Amazon best-seller holds book signing at Cerritos College

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Wendy Solorio author of the book Mexicancer at her book signing event at Cerritos College on Tuesday May 12, 2015. Solorio shared her 11 year battle with cancer with her audience. she is signing a copy of her book for her godfather Martin Avina who attended the event to show his support. Photo credit: Perla Lara

Perla Lara

Cerritos College alumna Wendy Solorio has published her first book which is number 27 on Amazon’s biographies and memoirs bestseller list, in it she describes her battle with cancer both during treatment and after surviving it.

Solorio held her first book signing event on May 12 at the Student Center.

The book itself began as a WordPress blog and after one year and many encouraging blog comments Solorio decided to turn the posts into a book.

It then took two years to finish the book. She describes to her audience how writing was an outlet for her frustration and a way to cope with her cancer treatment and with her struggles as a cancer survivor.

As Solorio read the first passage from her book emotions overwhelmed her, understandably so since her first reading described one of her first moments after finding out that her chemotherapy treatment did not work and that she would lose her leg.

The passage begins with, “If I had known earlier that year that I would have to mourn the loss of a limb I so desperately needed, I would’ve ran a marathon. I would’ve worn my heels every single day […]I would’ve danced with my dad more at family reunions. But I didn’t know. We never know when anything we do is going to be the last time we do it. That day, all I knew is that my days as an able bodied person were numbered.”

However, Solorio’s book not only covers her cancer treatment, but also the imposition of expectations of what someone with cancer should and should not do.

Solorio said during her presentation, “We grow up being told don’t be sad, don’t be upset, but sometimes you have to be, sometimes you have to say hey this sucks I don’t want to be sick, I don’t want to see people and that’s totally fine. I think it’s important for people to understand that they need to deal with negative emotions once in a while.”

She added, “I decided to go my own way after I realized what I was trying wasn’t working. Certain doctors, certain people, certain routes I was taking to deal with depression and post cancer trauma. I realized I was doing things that others wanted me to do and I wasn’t doing anything I wanted to do.”

Solorio’s family was at the event to show her support.

Gizel Avina, cousin of Solorio said, “I read her blog a lot when she first started and bought her book…..I was surprised. I didn’t expect how raw it is I loved it more than any book I’ve had.”

Solorio’s godfather Martin Avina, remembers her as a child running away from him and into her godmother’s arms and he remembers the moment he saw her after knowing she had cancer.

He said, “In the moment she didn’t want to see anybody, we respected that and we didn’t go see her until someone told us it was all right to go, that’s when we went to visit and it was a feeling I cannot express I couldn’t say anything to her just give her a hug and a kiss.”

After reading the book Avina has found out more about his goddaughter’s fight with cancer. He said, “After I read the book I said, ‘man this woman is special, strong in spirit and heart.’”

Solorio sees her cancer survival and depression as an ongoing battle, for the people who are also fighting their own battles she adds the following words.

“Stop worrying about what other people think will work for you, take time to figure out what will work for you, it won’t come over night, it won’t in a week, it won’t come in two weeks. It took me two years to realize what worked for me. Take your time to realize what you want and what works for you don’t pay attention to what people say.”