Written by Denise Nash Friday, 27 November 2009 11:00
The 77-year-old Weisman, a resident of Jericho, is a former English professor and a former New York City school administrator. He was on a cruise with his wife Sylvia in January 2007 and they continued the vacation in Florida. While going for a routine walk in the evening, Weisman was experiencing shortness of breath, but blamed it on the wind. He went for a walk the following night and again had the same result. He was in an elevator the following night on his way to a friend’s house for dinner when he lost his breath and could not breathe.
“I heard them talk about me in the ambulance and I heard them say ‘we are losing him,’” said Weisman.
Weisman’s diagnosis was lung cancer and the doctor told him to get back to New York and get his affairs in order because he had six months to live. That was 22 months ago.
Weisman’s success with battling cancer gives him the experience to address the questions and concerns that constantly threaten to disrupt normal life. Utilizing literary quotes from his teaching career, humorous observations about his time as a patient, and his insight into mental pressures of such a life-threatening disease, Weisman offers readers his own blueprint for living well while surviving cancer, covering topics like doctor-patient relationships, the importance of a support system as well as family, and the world of chemotherapy.
No Expiration Dates isn’t just your ordinary cancer book. Weisman’s confident and literary voice adds that inviting, charming tone that other authors trade for medical jargon, according to reviews. Of course, Weisman offers the medical details and firsthand hospital experience that cancer patients need when approaching doctors about their treatments, but he also understands that the heart must be healed as well. Laughter is truly the best medicine, and his unparalleled mastery of storytelling only helps comfort those who have suffered at the hand of this terrible disease.
Filled with as many medical recommendations as funny anecdotes about his personal experience, all of which give patients new hope for survival, his memoir embodies the true spirit of a person with a new lease on life. Whether readers are battling cancer or have a loved one suffering from its taxing symptoms, No Expiration Dates demonstrates wholeheartedly that a bright future awaits everyone who thinks positively and never gives up.
Weisman stresses that he is not a doctor and wanted a book from the perspective of a patient. “The book includes coping mechanisms,” he said. “Any problem that I have had, I mentioned how I solved that problem in the book. I talk about how to reduce stress, which is very important.”
The book contains short chapters as Weisman explains it’s important to keep the attention span of someone undergoing chemotherapy, which he has done 38 times.
Weisman is now in partial remission, a diagnosis that he is happy with but knows could change. He continues to get scans to measure any growth.
When asked how he was feeling, Weisman said he has fatigue, but did not complain. “I take a nap, I rest, I listen to music and I live,” said a hopeful Weisman, who thanks his family in the book for their amazing support: his wife Sylvia, his son Steven and his wife Lauren, and his daughter Marlene and her husband Michael, as well as grandchildren Andrew and Adam and other family members who have supported him throughout this journey.
The book, which was self-published, is available at iuniverse.com or by calling 800-288-4677, ext. 5022. The illustrations that start each chapter were done by Weisman’s daughter.