C: Because Cowards Get Cancer Too by John Diamond


Shortly before his 44th birthday, John Diamond received a call from the doctor who had removed a lump from his neck. Having been assured for the previous 2 years that this was a benign cyst, Diamond was told that it was, in fact, cancerous. Suddenly, this man who’d until this point been one of the world’s greatest hypochondriacs, was genuinely faced with mortality. And what he saw scared the wits out of him. Out of necessity, he wrote about his feelings in his TIMES column and the response was staggering. Mailbag followed Diamond’s story of life with, and without, a lump – the humiliations, the ridiculous bits, the funny bits, the tearful bits. It’s compelling, profound, witty, in the mould of THE DIVING BELL & THE BUTTERFLY

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vermilion; 1st Paperback Edition edition (8 April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091816653
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091816650


My take on the book!

John Diamond, the late husband of Nigella Lawson, was a journalist who wrote for news papers and hosted T.V. shows along with appearing as a guest. In this book we can see his sense of humour coming through as he writes. As a self proclaimed hypochondriac, who’s live would have had to stop over the cold, cancer was the disease that made him reevaluate his hypochondria.

I logged on to the Internet and in a desultory sort of way tried to find out something about what was happening. It turns out that the real function of the Internet, the one which doesn’t involve downloading pictures of Korean hookers, is as a resource for the cancerous. The place is littered with sites for the diseased, for their doctors, for their carers. There are sites for people who think prayer cures cancer and sites for those who think acupuncture will do it. There are jolly sites written in the purposeful layman’s language of the charitable trust, and furrowed-brow, let’s-face-it sites where people get together to wish each other luck. Underpinning them all is the real information – the hundreds of thousands of scientific papers produced around the world over the decades and which sit on the Net waiting to be researched.

Diamond, John. C: Because Cowards Get Cancer Too (p. 40). Ebury Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Come the end of the book you can see how he evolved from this man who was upbeat and comical to a shell of the man he once was. This is an amazing read. I finished it at 4am and was crying my eyes out by the end of it.

This is a very raw story of a mans battle with cancer told with no holds bared and I give it a 5* rating!!




© Paul Tozer / National Portrait Gallery, London

John Diamond died 2 March 2001.

I bought this book a year ago on Kindle when someone very close to me was diagnosed with cancer however I couldn’t bring myself to read it as I had known Diamond died….really not what I needed to be reading at that time.


I work for Cancer Research as a volunteer and tomorrow is Stand Up to Cancer on Channel 4 (UK T.V.) and I thought it was appropriate to review this book to both raise cancer awareness and to gain support for Cancer Research.


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