The fear is that Enjoy Every Sandwich will be seen as a self-help book and I suppose there is some truth in that statement. It’s a book in which the reader can learn to enjoy their life to the fullest and lose their fear of death. We read how the author, Lee Lipsenthal, learned to live his life through meditation and a positive attitude in order to not fear the inevitable.
In the opening of the novel we learn how Lee was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer, a cancer to which there is a 90% chance of death. Now, Lee’s life techniques were being put to the ultimate test and this book is his story and how he dealt with the effects cancer had on his life and the people around him.
This is not a book for those diagnosed with cancer, although it would help, this is a book for anyone who has suffered with depression, anxiety disorders, OCD or anything else that seriously inhibits your daily life. I will preface this review stating that for, going on five years, I have suffered with depression and an anxiety disorder, so I wanted to read the book in order to see how others take hold of the conditions.
Much of Lee’s advice is sound and very well known; Lee just breaks it down for the lay person and obviously gives strong examples of how he has used techniques to live a better life. That is what the title reflects, that we should enjoy every sandwich. There is little point in me spelling out each of Lee’s ideas and thinking as it varies greatly from simple positive reinforcement techniques to deep meditation.
One of the best pieces of advice given is to remember the positives in your life; we all have some even if life is looking bleak. His tip is to keep a notepad by your bed and each night write down three things you are thankful for in life from that day. This of course convinces your brain that it isn’t all bad.
I enjoyed reading Lee’s story, much of what he says can be applied to anyone in our hectic 21st century lives. There are times when things went slightly over the top and I found myself struggling to believe. In two of the chapters he talks about past lives and how people can be instantly, physically healed by another individual. These chapters exceeded my ability to believe and my rational thought kicked in. I didn’t feel as if I could truly believe these sections and found myself rolling my eyes a little.
Ultimately, Lee lived his life day by day and dealt with his cancer. He used his techniques to deal with the horrors of Chemotherapy and preparing his family for the worst. Sadly, the worst did come to Lee and he passed away on 20th September 2011. Up to that day he lived his life, went to rock concerts, read books, enjoyed hiking and spent each day as if it was his last. This book may not have utterly changed my life, but I went away with ideas and a positive outlook.
Ignoring the self help aspect, this is a book about a man who lived his life and carried on living it through a terminal disease. It’s a story of hope and sadness, it’s touching and life affirming. That can’t be a bad thing?