Ronnie here, on the day Rachel’s book is published.
Since early April, just weeks after Rachel died, I’ve watched them. Mandy and Sarah, doing Rachel’s book. With such care and such determination.
The size and feel of the book, the fonts, the order of things, the additional contents, the notes. Everything has been discussed in such detail. Mandy the librarian. Sarah the perfectionist.
And of course it has been about grief. Doing the book has helped both of them to begin the gentle letting go of Rachel. Time after time in their editorial Skypes I’ve heard them wonder ‘What did Rachel mean by this?’. ‘What do you think Rachel would think of this?’ And then it’s been just a little bit like the three of them working on the book, Mandy, Sarah and Rachel.
They were determined to get it done this year, the year of Rachel’s death. And now they’ve done it. The book is published today.
They let me proof read it, and it was one of the most emotional experiences of my life. So much different from reading blog posts on a screen. To hold the book in my hands and in two days follow Rachel and Anthony through all they went through. It’s Rach, so it’s extremely funny sometimes. But it’s really not an easy read, to be this close in to metastatic breast cancer. But you have to read it. If we’re going to ever change the debate about breast cancer, then what Mandy and Sarah are publishing today must be one of the core texts, ‘The Cancer Culture Chronicles.’
The Cancer Culture Chronicles is the collected writing of Rachel Cheetham, who died in February 2012, aged 41, of metastatic breast cancer. Rachel began her blog in June 2009 after her second recurrence of breast cancer, and continued to write until her death.
The Cancer Culture Chronicles has been compiled and edited by her mother Mandy Cheetham, and her friend Sarah Horton. The book contains all of Rachel’s blog posts in their entirety, with notes, resources and tributes.
Available now. This is a 5×8 hardback book, 384 pages and available at cost online from Blurb, price $30.95 (£21.50) plus shipping. Please note, there are no profits in this cost, so if you like the book please consider supporting Breast Cancer Action and METAvivor Research and Support, Inc. with a donation in memory of Rachel.
Download the pdf information sheet here.
Buy ‘The Cancer Culture Chronicles’ here.