A New Kind Of Normal
Currently available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle, my biography went in at No. 5 on their bestseller list and has had 323 mainly 5 star reviews which I find enormously humbling. You can order it now by clicking here, and below is a brief synopsis and my reasons for writing it.
I’d never written a book before, but this devious disease opened up a whole new chapter in my life. I was now that one woman in seven; my future the only thing I suddenly wasn’t certain of. Having wanted breasts ever since I knew what a bra was, I lost both of mine in addition to temporarily losing my hair, my fingernails and many more things that I believed made me a woman. However I saved a fortune on epilation, discovered that pineapples were great for mouth ulcers and, that alongside chemo and radiotherapy, laughter really is the best medicine!
My book A New Kind Of Normal is out now
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“Having been through the same breast cancer treatment earlier this year, I could totally relate to Alison’s journey and experienced the same highs and lows. I wish I had discovered this book sooner as it contains so much positivity, hope and is truly inspirational…”
“Brilliant, moving, very informative. I couldn’t put it down. Helped me so much, thank you for sharing your experience”
“What an amazing book by an amazingly brave lady, couldn’t put it down read it in 2 days, beautifully written…”
It was pretty daunting initially, but I found inspiration through writing a real-time diary throughout my six months of treatment for the charity Breast Cancer Care. In addition, responding to requests on my own blog from those who wanted or needed to know more about living with the disease was an enormous help too. The support network that was set up through both these platforms was amazing and the comments I received and the experiences we all shared, convinced me to document the entire process and that’s how ‘A New Kind of Normal’ came about.
The latest statistics show that there are around 55,900 new breast cancer cases in the UK every year that equates to more than 150 every day. In fact breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in women in the UK, some of those preventable…
I felt it was incredibly important to try and normalize an often technical and highly confusing medical journey, believing that if you take away the mystery you can take away a great deal of the fear. Through all that I experienced I was able to move cancer away from the consultants, the specialists and the scientific journals and set it where it needs – as part of our day-to-day life. Sadly, whether we love someone who is living with it, or have lost someone to it, the ripple effect of this disease is far-reaching and touches everyone in so many different ways.
Through my blog and the comments of those who made up my support network ‘Ali’s Army’ I understood that sharing these experiences helped with the feelings of isolation and fear. I also realised that cancer is only one of the many harrowing and heartbreaking things that can hurt us. It has been humbling and often inspirational to learn how others have coped when faced with the unimaginable, putting into perspective my own feelings of loss.
This is book about relationships, love, responsibility and how to deal with life when shit happens. I want to say to those who are facing their own diagnosis that they are not alone, and hopefully answer what they’re desperate to ask; and that goes for those who love and support them too. I want to say it’s okay to be afraid and angry but that it’s also okay to seek out and see the funny side of situations too – because I found there is always something you can laugh at rather than cry over.
I would love for this book to be a source of comfort for those who are struggling and to help them see there are no rules, so whatever works for you needs no justification. No one can do this for you, you just have to get your head down and get on with it. The only thing you are not allowed to do is to give up. You hang on, if not for your own sake, then for the sake of those who love you. This book isn’t just about cancer, it’s about my life, the people I love who supported me, and how all the bits in between coloured the way I coped when my world tilted in 2011. It’s all about finding your New Kind of Normal and never giving up hope.