17 April 2023

There’s been lots of talk from us on social media recently about the various books we love and want to share with you, so I thought I’d do a roundup of our literary loves and tell you about our very own book we’re currently working on and how you could get your work published in it!  More on this below.  But first…

For The “Emotional Bit” of Cancer Survivorship: The Cancer Survivor’s Companion

It’s not only about bowel cancer, this book by Lucy Atkins and Dr Frances Goodhart is a great companion for anyone diagnosed with any type of cancer. What I really appreciated about this book is that it covers the emotional after-effects of cancer, including fear of recurrence and other mental health issues, as well as practical considerations such as work and relationships.

For Children: I Need A New Bum, and Big Tree Is Sick

I Need A New Bum by Dawn McMillan is a silly book about a boy looking for a new bum to replace his old one, with funny illustrations to match. Meanwhile, if you are in the difficult position of needing to explain to a child that a loved one is unwell, Big Tree Is Sick by Nathalie Slosse is a thoughtful, gentle book that could help you do this.

For Bowel Cancer Patients: everything you hoped you’d never need to know about bowel cancer

A recent release you may have seen me reviewing on Instagram, this book by Dr Anisha Patel really does cover everything you may need to know about bowel cancer. I thoroughly recommend this for anyone who has had a recent diagnosis or is living with or after bowel cancer. It’s also great for any friends, family, carers, or people who simply want to know more about the illness, what it’s like to live with it and be treated for it, and how to help.

For Poetry Lovers: Julia Darling

Julia Darling was a novelist, poet and dramatist who wrote a lot of illness poetry. She wrote two collections I want to share with you: Sudden Collapses In Public Places and Apology For Absence. She also edited an anthology called The Poetry Cure alongside Cynthia Fuller. All three books are full of relatable and accessible poetry on various illness experiences.

Staff Book: Gut Feelings: Coping With Cancer and Living With Lynch Syndrome

I’d also like to mention my own memoir, Gut Feelings: Coping With Cancer and Living With Lynch Syndrome. This chronicles my experiences of bowel cancer, Lynch Syndrome, uterine cancer, duodenal cancer, various surgeries, having an ileostomy, and having an internal pouch. I self-published it which gave me full control over every aspect of the book and was very rewarding to complete.

Your Opportunity To Be In Print: The Bowel Research UK Poetry and Prose Anthology 2023

Finally, this is your chance to be in a book yourself! Bowel Research UK is publishing a poetry and prose anthology and we’re inviting you to submit your work.

We are looking for poetry, prose and cover art from patients, researchers, healthcare professionals, carers, family and friends – essentially anyone in the UK who has been somehow affected by bowel cancer or bowel disease and has something to say about it.

Proceeds from book sales will go to Bowel Research UK to help us continue to fund vital research, and each accepted contributor will receive a free copy.

We ask that anyone interested reads the full submission guidelines before submitting. The deadline is 16th June 2023.

Plus, April is National Poetry Writing Month, or NaPoWriMo! This event challenges people to write a poem every day throughout April. Not only that, it’s Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, so why not combine the two and send us your best bowel-related poetry? We can’t wait to read it!