Sanjiva Wijesinha -writer and physician

Short stories, Travel and Health Information

Book Review: Battle Scars by Matt Carr

book Battle ScarsTwelve years ago Major Matt Carr, then a 25-year-old Army officer, was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer.

What followed were situations this young man who had no previous medical history had never anticipated: painful courses of chemotherapy, several surgical operations, coming to terms with the diagnosis and developing a personal strategy to fight the disease. He learned the value of Yoga, Qi Jong and Surfing, re-evaluated his life and his priorities – and has now returned to full time work in the Army. He has recently completed a tour of duty overseas.

The book he has written of his experiences – Battle Scarsmakes a great read.

Using analogies from his military background to describe his battles against cancer, Carr compares fighting cancer to Counter-Insurgency (COIN) Operations. He describes how one can apply the basic principles of COIN Warfare and use the body as well as external resources to win what is, in effect, a civil war created by malignant rogue cells within one’s body. Anyone who has served in the defence services will appreciate his descriptions of using Conventional Forces (Chemotherapy) Artillery Barrage (Radiotherapy) and Special Forces (Surgery) to attack the enemy.

Carr’s book has some valuable insights and lessons for anyone faced with a diagnosis of cancer – ‘a disease that has taken so much from me and brought me so close to death, and yet has also given me the strength and confidence to embrace life so much more graciously’.

He advises readers ‘If you can change your perspective, the limitations cancer imposes on you become not a drawback to be bemoaned, but an incentive to seize new opportunities.”

I strongly recommend Battle Scars not only to patients diagnosed with cancer, but also to the doctors who look after them.

It is an inspiring read.

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This entry was posted on April 13, 2013 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , .
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