A Life in the Balance

Reviewer: James Metz, MD
The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: February 1, 2002

Author: Scott Burton
Publisher: Inconvenience Productions, P.O. Box 581083, Minneapolis, MN 55458, USA
Price: $12.00 ($1.50 S&H)
ISBN: 0-9658815-0
OncoLink Rating: 3 Stars

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A Life in the Balance is a heartwarming story by Scott Burton, a professional juggler and comic who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at the age of 30. He describes his experiences from his cancer diagnosis through multiple surgeries and cycles of chemotherapy. He always tries to look at the humorous side of things throughout his journey. Scott has created a rare book that successfully and eloquently combines humor with cancer. He states, "my desire during cancer was to, like my father answer the call -- to laugh, smile and embrace life as long as possible. This is the story of how I tried to do that."

Scott details the ups and downs associated with a diagnosis of cancer from his unique comedic perspective. He is able to describe the physical and emotional upheaval that the diagnosis and treatment of cancer can cause in an individual. He shares his thoughts on his most personal experiences with the reader. He is continuously lacing humorous stories, observations and jokes throughout the book. Scott is able to take the reader through a full spectrum of emotions, but always returns to joy and humor.

A Life in the Balance is difficult put down once you start reading. It is recommended for any patient diagnosed with cancer or those involved in the care of cancer patients. This book may help cancer patients and survivors look at their disease in a different perspective. It may also change the way some healthcare providers view the treatment of cancer patients. A Life in the Balance will enlighten all who read it and is highly recommended by OncoLink.


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