Month: October 2022



Two days ago the Royal Hobart Hospital called me in to say they’d arranged an emergency admission for me. Apparently I had a potentially life-threatening infection. Within 24 hours ‘potentially life-threatening’ was downgraded to ‘mild’, but clearly the Universe was at work for me.

Friday turned out to be Canteen’s Bandanna Day. As the team came through the oncology ward distributing bandannas, I said,  just on the off- chance, that I’d been thinking of contacting them, as I’d written a book about living with cancer that apparently resonated with young people.

And here’s the serendipitous thing: unknown to me, the woman I was speaking to was Sandi Doherty, Canteen’s State Manager. ‘Oh,’ she said, ‘That’s such a great coincidence. We’re in the process of setting up a Canteen library.

How awesome, if my book should be included in that library!

Another Beautiful Review

Another Beautiful Review

Book Review of The Light in the Darkness: Musings on Living with Cancer

An 11-year itch was all it took to permanently alter Jo St. Leon’s life. After years of being dismissed as a hypochondriac, she was forced to change doctors in order to finally find someone who would listen. Her questions revealed a devastating truth: She had a hard-to-diagnose, rare blood cancer and a life expectancy of only four years.

Armed with answers, she strove to find peace with her diagnosis while struggling with the depression, anxiety, and alienation that accompanied it. She examined her plight, imprisoned in a state of mental solitude, until she discovered the therapeutic benefits of writing down her experiences and emotions. Sharing this uncensored expression of her true self with the world empowered her to see the love and acceptance of her friends, a revelation that changed her entire perspective.

With a newly bestowed sense of inner peace, Jo St. Leon continued writing. In this book, she shares her wisdom from lessons learned, her advice in moving forward, and her endless encouragement to eschew self-hatred and blame and to embrace life, love, and joy. Her journey is one of both devastation and resilience, of finding a Light in the Darkness.
Jo St. Leon looks back on her journey with an uplifting spirit of positivity, highlighting the moments in which her heart was buoyed by the kindness and warmth of others. This book is like an evening stroll through the neighborhood of her life, where she pauses to introduce doctors and friends she’s known for years, those critical individuals who eagerly step forward to share their knowledge and experiences through yoga, magnetic healing, or a listening ear.

The Light in the Darkness is a touching tribute to the emotional trauma shared by many and understood by few. Now, a year beyond her predicted death, a breathing medical miracle, she shares the story of her illness, her encounters, and her newfound joy in life. She offers up her insight in the hopes that others won’t feel so lonely as they navigate the pain and fear of their own diagnosis. – Review by Book Excellence (