In 1971, with the next election looking less than promising, President Richard Nixon knew he could not win the Vietnam War. But another war was brought to his attention, one that could be won. On December 23, 1971, Richard Nixon declared war on cancer.
The Accidental Handmaiden: How the Survivors of the War on Cancer Became Its New Casualties is the story of that war, as well as the story of the now 16 million American cancer survivors. It is told through the life of a woman at the front lines of it all: Susie Leigh. Susie was no new-comer to combat, having served as an Army nurse in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Shortly after her return home, she began a personal battle with virulent and rare Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and is now squaring off against her fourth diagnosis of the disease.
Make no mistake: Susie Leigh is not a victim. Nor is this the tale of medical misfortunes. And it is certainly not just “another cancer book.” The Accidental Handmaiden unfolds two parallel histories: how the beneficiaries of the War on Cancer became its new casualties, and how one awe-inspiring woman helped give a voice to millions.
Stay tuned. With research and writing underway, this book is targeted for publishing in early 2019.