Item description for Don't Fear the Big Dogs: Journey to Loma Linda by Bill Vancil...
Overview A heartwarming story of one man's positive-charged resolve to conquer prostate cancer and the incredible journey that unfolded for him and his teenage daughter. Emotion flows through tears and laughter in this tale of a triumphant cross-country odyssey.
Publishers Description When Bill Vancil was diagnosed with prostate cancer he raced to find a cure. In the process, he found the symmetry that was his life. Choosing proton radiation treatment at Loma Linda University Medical Center in southern California, he and daughter Tori Lou embarked on a 'once in a lifetime' journey of discovery that covered over seven thousand miles. More than a book about cancer, this is the story of an older dad and his teenage daughter, traveling in the fast lane, marveling at the world around them and the world within them. It is a must-read story for anyone who thinks, feels, hopes and prays. Emotion flows through tears, laughter and discovery; taking a little of each of us along for the ride. There's enlightenment in every chapter.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.28" Width: 5.34" Height: 0.59" Weight: 0.68 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2005
Publisher TATE PUBLISHING #1273
ISBN 1933290374 ISBN13 9781933290379
Reviews - What do customers think about Don't Fear the Big Dogs?
A double odyssey Feb 16, 2008
This interesting work features two odysseys. One, a cross-country trip by the author, Bill Vancil, from Madison, WI to Loma Linda, CA, to seek treatment for prostate cancer, using proton radiation therapy through Loma Linda University Center. Two, a long trip back home to Madison with his young daughter, who had flown out to join him after the start of his therapy.
One issue that piqued my interest in this volume: the author is from my home town in Illinois. He worked in Peoria and the Quad Cities, and many of the little details from his earlier life resonate with me, because of similar experiences.
The first odyssey features his efforts to determine the best way to fight his cancer. This included a tussle with his insurance company, which was loathe to pay for "experimental" therapy. It details the surgery demanded by the insurance company as it considered whether or not to pay for some/all of his treatment. It provides detail on the proton therapy, with enough information about the mechanics of the process to enlighten the reader. Here, too, his book is an advertisement for tests for prostate cancer and, in that sense, does a valuable service.
The second odyssey, as noted above, is the time in California with his daughter and their trip back to Madison. Kind of a nice relationship is detailed between father and daughter. She improved her skateboarding, learned to surf, developed a friendship with Sebastian (a "big dog," although the term big dog is used several different ways in this book), and became friends with other kids. Then, when his treatment was completed, father and daughter drove up the coast, through Big Sur. Then (following a trip I once took) Interstate 80 to the Midwest. They stayed each night at places such as Reno, Wendover (Utah), Cheyenne, and Lincoln (Nebraska). Finally, Madison.
This is an unpretentious book, telling a simple story. But a story that works at two levels of odyssey. . . .
Cross-country road trip to healing Jun 10, 2006
Tori Lou and her dad Bill Vancil were able to take a serious diagnosis of Bill's prostate cancer and mount a fight, including using a new technology not available nationwide. (Proton radiation therapy.)
Their fight included an amazing cross country trip, chronicled in this book and it reads like an adventure tale while giving some hope and some vital information to prostate cancer sufferers.
Prostate cancer is relatively common, yet slower growing than some cancers, especially in older men. There are a variety of screens for this cancer, and some innovative treatments. But even though there is much hope, the journey to healing is always an uphill fight, and the Vancils tell a dramatic story. Vancil, as a seasoned broadcaster and owner of radio stations, knows how to tell a good story with drama, humor and horror, too. This is a very "feeling" book with something that may resonate with you or someone you know. Recommended reading for human interest and definitely for cancer patients.
An easy read with a powerful message Oct 13, 2005
It's not often that you find a person who turns a negative into a positive, and in more ways than one. That's what Bill Vancil did and that's one of the things that makes this book so appealing.
Many people confronting a potentially fatal medical problem would be inclined to ask "Why me?" But, not Bill Vancil. Faced with prostate cancer, he immediately researched potential cures for his condition. Not only did he succeed in conquering the cancer through a little known solution - proton radiation therapy - but Bill rediscovered his own humanity and spirituality in the process.
Don't Fear the Big Dogs is a meaningful and educational book everyone should read; it examines the second highest cancer related man-killer that men need to know about. It also is a moving story of bonding between a 63-year-old father and his 13-year-old daughter. Tori Lou's inspiration is apparent in the spirit of the author's description of their adventure together.
During six weeks in California and the trip home to Wisconsin, Bill and Tori Lou marveled at the world around them and discovered the world within them. The remarkable bonding of an older dad and a teenager ascending into adolescence is the soul of the book. At the heart of the book is an important message to men and their families facing the challenge of prostate cancer. By reading and re-reading Bill's inspiring story I am moved to conclude there are no coincidences.
Filled cover to cover with personal inspiration Jun 26, 2005
Don't Fear The Big Dogs is the very personal story of executive vice-president and part-owner of five radio stations Bill Vancil, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in January 2004. His determination to overcome the attack on his body marks this remarkable, can-do memoir, which also informs the reader of a scientifically advanced option to treat prostate cancer - a procedure called proton radiation therapy, offered at only a few places in America. Told in plain terms, Don't Fear The Big Dogs is filled cover to cover with personal inspiration, drive, and dedication.