Reviews

Dear Cancer Love Victoria by Victoria Derbyshire @TrapezeBooks @orionbooks @vicderbyshire #VictoriaDerbyshire #dearcancer #BookReview

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From the cover –

I can’t bear not to be with these three most important people in my life.  I can’t bear not to be there alongside Mark as my children mature and flourish.  My bright, funny, affectionate boys who are never embarrassed to say, ‘love you mummy’, and say it ten times a day.

Victoria Derbyshire, respected award winning journalist was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015.  A natural journalist, she had always kept a diary and her experience of breast cancer from diagnosis to the final day of treatment was no different.  This is her story, written in diary form, very readable and accessible, uplifting and hopeful with a some tears along the way.

Victoria Derbyshire has 2 sons similar in age to my sons, she does the school run, she watches them play football at the weekends, cricket in the summer.  She does all this while maintaining her professional life and she seems to do it as well as anyone, as well as I do anyway!  And then she got breast cancer.

None of us know how we will react to this type of news, but without doubt Victoria Derbyshire reacted admirably, impressively, amazingly!  Tackling the diagnosis like she would any other story, as a challenge, she armed herself with facts and waded in.  Not only that but she documented it, initially as her personal diary, but also in the form of video diaries which were aired throughout her cancer journey.  In this book she is clear that this is her story, not a how to, not even advice but just her experience.  In doing this she provided a welcome dialogue to cancer.  Her honesty was staggering, her admission that losing her hair was worse for her than losing a breast gives a voice to the many traumas of cancer and its treatment and the fact that the impact of this illness is hugely personal and what is manageable for one may feel insurmountable to another.

Throughout the course of Victoria’s treatment many people reached out to her, in part due to her public persona but also to express their appreciation of her honesty in sharing her story via the medium of the video diaries.

I finished this book with nothing but admiration for Victoria Derbyshire, her vulnerability and fear as a mother in the face of a potentially terminal illness resonated with me as a mother and her honest conversations with her children brought tears to her eyes.  At the end of the book Victoria shares a number of messages she received, thanking her for sharing her experience.  I echo this thanks because for me there was a theme running through this book and I suspect Victoria’s life, of unrelenting positivity, openness and warmth and through reading her words I felt I gained something that if needed could help me in the face of adversity.

Victoria Derbyshire

A highly respected BAFTA award-winning journalist, Victoria Derbyshire was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, the same year she started fronting  a daily news and current affairs show that airs on BBC2 and BBC News.  Prior to that, Victoria had joined BBC Radio 5 Live in 1998 and spent 16 happy years presenting both the breakfast programme and later her own morning  programme, winning five Sony Gold Awards.

Following her cancer diagnosis, Victoria made the decision to share her experiences in a series of video diaries in an effort to demystify cancer treatment.  To date, these videos have amassed over 17 million views and Victoria is now an ambassador for the teen cancer support charity You Can.  She lives in Middlesex with her partner, two sons and cocker spaniel.

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