A doctor who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the start of the Covid pandemic is launching her book about the experience.
The event will take place at Kendal Library on Saturday November 12, starting at 10 am, and Marisa hopes that all those affected by cancer in some way will call in for a chat.
Marisa, who lives at Natland, is a consultant psychiatrist for older people, and runs the psychiatry programme for medical students at Lancaster Medical School.
But she’s also an open water swimmer, climber, runner and adventurer – along with being the author of a truly uplifting and occasionally very funny book.
Marisa documented the ups and downs of her diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer during the Covid pandemic initially in a blog, before publishing the whole story in Cancer, Covid and Me.
“In April 2020 doctors revealed I had breast cancer, just two weeks after the Government initiated a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the virus,” she says.
“I was told that I would need mastectomy surgery but this was delayed indefinitely due to the pandemic. I was going into work with the knowledge that I had cancer growing in my breast which was a very difficult and stressful thing to have hanging over me.”
Marisa eventually had her surgery later that year. She says that writing gave her a focus at a time when she was not only feeling poorly but was also denied access to her beloved Lake District mountains, due to pandemic restrictions.
She decided to publish the book in the hope that it will provide inspiration and insight for others.
“I hope that reading my book might help some women, their loved ones and maybe even their doctors, to realise that they are not alone and to laugh and cry with me over the horrors and the funny bits of having breast cancer. I also hope it’s informative on what to expect post-mastectomy with immediate implant reconstruction and the mental processes we go through as survivors.”
Marisa is donating a percentage of the sales to CancerCare which supported her with counselling during her treatment and Breast Cancer Now.
“I can’t speak highly enough of CancerCare. Just having that listening ear and someone to tell you that it is completely normal to feel the way you are feeling really helped during my treatment,” she said.
Everyone is welcome to come along to the library, where Marisa will be signing copies of the book, but will also be happy to chat with anyone affected by cancer. Or anyone who shares her passion for the outdoors!
The event is at Kendal Library (Stricklandgate, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 4PY) from 10-12 on Saturday November 12. All welcome.