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Cancer Is Funny: Keeping Faith in Stage-Serious Chemo (Theology for the People)

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Jason Micheli, a young father, husband, and pastor, was diagnosed with a bone cancer so rare and deadly that his doctors didn't classify it with one of the normal four stages they simply called it stage-serious. But Micheli wasn't going to let the cancer kill his spirit, his faith, or his sense of humor. He knew that the promise of faith makes hope possible. And approachin Jason Micheli, a young father, husband, and pastor, was diagnosed with a bone cancer so rare and deadly that his doctors didn't classify it with one of the normal four stages they simply called it stage-serious. But Micheli wasn't going to let the cancer kill his spirit, his faith, or his sense of humor. He knew that the promise of faith makes hope possible. And approaching cancer as fodder for some bowel-busting humor helps, too. This is a funny, no-holds-barred, irreverent-yet-faithful take on the disease that has touched every family.


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Jason Micheli, a young father, husband, and pastor, was diagnosed with a bone cancer so rare and deadly that his doctors didn't classify it with one of the normal four stages they simply called it stage-serious. But Micheli wasn't going to let the cancer kill his spirit, his faith, or his sense of humor. He knew that the promise of faith makes hope possible. And approachin Jason Micheli, a young father, husband, and pastor, was diagnosed with a bone cancer so rare and deadly that his doctors didn't classify it with one of the normal four stages they simply called it stage-serious. But Micheli wasn't going to let the cancer kill his spirit, his faith, or his sense of humor. He knew that the promise of faith makes hope possible. And approaching cancer as fodder for some bowel-busting humor helps, too. This is a funny, no-holds-barred, irreverent-yet-faithful take on the disease that has touched every family.

30 review for Cancer Is Funny: Keeping Faith in Stage-Serious Chemo (Theology for the People)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Polly Rosenstein

    This is my current pastor's story of his physical and spiritual battle as he undergoes chemo. He tells his story with humor as he portrays his journey through doubt, faith, and meaning in life. I came away feeling that God truly is in everything, and I had some great belly laughs too as I read of all the indignities one experiences in medical treatment described with humor. Great writing too! This is my current pastor's story of his physical and spiritual battle as he undergoes chemo. He tells his story with humor as he portrays his journey through doubt, faith, and meaning in life. I came away feeling that God truly is in everything, and I had some great belly laughs too as I read of all the indignities one experiences in medical treatment described with humor. Great writing too!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Robert D. Cornwall

    My brother-in-law died of cancer recently, so as a family we know the facts of cancer. As a pastor I've seen how cancer can ravage a body and a spirit. I've seen people "survive" or at least move into remission from cancer. We spend a lot of money looking for cures, but cures seem to be far out or reach. So, while science seeks the cure, we wrestle with the effects. Jason Micheli writes about cancer from a very personal perspective. He's a United Methodist pastor who developed a rare form of lymp My brother-in-law died of cancer recently, so as a family we know the facts of cancer. As a pastor I've seen how cancer can ravage a body and a spirit. I've seen people "survive" or at least move into remission from cancer. We spend a lot of money looking for cures, but cures seem to be far out or reach. So, while science seeks the cure, we wrestle with the effects. Jason Micheli writes about cancer from a very personal perspective. He's a United Methodist pastor who developed a rare form of lymphoma. A relatively young man (late 30s), he experienced a year of traumatic battles with his cancer, going through several rounds of rather invasive chemotherapy. It proved to be a challenge to his spirit and to his faith, but he held on and eventually moved into remission. "Cancer is Funny" is Micheli's attempt to tell his own story in a form that might encourage others. He pulls no punches, and reveals the difficulties he experienced going through chemo. He attempts to do so by bringing in humor. Here's where it gets sticky. Humor is in the eye of the beholder. What one finds funny another might not. Often humor is generational. From the blurbs on the back cover, I gather that some readers found it funny. I didn't. That may say more about me than about the author. As Morgan Guyton suggests in his blurb, "Jason has perfected the art of pastoral irreverence." That may be something that is needed. Sometimes we need to let go of our need for propriety, and Micheli does. He invites the reader to join him in his journey, to experience the pain and the anguish that accompanies the journey. He finds healing, though not a cure, in the process. He struggles with his faith, but perseveres. As a pastor, I might share this book with younger members of my congregation, but not older ones. The language and the humor might not be fitting for some. Instead I might recommend Deanna Thompson's book Hoping For More: having cancer, talking faith, and accepting grace, which also shares a story of dealing with cancer, but in a more gentle fashion. As I read the book, I felt like it needed significant editing. I think it could be more effective, if it were briefer. But, as I said, that may have more to do with me. It's a useful book, because it's a very honest book. Sometimes, that's what we need -- honesty. I'm not sure cancer is funny, but we do need to laugh in the midst of our struggles.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marika

    This book is a curious mixture of humor, a fight against cancer and faith. The author was diagnosed with a rare cancer that is labeled stage-serious. Being a Pastor, one would think that this book would be filled with platitudes of faith. Guess again. His is a journey of discovery with God, and he writes using words one doesn't typically expect from a man of the cloth. He's just a man and has the same fears as others, which is reassuring. His descriptions of medical procedures are too funny and This book is a curious mixture of humor, a fight against cancer and faith. The author was diagnosed with a rare cancer that is labeled stage-serious. Being a Pastor, one would think that this book would be filled with platitudes of faith. Guess again. His is a journey of discovery with God, and he writes using words one doesn't typically expect from a man of the cloth. He's just a man and has the same fears as others, which is reassuring. His descriptions of medical procedures are too funny and that's why readers can relate to this book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Heather Smith

