Liam Cancer Book


I wrote a short account of my story about 6 months after my treatment. I wrote it for myself. My own record of my disease. By the time I had made a complete recovery in 2010 that initial script seemed to have found its way all around the globe. I began to receive emails from cancer patients everywhere about the inspirational value it contained.

Realizing at that point how rare it was and what it could do I felt I needed to preserve it so that it would always be there to encourage and inspire. I began to write and two years later “Cancer 4, Me 5 (after extra-time) was completed.

I wrote it from both sides of my treatment. It was to be a complete record of everything I had been through, but it was also written as the book I went looking for himself ten years earlier.

A book, written by somebody ordinary, to take you through all the things that go through your head as face into a serious cancer diagnosis, right up to living and dying. All the little techniques I used to keep strong and stay focused when hope was in very short supply.

A book to explain how I always tried to make sure the fight was always going to be maintained to the end. How I tried to take strength from everything in my life to make sure I was the best patient I could be. How, in the end, what mattered most was that if I was to go, it was through no fault on my part. I called cancers bluff to let it know I was not afraid and the mindset I found was an essential piece in the jigsaw that kept me alive.

I wanted to write a book that would show you  the route to the summit, even if you have to do the climbing yourself.



Many people have asked how the book got its title

Cancer 4 – Stage 4 tumor.(One consultant admitted to me that mine could have been classed Stage 44)

Me 5 – To beat any individual cancer you must serve out 5 years of remission, without any re-occurrence. So it was as if Cancer went 0-4 up in the first few minutes, expecting a walkover. And it took me all of five years to come back and win 5-4!

Extra-time (Overtime in the U.S.!) – This represents the two bouts of meningitis and a deep vein thrombosis I got during my treatment, all of which nearly killed me by themselves.

In sporting terms I also felt a 4-5 scoreline gives a good indication of what the game itself was like. A ding-dong affair that could have gone either way in the end.

Finally I wanted the title to reflect the book I went looking for myself. I didn’t want that book to have an obscure title like “The Hills are Green in Tipperary.” I wanted the title to tell me “You can beat cancer”. I wanted a cancer patient in a little airport in New Zealand or a second-hand bookstore in New York to pick up this book and know what it contains for them inside by just reading the title. The title tells them immediately, this book has done what they now need to do.