Skip to main content

Review: Simplify Cancer: Man's Guide to Navigating the Everyday Reality of Cancer

Simplify Cancer: Man's Guide to Navigating the Everyday Reality of Cancer Simplify Cancer: Man's Guide to Navigating the Everyday Reality of Cancer by Joe Bakhmoutski
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Simplify Cancer by Joe Bakhmouski is a Great Read for Men Facing Cancer
I enjoy regularly chatting about my remaining ‘globe’ with other guys from around the globe. Back in 2018, I appeared on the Simplify Cancer podcast, hosted by Joe Bakhmouski, a fellow Uniballer from the land down under. Shortly after the TCF Summit in August 2019, Joe reached out to me again to share the news that his book, Simplify Cancer: Man’s Guide to Navigating the Everyday Reality of Cancer, was finally finished.
He described it as a “self help manual for men with cancer,” which instantly sparked my interest. Books about lessons learned from a cancer experience, such as Dan Duffy’s The Half Book and Paige Davis’s Here We Grow, have certainly become a niche genre for me.
I asked if Joe would be willing to send me a copy, and a few weeks later, a kangaroo dropped one off on my doorstep. Over the weekend, I finally sat down to read it, and I can definitively say that it’s exactly what I wish I had when I was first diagnosed.
Simplify Cancer: Man’s Guide to Navigating the Everyday Reality of Cancer is well-written, easy to read, and broken into four sections.
Joe weaves his personal story of testicular cancer into actionable steps for male patients and survivors of any diagnosis. I had to laugh as he described his first testicular ultrasound, which is described through the nurse rubbing “oil into my groin and guid[ing] the scan arm around it. Never could I have imagined this moment to be less erotic.” Mirrored my own experience to the letter.
Throughout the book, he addresses what he sees as the four “major challenges that cancer forces you to face:”
Why me?
What happens now?
Who is going to be there for me through cancer?
How do I deal with uncertainty?
Without a doubt, these are four crucial areas of need in a cancer patient/survivor’s life, and men are unique in some of their needs.
A big tenant of his approach is his AIM process - Accept, Integrate, and Move on.
In each of the four sections, he gives steps to move through this process, such as making a “treaty that spells out how you are going to strip cancer of its power,” merging your pre-cancer and post-cancer lives into one path forward, getting your worries out in the open, scheduling a specific time to worry and move on, and many more lessons.
He also delves into the importance of you being in control about how much of your story you want to share.
This also ties into how to address friendships and relationships through cancer. He says people “want to help, they want to be there for you, but they don’t know how.” As cancer patients and survivors, it’s important to communicate with others about what you need, how you’re feeling, and how they can support. Perhaps sharing with them a guide on how to talk to a cancer patient could be helpful, as well.
A large part of the book dives into the specific struggles of being a man and facing cancer.
As Joe puts it, “chances are, a major part of your identity has been about putting energy into helping your partner, your family, and your friends… And that’s a great way to be, but things are different now that you are going through cancer.”
He advocates for making sure you take time to take care of yourself and do what brings you joy. By allowing yourself to shift your priorities and focus, you can navigate through treatment (and life) more effectively and fully.
For me, the most profound quote in the entire book came just 40 pages from the end:
“There is no need to ‘take it like a man,’ to march on as if everything is just fine.”
So often, men want to put on a mask of toughness and act like they can do it all themselves. The simple fact of the matter is we cannot face something like cancer alone, nor should we even attempt to. Furthermore, we don’t need to go through life alone. We must open up and share our successes, struggles, and thoughts along the way to help move us all forward.
I highly recommend getting a copy of Simplify Cancer: Man’s Guide to Navigating the Everyday Reality of Cancer for any guy facing a cancer experience. It even comes with a free audiobook, online video course, and printable worksheet pages to help navigate this beast that is cancer.

View all my reviews


Popular posts from this blog

Review: Shadow Ridge

  Shadow Ridge by M.E. Browning December 1-31, 2020 Tour Synopsis: Death is one click away when a string of murders rocks a small Colorado town in the first mesmerizing novel in M. E. Browning’s A Jo Wyatt Mystery series. Echo Valley, Colorado, is a place where the natural beauty of a stunning river valley meets a budding hipster urbanity. But when an internet stalker is revealed to be a cold-blooded killer in real life the peaceful community is rocked to its core. It should have been an open-and-shut case: the suicide of Tye Horton, the designer of a cutting-edge video game. But Detective Jo Wyatt is immediately suspicious of Quinn Kirkwood, who reported the death. When Quinn reveals an internet stalker is terrorizing her, Jo is skeptical. Doubts aside, she delves into the claim and uncovers a link that ties Quinn to a small group of beta-testers who had worked with Horton. When a second member of the group dies in a car accident, Jo’s investigation leads her to the

Review: Curious Minds

Curious Minds by Janet Evanovich My rating: 3 of 5 stars I read this book after reading the second book in the series. While I like the second book better than this book, the interactions between Knight and Moon are still awwsme. As the leads, they have a certain chemistry that is both flirty and exasperating for Moon. Nonetheless, they manage to work together effectively to try and solve the case. I do feel that the plot little weak but that is not the main reason I read these. The story does remind me of a great action film and I could see it as an even better film adaptation. Although I like the second book better, I do still recommend this book. View all my reviews

Review: Blackquest 40

Blackquest 40 by Jeff Bond on Tour May 13 - July 13, 2019 Synopsis: Deb Bollinger has no time for corporate training. Her company's top engineer at just twenty-seven, Deb has blocked off her day for the one project she truly cares about: the launch of Carebnb, an app that finds spare beds for the homeless. When she's told all employees must drop everything for some busywork exercise called Blackquest 40, it's an easy no. Trouble is, her bosses aren't really asking. Blackquest 40 is the mother of all corporate trainings. A near-impossible project to be completed in forty straight hours. No phones. No internet. Sleeping on cots. Nobody in, nobody out. Deb finds the whole setup creepy and authoritarian. When a Carebnb issue necessitates her leaving the office, she heads for the door. What's the worst that could happen? Armed commandos, HVAC-duct chases, a catastrophic master plan that gets darker by the hour - Blackquest 40 is a