Media release from the office of Dom Burns
For immediate release
The book no-one wants to write or buy.
It’s a book for (mostly) men, about caring for a partner with breast cancer in the UK. It’s called: Every Step of the Way
The book is currently available on the Amazon Store (details below) in both Paperback and Kindle editions.
About the book
The book is separated into distinct chapters (as is proper), each written to be as stand alone as possible (though there are some overlaps). This helps the reader focus on the step they are at or that’s just in front of them on the cancer journey without having to read the whole book or know the entire journey in advance.
Chapter names are as follow:
About this book
Grades & Stages
Self Care & Healing
The New Normal
Notes from Dom (the author…me)
When Jen was diagnosed with breast cancer, I needed to learn everything. I wanted to fully understand what we were up against. Naturally, I failed entirely to grasp everything all at once and spent countless hours pouring through various books and websites to find the information most pertinent to our circumstances. Time spent basically separating signal from noise.
This book aims to get you the info when you need it. No wading through different websites trying to weed out the bits not relevant to you.
Straight forward, firing from the hip information on how to care for your partner and yourself. Looking after your partner means looking after yourself too, right?
There’s a wealth of cancer information and support out there, most of it very useful. However, there’s also a lot of ‘general’ information that needs to be filtered out. For example, you don’t need to know about stoma bags or gamma knife surgery when caring for your partner. Something I found difficult, considering I was working full time, attending most of Jen’s appointments and caring for her at home while running the household (with not a little help from my friends). The other issue, of course, is that the science is fascinating and can be a time sink. Before you know it, it’s 4am and you’re no closer to finding out the best type of drainage bottle holder, but you now know a load more about, say, new radiotherapy approaches in prostate cancer patients.
The official literature has to be written to almost corporate guidelines and there’s nothing wrong with that but it has an air of ‘sterility’ about it? It’s weird, but once you’ve read a few leaflets – and they can be about totally diverse things of equal or differing importance – you start to see the pattern, as if they’ve all been written by the same person.
I wanted the book to be as useful to as many people as possible so I set a limit on the readability of my work. That’s not to say the book is aimed at or written for the lowest common denominator but I tried not to use phrases like ‘lowest common denominator’ when ‘most people’ will do. The reading difficulty (Gunning Fog and Flesch Kincaid) scores were capped to ensure the text is as simple as possible without dumbing things down too much. Reader age range is between 14 and 18 years, meaning it doesn’t take an advanced degree to understand and act on the content.
If the reader finished secondary school they should be good to go! After all, the last thing you need after spending the day at work, getting home and caring for your wife, is to try to figure out something that should actually be explaining things to you.
I also acknowledge that it may not be as complex as it could be because I’m not the sharpest crayon in the box….
It’s informal, personal and non-clinical but well structured and detailed where it needs to be.
Some quotes from the book:
“…it shook me to my core to think there was even the slightest possibility Jen might not live out her natural lifespan and, perhaps of greater impact, that she would die before me. That wasn’t my plan at all. I’m supposed to die first!“
“The solutions you and your partner need are myriad and you simply cannot address them all yourself. In fact, one of your jobs is to identify issues you can’t solve and get the relevant help – whether it be for you or your partner.“
“…you and perhaps especially your partner, have every right to rant and scream and smash things – if it makes you feel better, then go for it. But it won’t make you feel better. The only thing that likely will is knowing and accepting the facts, and time to process what’s happening.“
“From diagnosis to chemotherapy, it took a little under four weeks. Things moved faster than we could have realistically prepared for. They probably will for you, too, initially.”
“You also need to consider changes in your partner’s body image – both in terms of how you see her, how she thinks you see her and how she sees herself . These are important distinctions.”
“It’s difficult to overstate the levels of profound, persistent stress and anguish you and your partner are likely to feel both in the immediacy of receiving such shitty news, but also through the near constant demands of treatment and recovery interwoven through your day-to-day activities. You may feel as though you’ve lost control of your lives. To a certain extent you have. Strangely, the wake up call: ‘that you don’t truly have any control over your life’ can be a stressor in its own right. So part of the puzzle is to recognise when you’re feeling stress and having effective mechanisms in place to help you relieve the levels of stress you feel.”
“Aside from dealing with the initial diagnosis, telling our children was arguably the next most difficult thing we had to do. It was definitely one of the most difficult decisions we’d had to make in our lives up to that point. We decided to be upfront and honest about what was happening.”
Links to buy hard and electronic formats, including to view sample pages via Kindle:
or if you don’t trust bit.ly:
Paperback is available for £12.99, Kindle is £8.99, reduced to £2.99 if you buy the paperback and still want the electronic version.
Significant price reductions are offered for professional bodies, bulk purchases and the needy.
A limited quantity of review copies are available to professional bodies in the UK on request.
For review copies, sales or any other queries, please contact Dom in the first instance.
Thank you very much for your time.