Tiger, Tiger

A Life Restored By Nature

A book by Patrick Herzog with Art Courtesy of Robert Bateman

★ Awarded the B.C. Best Books For Everyone 2018, non-fiction category!

For years, the trail of his life led through dense marshes, high mountain forests and steamy jungles studying wildlife. Then it stopped with just one word. Cancer. For the next seven years, Pat Herzog was pursued by chronic leukemia until undergoing life-threatening experimental treatment. Thereafter, he was relentlessly bushwhacked by fatigue and brain fog, skirting the edges of depression. Then an unusual encounter with a tiger awoke his lost passion for nature, and he began to overcome his fear of living. More than an authentic tale of illness, TIGER, TIGER – A Life Restored By Nature is a story of hardiness, faith and renewal. And it is tangible proof of the undeniable healing powers of nature.

Feedback from Readers

Excellent read! Not only is this book about the trials and tribulations of having cancer, but very inspiring and insightful about the natural world and its healing powers. This book will tug at your heart, mind and soul. I found myself reflecting on my own life and discovered many new ways to handle life events that come my way. A must read!
An amazing story of a man taken to the brink of suffering and death by cancer and the experimental bone marrow treatment that ultimately saved his life. Even more, it is a story of strength, recovery and hope. Herzog writes eloquently about nature and the strength it gave him. The illustrations of wildlife are amazing.
A powerful story of finding one man’s path toward recovery and peace. In addition to the actual story (with just the right amount of detail) and beautifully written prose, I could feel his despair, frustration, fatigue, and ultimately his joy and peace. Patrick now lives with a new normal, but it is so much more fulfilling than had he not fought for his recovery.
I devoured this book!! One man’s inspirational journey through the unthinkable told with humor and grace and a full life lived on the other side. Beautiful photography and artwork as well. The author is everyman sharing childhood and life experiences we can all relate to in a lyrical style that flows so smoothly I couldn’t put it down!

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Why I Wrote Tiger, Tiger

I received phenomenal support from my doctors, nurses and the many staff who cared for me during my months on Unit 57. They always seemed to know the words I needed to maintain my confidence, and their sense of humor (and occasional teasing) made me feel they were truly sharing my journey.

My weekly, semi-monthly and eventually monthly visits as an outpatient were always met with “So good to see you again” or “Hey, you are looking great, Pat”. I was welcomed as if I were the lost son returning home. Their friendship kept me in the game during my episodes of doubt, especially when I was afraid of living (Chapter 12 Fear of Living).

But how might I give back? What could I do to acknowledge those who had helped me? How could I share my experiences with others facing cancer?

When I spoke to friends about writing a book, most responses were lukewarm, and in a few instances, met with “That has been done so many times, no one wants to read another story about cancer.”

I didn’t want to just write a story about the disease, and especially not one that focused on mental and physical suffering. My thinking about how to proceed remained stymied until I realized how I could show readers how nature led to healing.

Once again, my love of nature came to the rescue.

More from the Author

If you would like to know more about the role of nature in my recovery, please continue on to the Author’s Note in the book.

Author’s Note ✎

“I wrote this book because nature saved my life.

I did not climb a mountain to obtain self-enlightenment. I did not hike across the wilderness to banish my demons. I did not sail across an ocean to test my mettle. The cancer I had was in complete remission, but I was dying anyway, until I was rescued by nature.

Perhaps this is not surprising, because nature has always been my companion. It was waiting outside the back door when houses like ours were invading the rural countryside that was Green Bay, Wisconsin in the 1950s. Honeybees and bumblebees swarmed through neighborhood lawns overrun with white clover and dandelion—my friends and I caught them in glass mayo jars, pounding nail holes into the lids so the insects could breathe. We chased monarch butterflies, and the rarer yellow swallowtails, and at dusk we watched bats dive at the green apples we threw into the sky, telling the youngest among us that bats could get snarled in their hair. We looked for fireflies in hay meadows, and toads in window wells under the streetlights.

We had secret camps in the nearby parcels of vacant forest—stands of oak, maple, basswood and hickory. We reached them by sneaking through the orchard that bounded our neighbor-hood, crawling through the culverts underneath the railroad tracks we were forbidden to cross, and running across pastures, ducking beneath electric fences to escape the curious dairy cows that followed (and scared) us. We built forts, stuck our hands in anthills as a test of strength, lit stick matches on the zippers of our pants, ate burned hot dogs off the ends of sharpened sticks, and learned to avoid stinging nettles and poison ivy. I pretended to be Daniel Boone

When cancer crept in decades later, I was somewhere in the jungles of Costa Rica…”

Excerpts

Windshield Biology

Excerpt from Chapter 22 Windshield Biology → This excerpt is about biology, nature and healing : When I had conducted field studies before my transplant, my ultimate source of satisfaction was often the accomplishment of having collected the data.  But now, though the...

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A New Body

Excerpt from Chapter 19 A New Body → This excerpt is about cancer recovery and exercise: A Good Day: Three to four hours of passable energy so I can function normally around the home, which includes the occasional foray for groceries, car maintenance, or a school or...

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Fear of Living

Excerpt from Chapter 12: Fear of Living → This excerpt is about depression and cancer: I think about the guns in my closet. I debate loading them, each time closer to being unable to see an alternative. I look at the phone, my hotline to Unit 57. I watch it for...

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