By These Things Men Live

Health, Mind & Body

By Robert Ellal

Publisher : Book Locker

ABOUT Robert Ellal

Robert Ellal
I am a four-time cancer survivor and practitioner of Eastern internal energy arts. I have worked as a writer/editor for a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. as well as a writer at Aetna Life & Casualty, Inc.. I am now completing my second book to be published by Night Publishing.


What does it take to beat several relapses of cancer? Employing the mind/body connection—internal energy exercises—plus chemotherapy. What does it really take?


By These Things Men Live is an uncompromising account of beating bone cancer four times in the early nineties—a blueprint for survival. It’s message? Use internal energy exercises, meditation and visualization both as adjuncts to allopathic medicine and as a means for surviving its devastating effects.

At times terrifying, at times inspiring and outright funny. It’s really about nerve, will and determination in the face of impossible odds—stage four terminal cancer that repeatedly relapses.

It elucidates how persistence and resilience are the two most important attributes for survival—or success in any endeavor in life.

This is the true story of my survival from four separate bouts of cancer. You are diagnosed with cancer. After the initial shock and feelings of panic subside, you decide you’re not going to be a victim. You’re going to do everything in your power to be a cancer survivor. You owe it to yourself—and to the people in your life, whether they are your spouse, children, parents or friends. You’re going to fight for survival. What do you do?

Comment by Tracy McCarthy, author of 'The Guardians': this is fantastic. Your first chapter had me fighting back tears. The subsequent chapters took me through fascination, compassion, humor and hope. I love everything about this. Such a powerful story with such beautiful writing.

Comment by Gerry McCullough, author of 'Belfast Girls': This is an amazing book. The courage of the protagonist stands out above all else. You write in a clear, meticulous fashion about the things which happened to you as a cancer patient, both externally, in the ward, and internally, in your mind and spirit. You keep coming back to,'fortune is apt to favour the man who keeps his nerve,' your quotation from Beowolf, and you show us the courage which makes this possible, but also the difficulty, as your 'Thoughts careen through the foliage like frightened monkeys.' This is a valuable book, which is bound to be of great help and encouragement to many people.

Comment by Natalie Jones, author of 'Death and Destiny': This is truly wonderful. I would buy this novel for the three cancer survivors at my place of work. They all suffered from different types of cancer and have similar and different stories to tell. What most amazes me, however, is their indomitable spirit and will. I have a tremendous amount of respect for them and you for writing such an honest, moving account.

Comment by John Joss, author of 'A Full Accounting' and 'Sierra, Sierra': No sane or loving person could have criticized Ellal if he had given up, rolled over, stopped the treatments and the pain, or ended his own life. Instead this brave man hung in, month after dreadful month, a pit bull with teeth embedded in the flanks of the beast, never abandoning his belief in and love of life. He writes at skill levels that match Hemingway’s and he exhibits a startling willingness to be naked in front of his readers.

Comment by Tim Roux, author of 'The Dance of the Pheasodile' and 'Missio':

Bob has produced a literary and personal gem which is intuitively plotted with the surefooted stealth of fiction, pitch-perfect in tone, sinuous of language and not in the least repetitive for the tale of his having to overcome cancer four times over. ‘And again, and again and again’ could have constituted a death knell if not for him at least for his book, but it rather flows like a tragic boat cascading down a river of toxic chemistry.