An Inspirational Memoir by author: Michael Solomon


Now It’s Funny: How I Survived Cancer, Divorce and Other Looming Disasters

Author: Michael Solomon

 

 

What do you do when you are forty years old, own a TV production company and learn that you might have a potentially fatal illness. Doctors take a closer look after seeing something on your lungs during a regular routine exam but no one thinks it is anything to be concerned about. But, Michael Solomon was not about to take this lying down and decides to take charge of his life and his future. But, first he envisions the world without him as he begins this book with his own virtual reality tour of his funeral. What happens when you are fine one minute and find out you are not the next? Did you ever picture your own funeral, live it many times, and visualize who attended and wondered about the final outcome and where you mind wind up? Michael Solomon brings these issues and many others to light as he shares his real life experiences with the reader with humor, irony, sarcasm, fear, hopes, pure honesty and genuine heart. He starts his story at the end with is virtual funeral and those that attend it. Leading to the unforeseen present where he learns about his father’s cancer, his two sister’s cancers and the fact that he just might need to go for the dreaded colonoscopy to find out his fate too. But, often on our journey to learn the truth or deny it, we find ourselves at the mercy of the medical population who often speculate, try, test and hopefully help guide us through the endless battery of wear and tear that we endure in order to finally learn the answer to one simple question: What if anything is wrong with me?

 

The author relates in graphic detail the procedures he endured before learning the stark realities or truths. Each time he was shot with a dye, or injected with something the reader can feel the pain he endured, the burning sensations as he takes the reader into the CAT SCAN machines along with him. Imagine having a three centimeter friend within your body and totally uninvited. A lymphoma- these are the words no one wants to hear. Do you call friends? Do you tell your family? What about your son? Do you want emails relating information about the problem? Dr. Garay, one of his physicians refers him for surgery and feels this will solve everything. With his amazing sense of humor he flashes back to where it all began, the day he was born, his Jewish heritage, which I can identify with and his family’s guidelines, restrictions, advice and definition of when he should get married. Always reminding us of how much he loves his son, Luke, the way he feels about him as a Dad and much more.

 

Did you ever make a list of diseases? Where would the worst place to get some of these diseases be? Well on page 39 the author relates the ones where you never ever want to find cancer? Better yet finding it nowhere is about right. Next, he describes the PET SCAN, preparing and going for the culprit that started this whole deal off, the dreaded colonoscopy and the fun of being injected, having to stay still for long periods of time and knowing his best friend Michael was by his side guiding him through it. But, this was only the beginning of more tests as an endoscopy was next, finding out the disease and next the treatment. But, Michael is smart, alert and does not take the word of Dr. Raphael as he asks for a second opinion. This time with his way Layla along with him he meets Dr. Carol Portlock who states she will treat him and find a great surgeon to remove the dreaded tumor. Dr. Felix Heller is the man she chose and a thoracic surgeon. Describing the procedure is quite frightening to anyone reading this no less having to go through it. But, the positive lining if you can find one, is that he would probably be cured.

 

The diagnosis is set and the operation described but the harsh realities set in and the decision are made. How do you adjust to having surgery? What about your attitude? Are you in denial or are your willing to accept what you are being told? Every prognosis sounds different and the fact that you have no symptoms and they want to resect the tumor not only startling but frightening too. What is the wisdom, he states having the operation? Will it eradicate the problem? What about the survival rate? Did you ever really listen to doctors when they give you the statistics involved? You almost feel like you are getting the stats for a baseball team’s chances of winning the pennant or a football team’s hopes of getting into the playoffs. Looking into this himself Michael finds the answers on his own, which he shares with the reader on pages 54-55. You decide for yourself whether the odds are in his favor or not.

 

 

Meeting Dr. Valerie Rusch and then deciding on the surgeon was next. But, not before the author lays out the entire plan for the reader as you read charts all of the information he has gotten so far including doctors, tests and where they took place. His summation was quite telling as he states “they are assessing the collateral damage before they snoop around the main bombsite.” It sounds like a game about to be played with the odds in someone’s favor and you hope they are yours.

 

How do you tell your son? What do you tell him and how much? After the unsettling feeling he gets about the lack of communication with Dr. Portlock and the cavalier way the nurse spoke with him about his requests to the anesthesiologist about Raplon, he still won’t get the final verdict until all is said and operated on. But, the operation happens, he survives but what he describes next is right out of an Alfred Hitchcock or King Novel. Describing the discussions doctors have with patients about how they are going to treat you and receive your therapy will you understand what is involved.

 

Now It’s Funny: How I Survived Cancer, Divorce and other Looming Disasters is a humorous, honest, thought provoking book filled with research done by the author as he presents accurate accounts of tests, procedures, doctor’s visits and even the operating room he entered before going under the knife. Relating his time in the hospital and explaining the outcome as he finally walks out 23 hours after surgery you have admire him, applaud his tenacity and definitely his positive spirit. Just the word Thoracoscopy is scary enough no less having to undergo one.

 

Thinking back over the events that occurred it was his father’s nagging and nudging that started this roller coaster ride straight to the operating room Think about the fact that all his father wanted him to do was get a colonoscopy because of his family’s history with cancer. But, what would have happened if he started there would he have found out the rest or stopped when they found nothing? Instead they sort of started in different directions and we learn that the culprit is his liver where they found the dreaded tumor. But, his first tumor turned out to be on his lung. With his marriage going on the rocks and the terrorist attack about to knock at our front door, what else would this man have to face as he shares his thoughts in this heartwarming, refreshing and humorous memoir of his life going downhill.   But, his spirit is high, his energy level as charged as a never ending battery allowing the reader to know that he is more than just a fighter but a survivor too.

 

Given a six month reprieve is great but it still weighs in his mind as the world stands still when the towers are blown up and the feeling of doom is right there in his own neighborhood, death is on every doorstep as we see the ash, fire and smoke and the people running for help on September 11, 2001 a day that no one will ever forget. But, the scene touches the author, losing friends and the reminder that he begins to reflect and take stock of his life.

 

But, more tests, another surgery and then the breakup of his marriage leaving him in financial straits for many reasons but Michael never gives up forges ahead and the end result in his life and what direction it finally took and does he find happiness you need to complete the journey yourself by reading the final chapters and learning more about his family, his family and the courage that made him more than just a survivor an inspiration to many. So, Michael don’t think about your funeral or what people might way if and when the time comes tons of years down the road, think about the humor, joy, happiness and inspiration you are to so many, your family, to those who see your films and to this reviewer who was touched by your words.

 

Fran Lewis: reviewer

 

Let’s give this book: FIVE FIVE STAR MOVIES for our Author and Filmmaker

 

 

 

 

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