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Cancer Schmancer    by Fran Drescher order for
Cancer Schmancer
by Fran Drescher
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2003 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Wesley Williamson

Fran Drescher was, of course, the brilliantly successful co-creator of the TV show, The Nanny, and also the executive producer, writer, director and star of the Emmy-winning series. Not only that, she starred in several films and had leading roles in a number of others. And as well as all that, she is the author of a previous popular memoir, Enter Whining.

Then after so many successes came an accumulation of disasters. The author and her husband of nearly twenty years were divorced; The Nanny ended; various troubling symptoms led her on a two year, seven doctor search for a cure; finally, almost by accident, she was given the appropriate tests and diagnosed with cancer.

Fran Drescher had overcome major problems before (notably after her house was broken into, and she and her girl friend raped) but this diagnosis was particularly stressful, since it would require a radical hysterectomy, and the abandonment of hope for a child, in addition to all of the natural fears that the word 'cancer' evokes. It was even more difficult for her since, after leaving her husband, she had finally achieved a satisfying relationship with another man, with the promise of long term stability despite his being sixteen years her junior.

Ms. Drescher writes with verve and humour; she has an ear for a good story, and does not hesitate to tell it even if she herself is the butt of the joke. Her relationships with others, including her parents and sister, are described frankly and, apparently, honestly, which makes the greater closeness which resulted because of the threat of cancer very satisfying.

Although her story emphasises yet again the problems which the medical establishment has in dealing with the exceptional rather than the average patient, this is not really a book about cancer, it is a book about Fran Drescher and her life: she has crammed so much into it that it is bubbling out at the seams.

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