When it came to giving back, Marie Fricker of Scituate went to the source: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. That’s where Fricker, a cancer survivor, was treated, and that’s where she gave copies of a book about her journey to 60 patients at a seminar the institute held this spring for patients living with brain tumors.
“My book was just released, and the seminar was a great way to help some people who could benefit from it,” Fricker, 63, said of “All in My Head: How a Hypochondriac Beat Brain Cancer,” a book about her battle with brain cancer after her diagnosis in 2008. “I wrote my story to bring hope to others who are feeling as shell-shocked and terrified as I was.”
Fricker, head writer at Norwell-based Jack Conway Real Estate Co., uses dry humor and stories to discuss her journey battling cancer, citing as heroes her son, Jason Fricker, a captain in the Rockland Fire Department, and Andrew Norden, who was her doctor at Dana-Farber and wrote in the foreword of the book, “Marie’s story will inspire you to stay positive, advocate for your needs and use laughter as a coping mechanism.”
As to being a hypochondriac as billed in the title, Fricker said with a laugh, “It’s true. All my life, I thought I had cancer 1,000 times. I always thought there was something wrong with me. Then I got cancer, and the worst thing that could have happened to me, did.”
Now, she said, “I feel braver, much calmer.”
She said her book offers coping strategies for dealing with chemotherapy, which she called her “spa treatments,” and hospital stays, along with a “Top 15 List of Lessons Learned.” She’s donating part of the proceeds from the sale of the book, available at www.mariefricker.com, to Dana-Farber.
She was scheduled to hold a presentation on the book at the Scituate library on Oct. 12 at 7 p.m.
“I don’t worry so much anymore,” she said, after surviving cancer. “I fly now, and I never did. I learned to swim at 60. I want everyone who reads my book to know being told you have cancer doesn’t mean your life is over. You just have to fight for it.”Paul E. Kandarian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.