In a new book Lantzville author and motivational speaker Liz Astill shares her thoughts about life while on a journey through breast cancer. A Little Off Course grew out of a suggestion by one of Liz’s friends who, on hearing that she was about to stop work and begin 18 months of treatment for breast cancer, thought a blog might help keep her busy. It did, and each entry, accompanied by a photo, kept her in touch with family and friends around the world. It also helped her to focus and enjoy writing. Her thoughts evolved into a book which does not dwell on the medical side of things but rather on the unexpected and uplifting opportunities which life brings.
Liz explains: “Those of you who know me will know that I love to tell stories. These are just little ditties about things that I remember or things that happen. They evolve because something makes me think, or wonder but, more than likely, makes me laugh. When writing my original blog, it turned out to be quite easy and fun to think of a little daily story with an accompanying photo. Grounded by my need to be near home this made up for my inability to travel. Unable to chat with family and friends, this conversation via my laptop was a godsend.”
Liz Astill never really liked the word ‘treatment’ from the moment it started peppering her conversations with doctors, so the various surgeries and therapies that followed became known as her ‘colouring’ and A Little Off Course assumed the colours of the rainbow. The short entries are at times touching, amusing, thought-provoking, and inspiring. They allow readers to apply Liz’s observations to their own lives. By having the time and sense of humour required to observe the little things around her, Liz was able to capture aspects that can help a person through bad situations.
Although brought up in the England, Astill never stayed in one place for long and her time on Vancouver Island since 1995 has been her longest stay in any one place ever. She explains, “In 2008, with a cancer diagnosis, I was lucky to find myself here with all the wonderful care and support in British Columbia. During my time off work, I found I was able to try all manner of new things and meet new people. Without cancer I couldn’t have done this. I am now back teaching at Vancouver Island University and happily back on-course.”
All profits from sales of her book go to the Cancer Society’s Vancouver Island Cancer Lodge in Victoria, BC, where Liz stayed for two months during radiation treatment.