By the founder of the Cancer Confidence Movement
and The Cancer Confidence Matrix, comes a genre breaking investigation into the cancer war, toxic positivity and cancer hate. Uncovering how society breeds this trauma
and how to escape it in just 72 hours.
In Uncancering (available for pre-order now in USA, Australia, UK and Canada) eternal optimist Melissa Stefano eloquently dissects how the cancer war and ‘fighting cancer’ has become the primary way to manage the cancer experience. Cancer survivors pride themselves on how they have battled, beaten and won the war, advocating loudly that cancer is a war that must be fought. Consequently people who die with cancer feel they ‘didn’t fight hard enough’. The cancer industry has somewhat muted its overt cacophony of war metaphors, but still uses slogans suggesting we need to fight cancer — stand up to it — and be the resistance.
For all of the expertise of Neuroscientists, Mental Health Professionals and the Medical Community who support a NO WAR ethos, the cancer industry as a whole can’t quite work out how to keep their businesses alive without aligning with ‘cancer thrivers, cancer sufferers and cancer super-survivors’ — the labels which now enslave us.
Over three decades of professional and lived experience in amplifying human potential and social injustices, Melissa raises the personal development bar by intertwining concepts endorsed by neuroscience; coaching psychology and spiritual philosophy with story-dance and musical theater to craft an entirely new paradigm to replace the war, in an effort to reduce depression, anxiety and fear of dying.
Now Stefano brings her perspective to the great Uncancering; untangling and unlearning of the outdated rhetoric of the Cancer War, made famous by Nixon in 1971, when he declared the war on cancer. She reveals how we have become addicted to fearing cancer and connects the dots on how choosing love and wisdom can change the trajectory of your cancer experience and the rest of your breaths. She resists telling you her cancer story to keep the book pure, because she believes — You don’t need to hear anyone else’s story.
Uncancering is Stefano’s first and the most urgent book about the cancer industry in the last 50 years.
Melissa Stefano is a Creative Visionary and founder of The Cancer Confidence Movement and Cancer Confidence Matrix. Stefano is known particularly for her research on the war metaphor, wisdom in crisis and applying these findings through the principles underpinning her work. She has developed a blueprint of more than fifty principles in order to diffuse cancer trauma and unsolicited opinions from societal conversations.
Since the diagnosis of three conditions in 2014 including cancer, pelvic floor dyssynergia and Hashimoto’s disease followed by homelessness, then houselessness in 2018, Melissa finally stopped seeking a permanent roof over her head. She has been boho-ing around for four years while incubating a number of creative and commercial projects centered around two themes: Stopping the Cancer War and improving the quality of the lived cancer experience in 72 hours.
Melissa is drawing on her 30 years as a dancer and story dance creative director, and twelve years of professional coaching, to develop a system of personal growth especially for people in crisis, advocating a shift in just 72 hours.
THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU IF:
You are fed up with cancer being talked about like it is a war
You are annoyed with how the media portrays cancer
You love someone who is experiencing cancer, and you don’t know what to say or do
You feel overwhelmed
You sometimes feel shame, embarrassment, fear, or guilt
You want to make the most of your cancer experience
You want to feel better each day but you don’t know how
You like the concept of reading something that is less about ‘story’ and more about joy, curiosity and love.
The Surprisingly Simple Truth About The Cancer War and Toxic Positivity and Why We Can’t Shake the Habit
Anger, hate and war is the most socially acceptable way to talk about cancer… It turns out war is a bit addictive. It heightens perception and sharpens the experience of our being and makes us feel like we belong to something bigger and more important.
Thinking about something like a war for a short period of time is a temporary solution to a psychological problem. We know why anger and war-like emotions can tame the trauma some of the time, but it’s not sustainable in the long term.
The social pressure to continue the fight is real.
The Practice of Confidence, Freedom, Wisdom, Consciousness — and Joy!
If we want to find the way back to ourselves and shake the cancer identity, we need the language and humble confidence to both tell our cancer stories ethically and build cancer businesses, coaches, therapists, healers and industry conduits by moral compass first. In Uncancering: Prepare to Love the Unlovable, we explore one topic a day for 33 days in three overarching themes.
Unlearning Systems: freeing yourself from old beliefs and values.
Going Beyond what you know.
Preparing to Love. You don’t have to love, you just have to prepare to love.
We can’t expect people just to give up on a 50 year habit of hating and fighting, we have to give them something else supporting a healthy moral compass.
Confidence — not chaos
Freedom — not fear
Wisdom — not war
Consciousness — not coping
Dirty Cancering The Musical
What, a musical? Cancer is no joke — and Stefano agrees, but the war, toxic positivity and the way thrivers and survivors own their labels — well, that’s a little bit funny. Stefano wrote the first draft of the musical in just 72 hours. She knew that the best way to get her message across, as well as reducing the fear and overwhelm, was by using humour and parody. After all, who doesn’t love to laugh? She had won more than 60 awards for Musical Theatre presentations and story dance performance and so she wrote a musical about the war, the trauma and all that jazz.
Stefano worked in the education system in Sydney for 20 years choreographing and teaching children from five to eighteen. More than 20,000 young people and too many first places to mention, she knows how to spread a message in a way that young people understand.
She says ‘it has to have ridiculous characters, be crazy enough that it is unbelievably believable and daggy enough for the cool kids.’
Come exactly as you are and do cancer your own way.
In Uncancering, Stefano shows you how to be your own coach and prepares you to love the unlovable. Holding space for you to process ALL your emotions, you will discover how to spark your mind health and go on a voyage and return to your true self.