Candace Weimer


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Survivor offers hope, humour

Betty Ann Adam, The StarPhoenix

Published: Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Saskatchewan cancer survivor Candace Weimer could have used some relevant, lighthearted reading when she was going through her diagnoses, treatment and recovery.

Now, six years later and still cancer-free, Weimer has published excerpts of the journal she kept and is working to distribute her book, When the world dropped in on me, to libraries in every hospital and cancer centre in Canada.

“There isn’t much literature out there with the real, non-theorized, humorous view of cancer,” Weimer said during a visit this week to Saskatoon from her current home in British Columbia.

 ”I’m not Lance Armstrong. I’m a real person who’s been through it and that’s what I was looking for (when I was going through it),” Weimer said.

She hopes the book will provide hope and help caregivers understand their loved one’s experience.

Weimer was 38 and the single mother of a 13-yearold son living in Lumsden in May 2005 when she was diagnosed with myelofibrosis, a bone marrow condition that precedes leukemia. She was given two years to live unless she had a stem cell transplant within months.

Her younger brother, Dennis, proved to be a match and in November of that year, she received the life-saving, but sickening, therapy in Seattle.

Throughout the journey, Weimer kept a journal, recording useful information along with her feelings, observations and quirky stick figure drawings.

The journey included complications three years later that required more surgery, including replacement of a tear duct and a hip as her body fought the transplant.

“Sometimes it was the only way I could make sense of it all,” she said.

As a communications specialist with SaskEnergy prior to her diagnosis, it was natural for her to reach out with words and pictures.

At the urging of a friend, Weimer published excerpts in 119 easy-read pages that resonate with patients and caregivers.

There are no technical explanations or abstract theories about how to approach the gruelling therapies, just wry and honest observations from life on the receiving end of the treatment.

The book is available at local bookstores or at www.

Now 44, Weimer is moving on to the next stage in her life, with a new partner in B.C. and a new career as a motivational speaker.

© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2011

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