Anything But Pink

On Becoming a Cancer Survivor

Non-Fiction - Health - Medical
238 Pages
Reviewed on 01/05/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

Anything But Pink: On Becoming a Cancer Survivor by Renée and Ron Keel is a candid and profound memoir detailing the journey following a breast cancer diagnosis. In December 2016, Renée Keel was diagnosed with a type of breast cancer known as Invasive Ductal Carcinoma which was in her right breast and had invaded the breast tissue. From the devastating news that would change their lives forever, the memoir shows both Renée's and Ron’s perspectives throughout the process of treatment. It goes deeper to reveal Renée’s thoughts and learning points at every stage of treatment. Ron also shares his journey of pursuing his music career while doing everything he could to be there and support his wife. Uplifting comments from friends and people who posted online to encourage the family are also included at the end of each chapter.

Anything But Pink is an amazing memoir that instills hope for patients of cancer and caregivers. It is written systematically from the initial stage of the cancer diagnosis to what follows after the elimination of cancer in the body. Renée’s remarkable courage through it all is inspiring and Ron’s support throughout the whole process gives caregivers of cancer patients important insight on what they can do to support their loved ones. The memoir also includes many aspects that cancer patients have to consider, from selecting a wig to the vulnerability that comes with a cancer diagnosis. Anything But Pink by Renée and Ron Keel gives two sides of the process - the patient’s and the caregiver’s - and offers a comprehensive look into a breast cancer treatment journey that is invaluable to all whose lives have been affected by cancer.

Gisela Dixon

Anything But Pink: On Becoming a Cancer Survivor by Renée Keel and Ron Keel is a non-fiction memoir about Renee’s struggle with cancer and her journey towards healing. In this book, which is written jointly by Renee and her husband Ron, Renee introduces the subject and what prompted her to write this book. After this, the book is organized into several chapters, each of which deals with an aspect of diagnosis, treatment, as well as the physical and mental challenges that accompany a diagnosis of cancer including: diagnosis of cancer, biopsy, the various stages of cancer and her particular diagnosis of breast cancer, chemotherapy, the after-effects of treatment and dealing with trauma, support system of her family and friends, and much more. Each chapter is followed by Ron’s perspective as a spouse and caregiver and his feelings and emotions as he went through the journey with his wife. Mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery have also been covered in this book.

In Anything But Pink, a couple’s journey during cancer has been documented from the perspective of both spouses. I found this style of writing to be informative and educational as this provides the point of view of both the patient and their closest loved one and caregiver. The book is written in a candid tone with details provided of both the physical aspects of the treatment as well as the emotional upheaval and mindset shift that happens after such a diagnosis. I also liked reading about the obviously strong bond that Ron and Renee share and which shows the importance of loved ones in life events such as this. The short afterword and author bios at the end of the book provide more insight into what the future might hold for this couple. In general, this is a good book for anyone suffering from cancer or anyone who wishes to learn more about this deadly disease.

K.C. Finn

Anything But Pink: On Becoming a Cancer Survivor is an autobiographical work for adults and was penned by author Renée Keel with the assistance of Ron Keel. The book follows the couple throughout their two-year battle with Renée’s cancer as they struggle to continue their lives in the shadow of an emotional rollercoaster. The book covers the journey in its heartbreaking entirety from Renée’s initial diagnosis all the way to her recovery, with all the roadblocks on the journey discussed in a frank but humorous manner. The book is written in an honest emotional fashion which may be triggering for some but is certainly essential to the ethos of its publication.

The words of author Renée Keel are not easy to read, but they are well worth reading. In a world where we distract ourselves from sickness and mortality all the time, Renée and her husband Ron Keel face it head-on, both in real life and in this frank and highly emotive work about cancer survival and mental attitudes. Having the two perspectives as part of the work really helps to understand the full experience from both the patient's and the family member’s perspectives, and offers a lot of solace for readers who could be going through just the same thing. The prose is also bright and humorous in places, but hugely authentic throughout, and as such, I would certainly recommend Anything But Pink: On Becoming a Cancer Survivor as a powerful read for anyone who really wants to know what that journey is like.