Cancer survivor: Pay attention to your health

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Published: August 21,2011

Tags: Book Biz, Cancer Sucks, David Yates

The title says it all, “Cancer Sucks.” In this book to be published Aug. 23, Ventura, Calif., resident David Yates describes his journey through not one but three bouts with this dreaded illness. Is there anyone whose life has not been touched by the Big C? If not directly, we’ve encountered it through the lives of friends and family. It’s always uplifting to learn of battles fought and won with cancer. What are the odds that cancer would strike David Yates three times and he would survive?

Yates survived a one-year stint in Vietnam during the height of that war to come home and be faced with a diagnosis of malignant melanoma. He survived and moved forward with his life only to have the cancer return less than two years later. By this time he was married and had children. However, he again survived surgery and treatment and got on with his life. He earned a college degree and entered the construction industry.

More than three decades later, when Yates was retired, cancer came back in the form of colon cancer. For the third time he was determined to see it through to its completion. He didn’t let cancer beat him in the past, and it wouldn’t this time.

Yates, who has a daughter living in Kiln in Hancock County, recently signed his book at Bay Books in Bay St. Louis. “‘Cancer Sucks’ is no woe-is-me story,” said Kristen Tusa, who with Jeremy Burke owns Bay Books. “It’s a story of survival, of making it through to the other side of illness, and above all of helping others to do the same.”

She says the book is filled with personal stories and first-hand accounts of what to expect when going through treatment with Yates’ story as a new kind of handbook for cancer patients. “With practical and frank advice, he explains how he has made it through, and he urges us all to pay more attention to our bodies and to take our health into our own hands,” she added. “Perhaps this is not just David’s story after all, but a cautionary tale for all of us.”

Yates has now been in remission four years with his latest cancer. Although five years without symptoms is viewed as a landmark, he believes the disease is gone for good. In addition to writing this book, he blogs about cancer and treatment as a way to help others prepare and to tell them there’s always hope.

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