Deirdre Allen Timmons
Lemonhead Press (2019)
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (9/19)
“Brain Candy” by Deirdre Allen Timmons is an incredible memoir of her journey with brain cancer, stage 4. Her honesty and humor, and the support from family and friends is what helps her deal with all the craziness, tests, alternate treatments, and struggles to get through each day.
Dierdre and her family are at the pinnacle of their lives. Her husband has a great tech career and hopes to open up a BBQ restaurant, her daughter is in high school, and the author is a film producer focusing on males in burlesque. Not to mention, she is also caring for her mother, who has Alzheimer’s. As Deirdre finds herself with unexplained bruising, instability on her feet, memory loss and fatigue, she seeks out help with medical specialists and receives the shocking diagnosis of a fast-growing inoperable brain tumor.
The author writes openly about love, life and loss, and does it all with a sense of humor and balance, which makes this book impactful to some yet accessible to everyone. Her writing is heartfelt and amusing as she renames her brain cancer “brain candy,” as it makes it more fun at parties and get-togethers, everyone wants some until they realize what she is talking about.
Many readers will be shocked at what Deirdre attempts in the way of alternative treatment to include massage, acupuncture, as well as being on a 100% organic diet along with intensive radiation and chemotherapy. However, it makes sense that one would try anything if it gave them more months or years to live.
Realizing how serious brain cancer is, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at some of her comments. She categorized her Candyland of treatment into WooWooville (Eastern treatment), The Wild West (western treatment), The Black Forest (no return) and Return Home (survival). It’s clear to see where she gets her incredible zest for life – her mother is impossible not to fall in love with and has the best, sometimes dark humor which the author has inherited.
“Brain Candy” is easy to read pace-wise, well written with just enough medical jargon to understand her procedures, and entertaining. The author is not trying to gather sympathy; she wants others to know her journey, provide support and take each step as they come with humor and love and being proud of what one has accomplished regardless of the outcome.
I highly recommend “Brain Candy” by Dierdre Allen Timmons for anyone who is experiencing cancer or knows of someone who is. The seriousness, along with humor helps brighten the journey of this sometimes-deadly disease.