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cancer survivor memoir

Author Steven P Shepard

man standing in front of the sea

About my diagnosis

I was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin’s lymphoma at 28, with a football-sized tumor pushing down on my heart and collapsing my left lung. The start of my book walks through the surprise and emotions I felt during this time. Being healthy and an athlete in good physical shape, I was unprepared for cancer in my 20s. It was a trying time in my life and I leaned on my family for support and read everything I could get my hands on to understand the disease.


Even during my treatment, I thought about documenting my experience to help others. The idea of writing a book occurred to me when I thought about how much work I put into finding information on cancer treatment and how disparate the information was. I wanted to write a book that had all the scientific information in one place, as well as advice from someone who had successfully beaten cancer. The book was meant to be both educational to help patients and caregivers make informed decisions and be an active part of their treatment process (working with their oncology team) and inspire people to fight and beat their disease.

Tempting snippets

“With any goal in life, you need confidence, calmness, concentration, and perseverance. Additionally, you need hope and visualization. Treat your cancer like you would any other important goal and work hard at it and plan accordingly.“

“Eating a healthy diet is important no matter what your health, yet especially important when fighting for your life! Your food and beverage consumption can be broken down into three categories: macronutrients, micronutrients, and water. All three are vital for life, yet the subcategories and quantities of the former two are complex and important when maintaining a healthy diet.“

“Had I waited until later in the week when my oncologist was available, I could have done further damage to my arm or worse, the blood clot could have loosened and traveled to my brain, heart or lungs. In short, be your own doctor; you are the most important person in this process!”

What I wanted to achieve

My goal of writing was to reach as many cancer patients and caregivers as I could. In addition to writing an informative book and getting good reviews, this involved learning how to market and being active in social media. I created a website and utilized Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter to spread the word. Even today after 5 months I’m advertising daily. I also use Amazon and Bookbub for additional views. The more people to engage with my book the more people I can reach who are impacted by cancer. In addition to helping with treatment, I also hope individuals read my book to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle (diet, exercise, sleep, mental health, screening, etc.) to reduce their chances of getting cancer.

Where am I now

I will be happily cancer-free for eleven years on my birthday in April 2021. To maintain my health, I eat well, exercise daily (tennis, boxing, golf, and weight training), rest, work on my mental health and challenge myself mentally daily. My book has been doing great, being #1 on Amazon in multiple categories including Oncology and Radiation. I am actively leading a research team at work, taking classes in entrepreneurship, and living happily with my girlfriend and cats. I hope to write more books to help people and have been thrilled with the feedback I’ve received thus far.

Vanquishing Cancer is available here



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