A Tango with Cancer

My Perilous Dance with Healthcare & Healing

“The fight against cancer isn’t necessarily limited to eradicating it from your body; too often it continues with the very system that’s supposed to heal us.”
                                                     —Apryl Allen

Apryl Allen was desperate to learn what her future would hold after a diagnosis of breast cancer. What she didn’t anticipate was an underlying factor no one talked about . . . healthcare.

Depicting the poignant complexities patients encounter, Apryl takes us deep into the realities of the human side of the disease: the nerve-wracking undertakings of her quest to find multiple health specialists through the aftermath of medical bills.

A Tango with Cancer reminds us compassion is a vital element to the healing process. It also reveals how, in today’s medical world, many health professionals have abandoned the practice of altruism.

Praise for A Tango With Cancer

“Prepare to fall in love with the heroine of this gripping tale. If you like Jodi Picoult, you’ll love Apryl Allen. Brave and vulnerable, funny and sad, heart-achingly honest—this illuminating story is an astonishing debut for a major new writing talent. But this is not fiction. Apryl Allen is telling her own heart-rending tale of a battle against cancer and the inhumanity of a medical system that so often doesn’t see the person in the patient. This book should be a compulsory text for every health professional and is a riveting read for everyone else.”

—Dr. Robin Youngson (New Zealand)
Founder of Hearts in Healthcare
Author of Time to Care

“Apryl Allen takes us through her healing journey with breast cancer using candor, humor and grace. Navigating the medical industry after a diagnosis can be daunting, but as Apryl shows us, there are always those individuals and new genomic tests which make the process easier.”

—Cari Grundman,Breast Cancer Survivor
Patient Advocate, Agendia, Inc. (a Molecular Diagnostics Company)

A Tango should be required reading for all those who deliver care to patients with cancer or any life threatening health concern. Compelling and provocative. A triumphant assertion of personal courage and individual rights within an increasingly impersonal health care system.”

—William B. Miller, Jr., MD
Author of The Microcosm Within

“This is one of those stories none of us envision ourselves being the heroine (or the hero), but the sad reality of our times is that we most likely we will be. Apryl Allen’s well-written and riveting memoir of her battle, not just with a dreaded and frightening disease, but with our insensitive, uncaring, and inhumane healthcare system, is compelling, engrossing and alarmingly accurate. A Tango with Cancer is one of those vital books that should sit on every American’s nightstand, because even if you escape cancer yourself, it’s a good bet one of your family members or a close friend won’t. As a cancer survivor myself and, as of six months ago, having endured sarcasm, duplicitousness and disdain during the care of my husband who died of leukemia, I know of wherefore I speak. The torture of this painful disease was ungodly, but because he was an “un-healthy” patient, translate that to “terminal”, he was only valuable to the hospital as long as his insurance held out. Shockingly, we have devolved in our efforts to help our fellow human beings. This spot light that Apryl Allen illuminates, is not centered on herself. This selfless, passionate and courageous woman has spent two years of her life bringing this book to the public domain—her only wish is to help others through this maze of insanity.”

—Catherine Lanigan Cancer Survivor, Caregiver to Spouse with Cancer
Bestselling Author of: Romancing the Stone

“A very interesting read for me, a cancer survivor. Apryl shares her story in an educational and emotional way that made me think about how different yet the same we all are. She is a true story teller deep from her heart. A Tango with Cancer is full of enlightenment, spirit and passion.”

—Billie Jo Herberger, Cancer Survivor, Author & Philanthropist

“This heartfelt compelling guide, a lifesaver for any patient, caregiver, or loved one is a must read for anyone confronted with cancer. Apryl Allen shares her compassion, experience, and wit.  Read Apryl’s book and you have a new caring friend.”

—Pat (Patricia) Brilliant, Loyal Friend & Supporter

“I first met Apryl at the Gym we both work out at. I noticed one day she seemed very quiet not the Apryl we all know! It is then she shared with me her diagnosis of Cancer. She wanted to reach out to me because I was a friend but also I lost my wife to Cancer after a 22-year battle. When I first met with Apryl and Ken to discuss my experiences with Cancer we discussed many things associated with it but also I tried to prepare them both for some of what was to come.

Cancer is a team event you have many Doctors and professionals on the medical side of things as you can imagine. But you also better prepare and set up your own team for support and help as you fight your battle. Cancer is all consuming to the one inflicted and it also creates collateral damage to those around you. Your caregivers and family need to know what is ahead of them and be prepared.

Apryl and I discussed this at length but I don’t think it really sunk in until she was in the middle of the battle. Cancer can be defeated with all the new treatments available but if you as a patient or caregiver are not leading that charge and have the mind set to do that it will be a long battle. I unfortunately had to learn that from 22 years watching the strongest woman I have ever known deal with cancer head on and with Grace.

This book is a great look into just what to expect when confronting Cancer. I wish a book like this was available to me 22 years ago, we might have prepared differently for my families battle with the disease. Thank you Apryl for sharing your experience.”

—Scott McPherson, Husband, Caregiver to Spouse with Cancer