Some things you just don't joke about. Like, say, cancer. But the things we're afraid to kid about usually require the most laughter.
When Jim Chastain of Norman looks back at the years since he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in his arm, he looks at all of it — the scary moments, the empowering moments and, surprisingly, the wacky moments. He captures them all in his book, "I Survived Cancer But Never Won the Tour de France.”
"I don't think anybody's going to want to read a cancer book that's grim and there's no hope and just telling awful stories,” he said. "But if you can make them laugh along the way and just see how crazy life is, I think at that point in time they give you permission to go into some of the dark side, too.”
Chastain will give a talk about his memoir from 6 to 8 p.m. today at Rococo, 2824 N Pennsylvania Ave.
His book is honest. The funny stories make the devastation of cancer easier to digest.
He shares stories of buxom nurses smashing him into a body mold and hysterical visits to his parents. He gives most parts of the book a funny spin, and he's a master of sarcasm. He is, after all, an attorney. In the introduction, he mentions choosing a book title needed "a bit of optimism.” He writes, "For I doubt anyone would care to read a book called, ‘I May Soon Die of Cancer, and the Tour de France Isn't on my Radar Screen.