What Doesn’t Kill You: The High, Lows and Unexpected Gifts of Cancer

SKU: 9781786783554

Rachel Haynes survived bowel cancer, not once, but twice. There have been many unexpected consequences… this is her story. Exploring the ups and downs of treatment with sensitivity, humour and brutal honesty, Rachel reflects on the psychological impacts of survival not only on herself but on those who have supported her.


Being diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer while bringing up two growing children, holding down a full time job, going through a break-up and having three days to adjust to a life-changing operation is far from ideal. Add to this a short period of remission, a new relationship, followed by an unexpected relapse and the whole thing starting again, and you know you are going to be in for an interesting read.

Bowel cancer, despite being the UK’s second biggest cancer killer, still receives a shockingly low level of funding. This book aims in to help this, but to also tell Rachel’s unique story of survival.  Her experience presents a wake-up call to what’s important in life and the truth about surviving against the odds.

This book is a funny and enlightening story about physical survival and then the messy psychological legacy of unexpected survival.  Of wake-up calls that failed and an overwhelming urge to finally make sense of a life that Rachel was not expected to see.

What lies beneath survival is the realisation that the end of treatment is not the end of the story.

After all, what doesn’t kill you…

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