    A must read for ministers doing any kind of pastoral care for people in health crisis. Also good for people with cancer- or caregivers of those people. It’s a well written reflection on the faith changes that happen during a tumultuous time- but without hoity toity church language.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Blair

    Jason Micheli is a United Methodist minister and scholar, who has been walking the journey of cancer and cancer treatment. This is a wonderful memoir, filled with good humor, a little holy irreverence, and much wisdom. As a pancreatic cancer patient at present, I found his memoir to be hopeful and helpful. I recommend the book highly for patients and those who love them.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten (lush.lit.life)

    This book is a lot of things. I'm still processing it. Here's a basic list of attributes for Cancer is Funny: crass, moving, profound, profane, insightful, human, gritty, heart-breaking, inspiring and yes, funny. Laugh out loud funny. Which feels weird. But it is. TBH, some moments fell flat or simply didn't resonate for me (some felt forced). Like I said, a lot of things. The bone marrow experience encapsulated some of the highs and lows tidily. I actually felt tangible cringe-worthy pain from t This book is a lot of things. I'm still processing it. Here's a basic list of attributes for Cancer is Funny: crass, moving, profound, profane, insightful, human, gritty, heart-breaking, inspiring and yes, funny. Laugh out loud funny. Which feels weird. But it is. TBH, some moments fell flat or simply didn't resonate for me (some felt forced). Like I said, a lot of things. The bone marrow experience encapsulated some of the highs and lows tidily. I actually felt tangible cringe-worthy pain from the description and from the sheer human awkwardness. Then I felt a little like throwing up and, interwoven throughout all of that, I laughed out loud. More than once. I should clarify that this was a response to wit and human pathos, not insensitive diabolical cackling. I'm not a monster. Many of my spiritual/church friends would be put off by the seriously crass elements and language. Though others, who would find that aspect real and raw and relevant, might be put off by the discussions of faith and suffering viewed through a Christian lens. Some who are grappling with cancer - or grappling with it alongside their loved one - might struggle with the irreverent tone. While others might welcome the humor and insight. It might also just depend on the day you're reading it in those circumstances. It's hard to know who to recommend it to. I found it incredibly insightful and worthwhile, but I tend to walk that razor's edge of deepest faith and base humanity myself, so it wasn't a herculean stretch for me. His spiritual musings re: where God is in suffering, where faith is in the silence, where Christ is relative to our challenges and how the ability to experience joy or mirth during dark and excruciating times speaks to him of the reality of God - have all given me some new ways to think about my own challenges and I'll be pondering them for some time.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    This is a memoir of a Methodist Pastor as he goes through his cancer treatments. This is a great reflection on pastoral care, why pastors make bad patients, and the false hope that others seek to console each other. This is both extremely sarcastic and heartfelt at the same time. The humor at the beginning opens the door to really talk honestly about his experience. If you are turned off by his humor at the beginning I recommend sticking with it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    Hilarious and sober, truly funny and poignant with a bit of irreverence thrown in.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    A must read for anyone who has folks diagnosed With cancer in their lives. Written from the perspective of a pastor and person of faith - this book helps dig through hard questions about serious diagnosises without cliche or trite answers

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lonna L. Hitchcock

    Found it hard to get into the book but read it to the end. Gratuitous cultural references that detracted from the story of "stage serious" cancer, but I was more than able to relate to treatments, perceptions by others, issues of faith and keeping a sense of humor having just been through a similar scenario. Found it hard to get into the book but read it to the end. Gratuitous cultural references that detracted from the story of "stage serious" cancer, but I was more than able to relate to treatments, perceptions by others, issues of faith and keeping a sense of humor having just been through a similar scenario.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Buddy Liston

    Purchased by my wife, a Methodist minister with an idea I might obtain some insight in how cancer victims address the disease and their faith. My son has stage IV colon and lung cancer. As interesting as the book is, I sometimes struggled with the theology. I will likely do some outside reading and revisit this book in the future. The book is definately unique...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Meg Pasquerella

    As a parishioner at Aldersgate and a reader of Jason's blog, I knew the basics of his cancer story. Even so, I was blown away by this book. Jason writes about his experience and his faith in a way that is accessible to any reader. This is my Pop Sugar 2017 Reading Challenge - a book about a difficult topic As a parishioner at Aldersgate and a reader of Jason's blog, I knew the basics of his cancer story. Even so, I was blown away by this book. Jason writes about his experience and his faith in a way that is accessible to any reader. This is my Pop Sugar 2017 Reading Challenge - a book about a difficult topic

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alex Joyner

    A searing read. Here's my full review: https://alexjoyner.com/2017/03/18/hum... A searing read. Here's my full review: https://alexjoyner.com/2017/03/18/hum...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    I felt slightly off reading this and I'm just not a fan of Jason Micheli's humour. One is left wanting something more which is not really ever given. I felt slightly off reading this and I'm just not a fan of Jason Micheli's humour. One is left wanting something more which is not really ever given.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Pines

    Simply put...... A MUST READ!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mark

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mcavanagh

  18. 5 out of 5

    Susan Lyle

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Olson

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mallory Peterson

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dixie Daugherty

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alana

  23. 5 out of 5

    Judy

  24. 4 out of 5

    Linda

  25. 4 out of 5

    DeNise

  26. 5 out of 5

    Derek Boemler

  27. 4 out of 5

    Megan

  28. 5 out of 5

    Teer Hardy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jolie Fleming

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kelli

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