Monday, December 12, 2011

Kicking Cancer's Ass Interview with Rob Hawke

Imagine kicking the ass of cancer? What would that be like? Would it require steel-toed boots? Or could you use your barefoot like in the martial arts? Well, after reading Kicking Cancer's Ass: A Light-Hearted Guide to the Fight of Your Life by Rob Hawke, you feel equipped to kick anything.

You may recall that I promoted Rob Hawke's launch for Kicking Cancer's Ass a few months ago here. Well, I contacted Rob through e-mail and asked if I could interview him for my first-time video interview on this blog. He said: YES!!!!

This was all before I had a copy of the book. Now that I have read Kicking Cancer's Ass, I must say that this was an extremely accessible and useful guide to cancer. First of all, it was refreshing to read something by a fellow thyroid cancer survivor which is so rare. (Equally rare are cancer stories by Canadians. So being written by a Canadian thy'ca survivor, I guess you could say that this book is 1 in a million.) Like me, Rob Hawke was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer and, unlike what the doctors tell you, it's not easy. As Rob said, it's not like the doctors are "wanting to sign up" for thyroid cancer. Rob also had a difficulty with going through thyroid cancer both as a survivor and a supporter. Second of all, I love reading stories about survivors by survivors. Kicking Cancer's Ass is not only a survivors' tale but arms the reader with tools on how to face the "fight of your life". He discussed many themes which resonated with me including self-blame for cancer diagnosis, naturopathy and alternative methods, and a variety of scripts including one asking for help. (Come to think of it, looking back, I don't think I asked for enough help. I'm sure it would have come sooner but I agree with Rob, it is tough to ask for help.) Rob even wrote a section for the caregivers which comes from experience, since within a year of his diagnosis, his girlfriend at the time was also told she had thyroid cancer. (You can't make this stuff up, people!) Make sure you pick up Kicking Cancer's Ass to make it part of your cancer-fighting aresenal. You can find it at the bookstores listed here or on Amazon.

We finally did get to sit down and conduct the interview which you can watch here.

We conducted this interview at the Free Times Cafe in Toronto. Being my first video interview where I was asking a lot of the questions and talking about my cancer experience, my inner-critic was operating in full effect when I watched it for the firs ttime. (I think I was a little nervous too.) Nevertheless I think the interview was successful. This conversation is Part 1 of a dialogue between Rob and I about thyroid cancer survivorship and cancer experience. (We had to switch locations since the band showed up so Parts 2 and 3 were filmed at a coffee shop down the street. Unfortunately the footage for those interviews did not come out quite so well.) I would love to hear your feedback.

Robert Hawke, Improv and Sketch Comedian/Writer/Speaker

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