'Finger up the Bum' author uses humour to talk about prostate cancer
What originally started as a personal project for Michael Izen evolved into something much bigger
"It was more something I felt like I had to do," said 49-year-old Michael Izen, author of an upcoming book called 'Finger up the Bum.'
The book is a humorous take on Izen's own prostate cancer diagnosis. It features a number of personal anecdotes from his own experiences and illustrations from his brother, Jon Izen.
"In the fall I found out it spread to my liver. I've got a prognosis of about a year left," he said in an interview with CBC Radio's The Early Edition.
He says one of the first reasons he wrote the book was to help him cope with the grief and difficulties that came with his diagnosis.
"There's so many little awkward moments," said Izen.
"From the surgery, to the diagnosis, even the radiation ... you just try to grab onto something that distracts you from the main event and you find a little humour in it."
However, after running a successful crowdfunding campaign to produce the book, Izen says he hopes the book will provide an outlet for men to talk more openly about prostate cancer.
"I had a number of guys in their 50s grab me and say what does it feel like? I really need to know," he said.
"That's when I knew I was onto something: if I can be honest in what it felt like for me."
Izer and his brother are continuing to do more work on the book over the summer, and hope to have it released this fall.