The Boring Patient

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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.

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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.

transplantSpeedUp.mp4 from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.

“Face Journal” from biopsy to day 100 of the stem cell transplant.

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



12 thoughts on “The Boring Patient

  1. […] Check out the book’s homepage for a sample chapter and additional information. […]

  2. […] More on the book at […]

  3. […] DL: Actually what I’m geeking out about these days, being completely self-centric, is the launch of my new book. So it is all about self publishing and my new book, The Boring Patient. […]

  4. […] part of the roll out of my new book, The Boring Patient, here are two videos I produced through the stem cell cancer […]

  5. […] and my stem cell (bone marrow) transplant. That writing was mainly in the form of blog posts. While The Boring Patient is much more than just a compilation of blog posts, these writings give you a good feel for the […]

  6. […] a bit of a remembrance of dad, I’m posting another excerpt from my new book The Boring Patient. It is the first time that I have really written about my dad and his passing. I also think that my […]

  7. […] research and support, students need motivation and to be valued. Lawyers need in trial support, doctors, oh God help me, doctors need the humanity of librarians working with people in crisis. Do librarians become doctors, lawyers, and faculty? In […]

  8. […] Three weeks back I gave an ending talk at the ILEAD U project. It was about overcoming fear and resistance, and the importance of building a team that will encourage you to move on. A few folks told me how that message was important outside of the context of librarianship and the project. Upon request, I have written down my thoughts for a more general audience. If you would like to read more about my journey with cancer, please consider my book, The Boring Patient. […]

  9. […] I came to know David through his ILEAD keynotes in March, June, and October (which are absolutely required viewing if you are despairing about the importance of libraries). If you do watch these keynotes, you’ll learn about David’s personal journey through illness and into health, which he shares more of in The Boring Patient. […]

  10. […] This semester I am teaching a class in self-publishing (Publish or Perish: From Monks to MOOCs). This post is the result of my most recent self-published book, The Boring Patient. […]

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