Waltzing with Jack Dancer: a slow dance with cancer by Geoff Goodfellow

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Wakefield Press, 2011. ISBN: 9781862549593.
(Age 16 +) Recommended. Geoff Goodfellow is a well known South Australian whose poetry has been studied at Senior School level for many years. In 2008 he was diagnosed with throat cancer and in this collection of poems he documents with humour and candour the harsh realities of cancer and treatment. The poems work best as a collective narrative rather than as individual poems as Geoff takes readers on his journey through misdiagnosis, unsympathetic medical staff and the awfulness of the treatment and its side effects.
His teenage daughter Grace also contributes to the book with a moving prose piece that documents the effects of the cancer journey on family members and the anguish she feels watching her strong father battle such a formidable enemy.
Be aware there is some very strong language so it is recommended that your copy is reserved for senior students. Teachers can contact Geoff Goodfellow for school visits through his website. Highly recommended to anyone who has been a cancer patient and family or friends who have cared for someone with cancer.
Chris Lloyd