"I have been recovering from open heart surgery and reading Dan and Judy’s wonderful book helped me to keep those day-to-day fears and anxieties in perspective. Their courage, steadfastness, and humor made for an entertaining read, which is something rare in the realm of disease treatment. Reading the book also made me appreciate the support that my spouse has provided, and left me inspired to renew my diligence with the tasks of getting back to a full life."

Dave Zook



Conventional wisdom says one must “fight” breast cancer, but fighting is not for everyone. For some, falling apart proves to be the better response.


Perhaps the best spin to put on my journey was that I simply did it my way. And as it turned out, that was the only way I could have done it if I wanted to survive. And I did survive, but to do that, I had to fall apart. People who inquire about my experience receive my candid reply: I literally fell apart. I want to be authentic in my replies, just as I had been authentic in letting my emotions rule me at times while I went through the experience.


Fighting seemed to be the problem for Judy. While inspiring images of battles bravely fought may conjure uplifting thoughts to some, Judy is a pacifist at heart. To her, battles only suggest casualties. Down deep she probably felt that if she didn’t go to war with cancer, even metaphorically, then she would avoid being a casualty. Unfortunately, flashing the peace sign at the juggernaut bursting through her door spared Judy none of the consequences. No terms were offered simply because Judy refused to fight back. Cancer came and attacked her full force, and I witnessed her wither before it. I thought she needed to do something more; falling apart did not seem enough of a response. But in the immediacy and reality of the moment, I had to defer to her and then actively support her way of dealing with it. In retrospect, it is easy to see that doing so was the only way.


"Where did you get the idea for that fantastic cover?" people are asking us.

Sometimes the best things come through serendipity, and that's the story of our book's cover. Walking along the Race for the Cure route in 2006, friend Annie Zook took lots of candid photos. One was of some fallen leaves on top of which a couple of feathers from a participant's boa had gently landed. Thus a simple street scene -- not staged -- becomes a book cover!


Dan and Judy were interviewed for an article on YourHub.com.

The Heroics of Falling Apart was a finalist in the 2007 Indie Excellence Awards, Women's Issues category.

Judy’s essay, “It Doesn’t Have to Be about Fighting,” appears in an anthology of essays titled Voices of Breast Cancer and published by The Healing Project.

The Heroics of Falling Apart: One Couple’s Breast Cancer Journey is designated an Editor’s Choice book, a Publisher’s Choice book, and a Reader's Choice book by iUniverse.

Topic Hightlights

The Onslaught of Emotion and Information Following Diagnosis

Dealing with the Medical Community

Adjusting to a New Shaped Body