The Book

Close Calls by Kurvenkratzer (English version) or Kurvenkratzer (German version) is a collection of stories about breast cancer. 25 people and their loved ones talk about the emotional impact of their breast cancer diagnosis and the subsequent treatment in an honest, sometimes blunt and very comprehensible fashion. The topics discussed range from everyday challenges and treatments to fears, expectations and hopes to life changing realizations.

Close Calls by Kurvenkratzer‘s main message is ‘With cancer there is no such thing as ‘the one and only way to cope’. Instead of trying to squeeze all possibilities into one single, correct answer, it illustrates a multitude of possibilities. It is a book meant for patients, but also especially for the people supporting them. We want to give these supporters something to hold on to; an information source that gives them answers to their questions that otherwise would remain unanswered.


Our plan is to produce a 23cm by 28cm (11” by 9”), bilingual, hardcover coffee table book, beautifully designed, written and arranged, printed on high quality paper, filled with moving stories and inspiring photographs of people dealing with breast cancer.

We aspire for Close Calls by Kurvenkratzer to be more than a book, more than just a collection of stories - it will be a portrait of 25 different ways of living, ways of fighting and ways of succeeding. It will be a beautiful and inspiring piece of art in its own right.

Together with 25 talented and renowned photographers we plan to highlight the individuality of every chapter by having each of the 25 participants portrayed by a different photographer in her or his individual style.

“The charm of beauty rests in its own transience.” ~Hermann Hesse

A breast cancer diagnosis or any other severe illness teaches you and reminds you of your own mortality. Generally speaking, people view cancer as a dark and negative subject. So it may come as a surprise that many of the people affected by this illness will tell you that a severe disease does also have its light moments.

The stories we’ll collect in our book will illustrate and explain what happens to body and mind in a way that is only made possible by the personal experience of the interviewed. As always experiences are subject to the view of the individual and thus unique in the way that they affected the person and how she/he dealt with them. Showing the multitude of possibilities and the individuality of each approach is one of the goals of our book.

The book will help to understand questions such as:

How does rheumatism, bone pains really feel like?
How does chronic pain affect everyday life?”
What kind of little success will and can you experience during this time?
“How does it affect you, if your body changes so drastically, that you are unable to recognize your own reflection?
How can the people supporting the patient help? Where should they not interfere and when should they set boundaries?
"What does it really mean, if you fear for your own life? And what can you do if that fear stays with you and doesn’t go away?
What are the positive experiences with this illness?

Our book is meant to be informative and inspiring. It is meant to break taboos.
It is meant to create awareness and force people to actively think about cancer.