About the Author
Margaret Brennan Bermel lives on Long Island with her husband and cats. She was born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Her childhood revolved around reading; playing the piano, baseball, chess, and tennis; climbing trees; running; and skiing. She has a strong work ethic, and has worked since the age of 16. She graduated from Bishop Hannan High School 3rd in her class, where she was a Glee Club piano accompanist and Cheerleader Co-Captain for the Varsity Basketball Team. She graduated from Marywood University cum laude with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Music. Ms. Bermel met her life partner on Fire Island in 1979, and lived in Phoenix, Arizona for a year. She returned to the East Coast in the early ‘80’s and graduated with an MBA with Distinction from Hofstra University. She previously co-authored management articles published in scholarly journals, and was the co-recipient of the Human Resource Management and Organizational Behavior Journal ‘Distinguished Paper’ award in 1985. She is a 1st Degree Black Belt and an avid golfer. She was President of her neighborhood association, “Bellport Beach Property Owners’ Association.” Ms. Bermel has worked as a drug and alcohol treatment specialist; a supervisor for the US Census Bureau; a recreation therapist at a state psychiatric facility; a budget examiner; a finance director; and a chief fiscal officer for a large organization.
In 2009, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and her world suddenly changed. She started to chronicle her discoveries. She stumbled upon the dirty secret of the cancer industry: chemotherapy does not work. As her research progressed to the discovery of the truths about conventional treatment, she also opened up to the inspiration that life offers to us all on a daily basis, if only we pay attention. She started blogging about her discoveries. She is an ‘accidental’ author; she never intended to write a book, and certainly never a book about cancer. The book unfolded as her journey unfolded. She was looking for answers that could not be found in just one source. The numerous citations in the Bibliography of books, DVDs, articles, and websites brought her answers, and can be used as a resource by others.
Ms. Bermel has written a self-help book, a non-fiction chronicle of the life of a non-conventional cancer patient who bucked the system and exposed the cancer industry to help keep other people from dying from the “treatment.” This is a book of survival, a book of encouragement to show others in this situation how to live and how not to die, a book about how to be brave enough to resist the pressure of the medical “standard of care”, how to explain to well-meaning family and friends that you are going against conventional medicine, how to be open enough to find inspiration in life and to achieve happiness, even reaching Maslow’s level of “self-actualization” in the process. This is the only way to survive cancer.
Her intention is to raise enough reasonable doubt about the motives and ineffectiveness of the cancer industry in approaching this disease so that people will start to question the “standard of care” treatment—chemotherapy. Her intention is to challenge the readers to suspend their belief system in the traditional approach to cancer. At one time or another, everyone will hear a doctor tell them that they or a loved one have cancer and that they need chemotherapy. The author brings this awareness to the public consciousness: we must stop going along with the conventional “inside the box” thinking, that chemo is the correct knee-jerk reaction to cancer. It is not, and we must challenge it. The cancer industry is complacent; there is no motivation to improve the product line because business is booming. With ‘early detection’ marketing, more and more people are diagnosed with cancer everyday. People are buying what they think they need. There is no reason to make “a better mousetrap.”
The author states that “All the pieces of the puzzle of my life fit together in this book, and now the picture of my life makes sense and has purpose: to bring this important message to others. This is the culmination of my life. It is an exposé of myself, as well as of the cancer industry. Everything in my experience has congealed in this book.” It is a fact of life that nothing causes you to appreciate life more than the threat of losing it. At the same time, it is also very disheartening to discover that the very industry that we trust with our lives has sold us out for the bottom line. We are being led to slaughter like lambs.
Big Pharma is the driving force behind the millions of futile treatments and resultant deaths. This story casts enough reasonable doubt on the oncology field so that people will finally start to question and demand answers, and stop dying.
Ms. Bermel is a survivor by choice, sheer luck, profound faith, and determination. She is an ordinary person who was called upon to do the extraordinary: overcome cancer and live to tell the story.