting Fish Press in Golden, Colorado. For ordering information, click here: 


  1. It seems cancer is on the rise. I heard it may soon replace heart disease as thé number one cause of death.
    I lost a dear friend to cancer this year, and now another friend has stage 4 cancer and is hoping to live to see her son get married in October. It is hard to know what to say but being there for them and really listening to them express their hopes and fears helps, and many prayers.

  2. Two dear friends have received a recent cancer diagnoses; I lost both parents and my younger brother to cancer; I am a survivor. Horrid disease. Thanks for the book review.