Introducing Keith T. Hardeman, author of The Shadow of Trepidation: Reflections on Caregiving During my Wife’s Battle with Breast Cancer

“Outskirts was simply fantastic! Allison Hiles, Dana Nelson, and Anna Ely were so prompt and helpful throughout the process. I was very pleased with the finished product, and I highly recommend Outskirts Press.”

Professor Keith T. Hardeman grew up in Southern California and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in speech and rhetoric from California State University, Long Beach, graduating Phi Kappa Phi. He taught for two years as a teaching fellow at CSULB before joining the full-time faculty at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. After spending eight years at UNI, he and his wife Shelley moved to Columbia, Missouri when he accepted a permanent position at Westminster College in nearby Fulton. He has received numerous teaching, research, and service awards and has taught various courses in the areas of interpersonal communication, public address, business communication, public relations, and journalism. Professor Hardeman became heavily involved in volunteer work with the American Cancer Society after his father passed away from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He participated in numerous fundraisers and has personally raised over $50,000 for the ACS. He is a longtime member of the Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). In December 2017, Shelley was diagnosed with stage III invasive lobular carcinoma, a somewhat rare form of breast cancer. As cancer indelibly rammed itself into their lives, Keith transitioned from cancer activist to caregiver, and life has been drastically different since that time.

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Book description…

Cancer stories are plentiful and are, perhaps, considered by some to be a dime a dozen. On the other hand, such vast numbers of stories keep piling up at an astounding rate – more than 1.8 million diagnoses each year, according to the American Cancer Society – and each is unique to the individual patient and cancer family experiencing them. Stories can provide predictability and understanding, which are vital keys toward success in the long road of cancer treatment. From diagnosis to the impacts of treatment, The Shadow of Trepidation bluntly discloses one of those physically and emotionally agonizing cancer stories from the perspective of a spousal caregiver. It sheds light on the twists and turns of cancer and comfortably addresses sensitive cancer and caregiving issues. The book also provides some basic, understandable medical explanations, experiential wisdom, and offers numerous tips with vital interpersonal communication strategies for families navigating their own cancer fights. This is a substantive while still relatively quick read. It can also serve as a good reference guide to which readers might return if their own stories were the least bit commensurate. The author does not presume to speak for cancer fighters or even for other caregivers. But he candidly shares helpful insight gathered from his own experiences and perspectives. It is his sincere hope that this book can be valuable for those whose cancer stories are in motion or those that have yet to come. As reviewer and cancer survivor Heather Gehlert of the Berkeley Media Studies Group stated, “Professor Hardeman goes beyond common tropes and trite platitudes to offer an intimate, unsanitized look at the suffering, uncertainty, and resilience that he and his wife Shelley experienced as her cancer invaded their lives. [The book] contains valuable insights and practical suggestions that are helping me cope with the same dreaded disease. My only complaint with this book is that it wasn’t published when I was diagnosed.”

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