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Me and My Shadow - memoirs of a cancer survivor.
This inspiring, true chronicle was placed third in the New York Book Festival Awards 2023

and third in the 2024 London Book Festival Awards - recently awarded the prestigious Literary Titan Gold Seal Award.

It has been nominated for the 2024 New England Book Festival Awards and

the People's Favourite International Book Contest.


Me and My Shadow – memoirs of a cancer survivor, is a brutally honest account of one teenager’s struggle to understand and deal with the most feared diagnosis known to society: cancer.

At eighteen years of age, John Walker Pattison was thrust onto a roller coaster ride of emotional turbulence - his innocence cruelly stripped from him; his fate woven into the tapestry of life.

After years of failed chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments that ravaged his physical frame and almost destroyed his psychological stability – eventually, his parents were told that he would not survive. Yet, today, he is one of the longest-surviving cancer patients in the UK - almost fifty years since diagnosis.

Eight years after his unexpected recovery, the news that all parents fear, his four-year-old daughter was diagnosed with terminal leukaemia. Yet, like her father, she too would defy the odds and go on to become an international swimmer. In 1998, Donna returned from New Zealand, with her two silver medals won with the Great Britain 'Paralympic Team.'

Pattison turned his life full circle and became a cancer nurse specialist at the same hospital that made his diagnosis decades earlier. He prescribed chemotherapy and cared for individuals with the same cancers experienced by both him and his daughter.

Throughout his journey, Pattison's inspirations were the space rock legends, Hawkwind. He would get to play on stage with his heroes at the Donnington Festival in 2007.

More significantly, he found solace throughout his cancer journey in the history and spirituality of the Lakota Sioux Nation. In 2018, he would spend time on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation with the indigenous people of South Dakota. The same people who, unknowingly, supported him through life's greatest challenge: cancer.

Today, he is once again fighting a cancer battle.

"...John’s memoirs are beautifully written. This is a superb book for those experiencing cancer and also for students of health care and experienced professionals..." (R. Gamlin
; Senior Nurse Lecturer)

Out now and available worldwide, or purchase here:

Publisher direct (UK only):  Me and My Shadow | Book | Austin Macauley Publishers

Amazon UK:

Amazon USA:


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