Second cancer-focused book club Thursday at the Bookworm | VailDaily.com
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Second cancer-focused book club Thursday at the Bookworm

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily
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The Community Cancer Coalition and The Bookworm of Edwards will host their second joint Cancer Book Club tonight at 6 p.m.

The partnership’s inaugural lecture discussed the impact diet and nutrition can have on prostate cancer, as well as food’s preventive and curative qualities. This season’s topic will delve into accepting a diagnosis into everyday life, and the emotions associated with a cancer diagnosis as well as how to negotiate the wide range of feelings that come with such news.

Dr. Michael Glode, the Robert Riffkin professor for prostate cancer research at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, will lead the discussion. Glode is one of the nation’s foremost experts on prostate cancer research and treatment, as evidenced by the more than 100 publications he’s contributed to and been featured.

He also helped to develop Lupron, a billion-dollar selling cancer drug. The Shaw Regional Cancer Center is one of his many outreach clinics that he visits weekly.

Glode will moderate a discussion on Richard Ford’s “The Lay of the Land,” a novel of a man nearing retirement while coming to terms with age, success, family, and his past. Amidst Frank Bascombe’s everyday life as a former sportswriter and thriving realtor, he is diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“[Frank} Bascombe’s reactions to his prostate cancer were very authentic in my view,” Glode said. “The prose is so authentic that it is hard to imagine that [Richard] Ford himself hasn’t been struggling with the same things as his protagonist.”

Bascombe runs the gamut of emotions from depression, anger, and an inevitable sense of death to a rationalizing of the diagnosis, and an acceptance of it into his everyday life.

Bascombe struggles with how to tell his family as well as the now public perception of himself, wondering if people will already begin to think of him posthumously.

Few authors capture the thoughts, emotions, and feelings of the “everyman” as Ford has done across nearly 10 novels, including his Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Sportswriter.” Ford’s gift of channeling sentiments of spectacular prose through relatively unspectacular characters has become his hallmark, making him the literary icon few have ever heard of.

The Community Cancer Coalition and The Bookworm began the series in the fall, focusing on nutrition, diet, and healthy eating as it pertains to prostate cancer. The curative and preventive powers of food were discussed by Melaine Hendershott, dietician at The Shaw Regional Cancer Center. Recipes from David Ricketts’ “Eat to Beat Prostate Cancer Cookbook” were prepared by The Bookworm’s kitchen staff. Complimentary appetizers will be prepared again using Ricketts’ cookbook.

The joint initiative serves to shed on light on prostate cancer, said Tracey Samdahl, executive director of the Shaw Regional Cancer Center. About 20 percent of all Shaw Center patients are diagnosed with prostate cancer, she said.

“I am always impressed with a what a few dedicated people can do,” Glode said of the Community Cancer Coalition. “When we look at the incidence of prostate cancer and its affect on families, including some younger ones, I’m glad these activists decided focus attention in this direction.”


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