Cancer. The word is enough to stop anyone in their tracks. And what if the monster strikes you twice? Strength akin to metal is what gets you through, then. But this metal needs to be forged and author Neelam Kumar finds a classic blacksmith in her alter ego—Carol. The full of life Carol takes Neelam through the horrifying journey of fighting cancer.
To Cancer, with Love is a lesson in living the intersecting lines of holding on and letting go. The book is divided into two parts. The first takes us through Neelam’s fight with the Big C and the second explores her relationship with the Arabian Sea.
What takes the reader by surprise is that for a book on cancer, there are hardly any negative tones. For example, after her third chemotherapy session when her hair starts to fall, the author takes a fashion-conscious friend to go buy wigs. Carol tags along and makes the seemingly mortifying experience a hilarious one. The wig then becomes a prop to help showcase dwindling friendships, nosey neighbours, and the changing weather.
Several such situations in the story could have been treated in serious, sermonising ways but Kumar’s matter-of-fact treatment leaves you with tears and a slight, defiant smile.