Friday, April 11, 2014

Defining My Direction

Good morning, everyone.  Though it isn't morning as I write this, and chances are it isn't morning while you're reading, either.  "Good morning" just sounds welcoming.  So that's what I'm going with.

As some of you may know, my new book, Metastatic Memories is out.  You can find it here, in both paperback and Kindle editions.  My six-month-old nephew reviewed the book (spoiler: it's adorable).  You can find his review here.

It's been quite the week.  Metastatic Memories was released, I picked up leads on new freelance clients, I found out my chances of the cancer coming back are down to 15%, I had a mini-breakdown, I reflected a lot on friendship, and what it's like to be a young adult cancer survivor attempting to function as normal in the real world.  All of this happened conveniently during Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week, and they all deserve their own posts.  For the time being, I'll leave you with a small shred of wisdom, which is -- life is what you make it.  You can be all kinds of things, and have all kinds of things happen to you.  But it's how you respond to your circumstances and how you go about accomplishing the goals you set for yourself that define your direction.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Metastatic Memories is Out! Read About my Young Adult Cancer Memoir Here!

Pick it up here!

Wow.  It's been a long journey.  A very, very long journey.  But Metastatic Memories is finally published.  I hope you'll pick up a copy and share my story.  Because it isn't just my story; it's the story of 72,000 new young adults each year.  It's the story of untold millions worldwide.

Writing this book was easy.  The editing was the hard part.  I had to go over it again and again, making changes and rewriting passages until it reflected what I honestly believe to be a true account of my brush with untimely death.  And now it's done, and I hope that everyone will take something from the book.  I hope it will help.

Recently, while my family was passing the review copy between them, my nephew, the Creature, somehow managed to get his hands on it...

I may have had to coax him into it.

The Creature was not impressed with my efforts to bribe him with tickles.

Eventually, he got into it.

The Creature likes it!  "Hey!" he might have said, had he been able to form sounds other than Glar Glue Glar Gwwaaaa, at the time. "My uncle tells a pretty good story!  This might just be my favorite book."

Why thank you Creature.  Your uncle is proud to have such a dedicated reader in the family.  Creature, you even make a short cameo at the end of the book -- it's possible that you're reading about yourself here.  Or it could be that I've made that up, just like I've staged this whole post to serve as promotional material for the book.  What a low thing to do, using such an adorable creature as a prop!  Well, the truth is that I'm kind of attached to you, Creature, and I'm glad you're my nephew, and that one day you'll grow up and read my books, and tell me how much you don't agree with my version of events, just like your mom.  I can't wait for that day.

Until then, I'll just keep reading them to you, and pretending that your gurgles and smiles are rave reviews on content and sentence structure.  They're definitely more valuable to me than any other kind of review.

Buy your copy of Metastatic Memories here.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Take a Peek at the Review Copy of Metastatic Memories!

The review copy of Metastatic Memories is here, and I couldn't be more excited about it.  Feel all my excitement through your screen.  Feel it.  It's exciting.  Exciting!


I have to say, the book looks great.  I mean, really great.  It feels good, has a nice heft to it.  The formatting turned out well.  The cover is exceptional -- it was designed by my good friend John Langan at TheCatchMode.

I'm in PA for my upcoming six-month checkup at UPMC's Hillman Cancer Center, and had the review copy shipped to my parents' townhouse.  My family has hijacked the book and have been hoarding it since it arrived yesterday afternoon.  Apparently it's good.

Check out a few pictures of the book in action.
My mother raves, "Don't post those pictures of me in my bathrobe or I'll end you."


Metastatic Memories will be available for sale in the next week or two.  The paperback version will be up first (which looks great, by the way), followed shortly by the kindle version.  It'll be enrolled in the Amazon Matchbook program so that you can buy both and get a solid discount.


I can't thank everyone enough for all the support.  Writing this has been quite an adventure.  I can't wait for it to be out, and to share my story with the world.  See you all soon.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Back Blurb for Metastatic Memories

I've been steadily at work on the back blurb for Metastatic Memories, and I think I've finally hit on something solid.  With the help of my dedicated editors and volunteer readers, I've come to a rough draft of what could become the finalized content.  Read it below.

Metastatic is a word that describes cancer that’s no longer contained to a single site, and has spread elsewhere.  Which is bad.  


Metastatic is the kind of cancer Kevin Lankes was diagnosed with at the age of 25.  At only a quarter of a century long, Kevin’s life began spiraling out of control, ushering him helplessly toward the unknown.  

This is a heart-wrenching tale of pain, loss of innocence, and the will to go on.  It’s a candid recounting of the events following the collapse of a life barely lived.  By the time he was 25, Kevin had managed a city-wide project, hung with celebrities, joined a secret society, and otherwise made his mother proud.  He was a New York City transplant with a powerfully bright future.  This is the story of his most challenging obstacle yet.  In and out of several appointments, whirring machines, and emotional states, he describes just what it’s like to be a young man whose world was swept out from under him in the prime of life, and what it’s like to find the courage to press on.  

Does this make you want to read the book?  Let me know in the comments!