There are certain topics one tends to avoid in “polite conversation.” Few men are willing to bring up the fact they are battling prostate cancer; the emotional roller coaster that ensues following one’s diagnosis is a difficult path to navigate, and sharing those emotions with others is often traumatic. But retired psychologist R. Steven Heaps addresses the topic head-on with humor, prostate cancer information and even poetry in his new book, “The Rancid Walnut.”
As an ultra-marathon runner (known by the handle “Skookumtumtum”), Heaps was determined to continue his active lifestyle after his diagnosis, despite the compound problem of cardiac arrhythmias and other heart conditions. So he used cognitive-behavioral psychology and therapeutic writing to tackle his fears and, in turn, provide men with a window into the emotional labyrinth he was forced to navigate. The result was “The Rancid Walnut,” which frankly confronts issues such as incontinence and erectile dysfunction with self-deprecating (and often bawdy) humor and keen, first-person insight. Heaps taught at Gonzaga University and the University of Manitoba before spending 28 years in private practice. He has run more than 60 races of 31 to 100 miles in length. “The Rancid Walnut” was sparked by his membership in “Write From the Heart,” a group that uses poetry to deal with life events.
“The Rancid Walnut” is available in softcover (ISBN 978-1-60264-994-1) and e-book (ISBN 978-1-62137-008-6) from Virtualbookworm.com, Amazon.com, and Barnesandnoble.com. This book can also be ordered from most bookstores around the United States and United Kingdom. More information can be found at the author’s website, www.rancidwalnut.com.