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Cancer remains the most feared disease known to society and yet statistically 1 in 3 of the population will be given a cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives. A Love Affair with Cancer is the inspirational book aimed at anyone living with or beyond a cancer diagnosis. A scintillating exploration of the mind of an adolescent, a story of heart-warming exuberance that will stimulate every emotion you possess. A true chronicle of overcoming the odds, poignant, tearful and occasionally funny but always motivational.


John W. Pattison’s gripping autobiography; A Love Affair with Cancer tells the powerful and emotive story of a teenager’s attempts to come to terms with a devastating cancer diagnosis, and the outrage he feels at the attempts of his parents to keep the knowledge of his illness from him.

Plagued by unexpected fatigue, John is diagnosed with a life-threatening cancer. He candidly describes the emotional turmoil he experienced as an 18-year-old facing the psychological morbidity caused by an indiscriminate disease and its equally predatory treatment. John’s parents are given the grim news that his prognosis is bleak, but they do not tell their son. Over a three-year period, John suffered four relapses and endured a range of treatments that culminated in palliative methods. Miraculously, the cancer disappeared unexpectedly within months. The journey outlines the psychological damage that the disease can elicit and the subsequent change to the author’s personal philosophy.

John’s story continues as he confesses to making knee-jerk reactions to many societal influences missed earlier in his fragile life. One bright spot in his ultimately failed marriage was the adoption of his daughter, Donna. Readers join John on his roller coaster ride through life as he is confronted with every parent’s worst fear—Donna is diagnosed with terminal cancer, a cruel and ironic twist of fate. Through the author’s poignant insights, readers are immersed in the difficulties faced by parents trying to come to terms with their child’s mortality. John shares the coping mechanisms needed to get through such trials and the incredible story of Donna’s defiance of the odds. She would go on to become a prolific international swimmer, earning two silver medals at the 1998 World Swimming Championships.

A Love Affair With Cancer is a labour of love that is a pleasure to read – whether you have suffered with cancer first hand, know someone who has or whether you simply want to read an inspirational story that will make you feel good. John’s story is unique because it is told from all angles - he was himself a patient, parent to a cancer patient and nurses those with the disease.

Pattison was born in South Shields, England, in 1957. He left school to work in the shipyards until his cancer diagnosis started the journey of a lifetime. He has written many articles for numerous national magazines and regional tabloids, but A Love Affair with Cancer is his first book. “However,” he says, “I do not intend it to be my last.” He has now turned full-circle; he works as a Haematology Clinical Nurse Specialist in the same hospital which made his diagnosis decades ago and where he now manages the care of individuals with the same type of cancers that he and Donna suffered.

This is a three dimensional chronicle that delivers hope and inspiration throughout its pages, not just to those diagnosed with cancer but to everyone in society.





John and June

John W Pattison with wife June.




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