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TWICE: How I Became a Cancer-Slaying Super Man Before I Turned 21 Hardcover – October 15, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

It is estimated that only 150 diagnoses of Ewing's sarcoma are made annually and only two-thirds of these patients survive more than five years. Rubenstein was diagnosed with Ewing's at 16, but was determined not to be a 'Sick Kid' for 'I would never be able to discard the Sick Kid label.' Writing with wit and humor, he chronicles his fight with his terrifying disease. Rubenstein's belief in the superhuman ability to fight his cancer gave him the courage to face chemotherapy and its devastating side effects, bone biopsies, a second cancer (leukemia), a stem-cell transplant, more chemotherapy, infections, hemorrhagic cystitis, weight loss, and osteoporosis. In spite of invasive diagnostic tests, treatment set-backs, and demanding physical therapy, he never fears he will lose his battle. The strong support of his family is documented with love and occasional frustration at what he sees as over-protectiveness. A University of Virginia economics degree is testament to his survival and entry into young adulthood. An inspiring and fascinating personal account of a long and often painful journey that would appeal to other patients and their families. --Library Journal

Bejamin Rubenstein is a gifted story-teller and the story he tells in TWICE is riveting. This is a stunning page-turner of a memoir, devoid of the mawkishness that often mars the genre. TWICE is brutally honest, sometimes rib-achingly funny and all the more profound for the author's brave exploration of himself. --Jonathan Kellerman, Professor of Psychology, USC; New York Times Bestselling Author

About the Author

A 26-year-old cancer survivor who eschews heroism in everyday life, Benjamin Rubenstein evolved into an ad hoq and Super Man able to wipe out the Cancer Menace while he was still a teenager. Never stinting on his descriptions of the horrors of both the disease and the cure, he maintains his sardonic sense of humor throughout his ordeal. TWICE came out of his blog "I've Still Got Both My Nuts." A graduate of the University of Virginia, he lives and works near Washington DC.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Woodley Books LLC; 1st edition (October 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978647297
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978647292
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,238,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Benjamin Rubenstein began writing his memoir, "Twice: How I Became a Cancer-Slaying Super Man Before I Turned 21," while attending college at the University of Virginia where he also began blogging on cancerslayerblog. "Twice" published in 2010 and four years later his book for kids published, titled "Secrets of the Cancer-Slaying Super Man." Benjamin is working towards his master's of fine arts in creative writing at University of Maine's Stonecoast program.

Benjamin also frequently contributes to The Huffington Post, speaks about cancer survivorship and teaches plain language classes. Benjamin lives and works in Washington, D.C.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Benjamin Rubenstein is living proof that there is great strength in believing in yourself to overcome virtually any obstacle that this dark, cruel world tends to throw our way. For him it started at the most inopportune time of his life while still just a teenager that probably made him wonder whether he'd ever have a chance at a future filled with college, a career, wife and kids, and all the other "normal" parts of life. After reading his book TWICE: HOW I BECAME A CANCER-SLAYING SUPER MAN BEFORE I TURNED 21, you'll quickly realize that this young man's story of triumph over something none of us should ever go through is nothing short of extraordinary.

When the "c" word entered Rubenstein's life, I'm sure he had no idea just how much it would change him not just physically but mentally as well. As you read his harrowing story of dealing with cancer not just once but TWICE, you immediately gain mad respect for just how mature he handled himself throughout this entire harrowing experience that will undoubtedly serve him well now that he is an adult attempting to pass on the lessons he has learned. I appreciate the apparent paradox that he lived through: strength yet broken, a positive attitude yet seemingly hopeless, inspirational yet desperately seeking a miracle, beating bone cancer yet being diagnosed with leukemia, fighting for his life yet doomed to die, winning the battle yet facing setbacks along the way. All of this is a part of the story within the story that will keep you enthralled as you turn the pages of this book through all the highs and lows of what he went through.

And yet in the end, there's one very important take-home lesson for us all--NEVER EVER GIVE UP!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Twice is a book that was not exactly what I had been expecting. The superhero theme made me think this was going to be an uplifting and funny account of a young man's struggle with cancer--and it was, just not in the ways I expected. I can say with utter honesty that this is the single-most harrowing book I have ever read in my life. Though I have a relative who is a breast cancer survivor, I had no real idea of what cancer treatment was like. I gained some insight by reading Siddhartha Mukherjee's "The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer." Before that book, I knew that cancer treatment was no joke, but hearing the historical and scientific background of the diseases (because there are many, many different types of cancer), as well as information about treatments and their related statistics, I began to realize that cancer was so much more difficult than I had imagined--and it's not as if I thought of it as a walk in the park. While that book provided me with some good, solid science, this book provided me with the human part of the equation, and it is utterly devastating. In fact, as I write this review, I am tempted to use all sorts of adjectives that sound bombastic. In this case, they aren't. There's no real way to quantify just how powerful of a memoir this is.

The thing I admired most about the book was Rubenstein's utterly unflinching honesty. This is not an easy book to read by any means. Rubenstein is very graphic in his detail, though I don't mean to suggest he does this just for the sake of being lurid. Rather, he gives a very unflinching portrayal of his experiences with cancer. This inspires a lot of mixed feelings. Though I can see where some readers might be happier not knowing this level of detail, I think I'm the better for learning it.
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Format: Hardcover
**This book was received as a free Advanced Reader's Copy**

When you look at the cover of Twice it's hard to be sure of what to expect. Bright yellow, with a very muscular bald Superman on the cover it certainly doesn't seem like it would be a cancer memoir. But there's a lot of things in this book that don't quite line up with your traditional cancer memoir. For one it's funny. And it certainly doesn't skimp out on naughty thoughts, gross descriptions, and general risque stuff that is more associated with other types of books. But then again Benjamin Rubenstein isn't your traditional cancer survivor.

As a teenager, Benjamin is diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma. Thus begins his chemotherapy treatments, hospital stays, reactions to medications, and the myriad of other things that are associated with cancer treatment. But it's no sweat, Benjamin is Superman. Or at least in his head he is. He will be the BEST cancer patient ever; quick at recovery, master of his feelings. It's lucky he has the brashness of youth to help him sustain this belief. It gets him through some difficult times. Most of all it would come in handy when after defeating the Ewing's he is diagnosed with a second cancer not too far after. This time it attacks his bone marrow and he has to be placed on a transplant list. And the recovery will be harder, more painful, and gives him a multitude of other problems he will have to face for the rest of his life. He has to face all this with his family at his side, and his friends all continuing on with their lives.

Benjamin is a pretty good narrator. He tells it like it is; and while at times I'm skeptical that he held up emotionally as well as he claims, it still reads as very inspirational. And who am I to say he didn't hold up that well?
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