The Boring Patient – Free to Download

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This book is not about cancer. It is about how David Lankes, professor and father, responded to being diagnosed, living with, and being treated for cancer. That is an important distinction because cancer is not funny. Cancer sucks. Cancer does not teach, cancer does not preach, cancer does not comfort, or inspire, or inform. Cancer kills. How one responds to cancer? That is a completely different matter.

In this cross between memoir, case study, and a lecture, Lankes takes the reader on a humor ladened trip through a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma diagnosis, chemotherapy, and ultimately a bone marrow transplant (technically an autologous stem cell transplant).

This book is for others living through a journey with cancer. and those in the business of delivering health care like doctors, med students, nurses, and medical administrators.

Download Your Free Copy

Free? Really?! Yup.

I have been humbled by the reactions I have received from readers of the book. Some talk about how the book helped them understand their own cancer journey, or that of a loved one. I have heard from nurses that have given the book out to patients.

That kind of reward is greater than any price. So I give the book to the world. All I ask is that you let me know your story if you are willing to share. If you want to support the author, or simply want a physical copy you can buy it from Amazon. If you want to read it electronically, or listen to it, please do so no strings attached.

Click here to read it online

Click here for the Kindle version

Click here for ePub

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Audio Book Version

I am posting a chapter at a time via my blog. As they are posted I will link to them here as well. If you want to support this effort or get the joys of the Audible format, you can buy it at Audible. Otherwise, listen for free.


Chapter 1: Getting to Know You

Chapter 2: Sick and Tired in Amsterdam

Chapter 3: Super Bowl Sunday

Chapter 4: Dear Bringer of Doom

Chapter 5: My Cancer is Worse Than Yours

Chapter 6: Too Much information

Chapter 7: The ROC

Chapter 8: Your Side Effects Will Vary

Chapter 9: HemOc

Chapter 10: Dear Doctor

Chapter 11: Schrödinger’s Cat

Chapter 12: ICE ICE Baby

Chapter 13: PET Scans and Water

Chapter 14: Harvest

Chapter 15: A New Birthday

Chapter 16: Home

Chapter 17: Dear Fellow Cancer Survivor

Epilogue: A Cancer Free Summer


Amazon (5.0 out of 5 stars)

5.0 out of 5 stars an inspiring but realistic journey of a great man dealing with cancer

5.0 out of 5 stars Should be required reading for all

5.0 out of 5 stars The Boring Patient will allow you to do this, all while being entertaining and emotionally accessible.

5.0 out of 5 stars This book adds real and unique value to the pantheon of books, including personal stories, about dealing with life threatening illness.

5.0 out of 5 The combination of humor, criticism of the medical system, and description of an emotional cancer experience make this text multidimensional, and a quick read.

GoodReads (4.8 out of 5 stars)

5.0 out of 5 Best cancer patient narrative I’ve ever read.

LibraryThing (5.0 out of 5 stars)

5.0 out of 5 Most impressively and importantly for those of us involved in training-teaching-learning, Lankes never loses sight of the important role he plays for his readers—the role of someone who makes information meaningful to those of us receiving it through the book.


The actual stem cell transplant. The whole procedure took over an hour, so here is a much more watchable version. If you look carefully you can see a priest do a drive-by blessing at 1:37.
[vimeo 87505187 w=500 h=281]

transplantSpeedUp.mp4 from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.

“Face Journal” from biopsy to day 100 of the stem cell transplant.
[vimeo 97336093 w=500 h=667]

From biopsy to 100 days after stem cell transplant. from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.