Chronicling Childhood Cancer- About the Book Cover

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Cover Design by Rohan Paul (Copyright: All Rights Reserved)

The word cancer comes from the Greek word karkinos for crab. Cancer has been around for centuries; Hippocrates coined this term in the BC years. Some say that how the disease spreads through finger-like projections evokes the symbolic shape of the crab and its claws. Others claim that malignant tumors feel hard like a crab’s shell, or that the pain of malignant cancer is reminiscent of a crab’s sharp pinch. Regardless of what Hippocrates might have thought when he named the disease, the name stuck (Dr. Howard Markel, The Origin of the Word ‘Cancer’).

Because we tend to think of cancer as a disease for adults and the elderly, the label of childhood cancer can be particularly jarring. This crab-shaped sand toy evokes the disease of cancer while simultaneously reminding us of the purity of the beach, the innocence of youth, and the simple bliss we often associate with childhood.

In part, this cover design was also inspired by the song Sandcastles by Zach Sobiech (which I choreographed and danced to in the past). It is incredible to me just how much this teenager with osteosarcoma’s music has stuck with me.

2 Comments

Filed under Chronicling Childhood Cancer: Illuminating the Illness Experience through Narrative

2 responses to “Chronicling Childhood Cancer- About the Book Cover

  1. Thank you Trisha for your latest post and for the link to your dance for Zach.

  2. Fascinating background info. I learned something new today! Congratulations on your book, and I hope its stories find a wide audience.

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