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Recommended Reading
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John Walker Pattison / Me and My Shadow
John Walker Pattison / Me and My Shadow

Me and My Shadow: From the Brink of Despair to a
Beacon of Hope, Book Chronicles Remarkable Cancer Journey

Written by John Walker Pattison, ‘Me and My Shadow’ is as awe-

inspiring as it is unbelievable. Diagnosed with cancer at a young age, the

 author was told he wouldn’t live to see his hair turn grey. Defying those

 odds, the author is now not only a survivor, but a grandfather. In this

 gripping memoir, Pattison shares his extraordinary battle with cancer,

 how he found solace in spirituality and space rock and the journey to

 becoming one of the UK’s longest surviving cancer patients.


UNITED KINGDOM – In his compelling memoir,
‘Me and My Shadow’, author John Walker Pattison offers an unflinching and engaging look at his journey with cancer. Beginning at age 18, when most young adults are embarking on new and exciting adventures, Pattison found himself on a drastically different path - one marked by uncertainty, fear and what doctors told his family would be a
death sentence.

The memoir takes the reader through the tumultuous years of Pattison’s youth, marked by aggressive chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments that tested the limits of his endurance, to a staggering blow that he never saw coming - the heart-wrenching moment when his daughter was diagnosed with terminal leukaemia, and like her father, defied the odds.

A rare glimpse into the emotional and physical trials of cancer
‘Me and My Shadow’ is filled with raw honesty and is a true testament to Pattison’s life-long commitment to helping others fighting
 similar battles.

Me and My Shadow memoirs of a cancer survivor, is a brutally honest account of one teenagers struggle to understand and deal with the most feared diagnosis known to society: cancer.

At 18 years of age, John Walker Pattison was thrust onto a roller coaster

 ride of emotional turbulence - his innocence cruelly stripped from him;

his fate woven into the tapestry of life.

After years of failed chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments that

 ravaged his physical frame and almost destroyed his psychological

 stability – his parents were told that he would not survive. Yet, today,

he is one of the longest surviving cancer patients in the UK.

Eight years after his unexpected recovery, the news that all parents fear,

his daughter is diagnosed with terminal leukaemia. Yet like her father,

she too would defy the odds and go on to become an

international swimmer.

Pattison turned his life full circle and became a cancer nurse specialist at

 the same hospital that made his diagnosis decades earlier.

He prescribes chemotherapy and cares for individuals with the same

 cancers experienced by both him and his daughter.

Throughout his journey, Pattison's inspirations were the space rock

 legends, Hawkwind. He would get to play on stage with his heroes at the

 Donnington Festival in 2007.

More significantly, he found solace throughout his cancer journey in the

 history and spirituality of the Lakota Sioux Nation. In 2018, he would

 spend time on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation with the indigenous people

 of South Dakota. The same people who, unknowingly, supported him

 through life's greatest challenge: cancer.

“In writing this memoir, I wanted to delve deep into the realities of

 facing cancer at a young age, and how that shifts your perspective

 permanently,” says Pattison.

Continuing, “I found strength and resilience within myself,

but also from the most unexpected of places.

Of course, my family - who remain true bastions of support

but also from space rockers Hawkwind and spiritual leaders like the

 indigenous people of Lakota Sioux Nation in South Dakota.

It’s quite an eclectic group of supporters and cheerleaders,

but cancer has a way of uncovering what truly matters and crystallizing

 life’s deepest meanings. I’ve been overwhelmed with the responses to

 the book and believe that if it helps even one person on a cancer

 journey, it will have been worth it.”

‘Me and My Shadow’ has earned glowing reviews from readers.
A small sampling of their praise is below:

“I found this a wonderfully honest and brave account of the story of childhood, adulthood, cancer, survivorship and fate. Thoroughly enjoyable and didn't really want the account to end. John's story really captures how life can be shaped by experiences, whether good or challenging and gives a first hand account of navigating a life journey through the lens of survivorship.” - Amazon Reviewer

“A memoir of triumph over adversity. This is {John’s} tale and it is absorbing. His determination and positive thinking are an example to us all. Well worth a read.” - Amazon Reviewer

“Never thought I’d go on a sunny holiday and still spend 3 days indoors reading this remarkable book.

John’s account of his highs and lows battling his cancer treatment and corresponding inner thoughts throughout his ordeal were truly riveting and inspirational. A truly great and humbling understanding of his life’s journey. Highly recommended.” - Amazon Reviewer

‘Me and My Shadow’ is available now:
For more information about John, including his other books, visit:

About the author:

John Walker Pattison was born in the wonderful seaside town of South Shields 66 years ago. He is a dedicated Newcastle United supporter since 1969 when he took his first steps through the clackerty clack of the turnstiles at St James Park.

The crucial hinge in John’s life is his beautiful wife, June. “Nothing is

 more important than family,” says John.

He retired from his post as a senior clinical cancer nurse specialist and

 head of service in haematology at his local hospital, partially due to his

 chronic illnesses as a consequence of the salubrious chemotherapy and

 radiotherapy he received decades ago - the same hospital that

 established his cancer diagnosis almost 50 years ago; it was then, that

 his parents were told that he would not survive, yet here he is today,

 humbled to be one of the longest cancer survivors in the UK.

He has written dozens of articles for national and international nursing

 and medical press - presented lectures the length and breadth of the

 country on many aspects of haematology and cancer management.

He is honoured to have won numerous awards both locally and

 nationally for his work in haematology. However, Pattison knows that

 being one of the longest cancer survivors is his greatest achievement.

John Walker Pattison recently completed his memoirs,

Me, and My Shadow – memoirs of a cancer survivor’

achieving a third place position in the New York Book Fair awards 2023.

In addition, following the completion of his memoirs and in retirement

 he is now focusing on children’
s fiction. John declares,

I have always been an elasticated Grandpa – relaying exaggerated stories

 to my grandchildren for many years
.” These unbelievable tales are now

 the basis for his children’s books.

Today, John is once again battling cancer and all as a consequence of the

 salubrious chemotherapy he received almost half a century ago


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