Oscar’s Inspiring Struggle Against Cancer – @janschwartz007


In Last Summer with Oscar, Jan Schwartz eloquently tells the story of Oscar, her beloved pet dog’s struggle against cancer. Her personification of Oscar creates a truly warming story which the reader is able to appreciate through the changing seasons of the novel.  Aged 9, Oscar is confronted with a chilling cancer diagnosis and Schwartz reveals her initial reactions to this, detailing the impact this had on everything surrounding Oscar. Her unique and frank narrative voice is welcoming for those who have experienced a similar grief. But Oscar is not content with the decision to be put down or undergo chemotherapy. Instead, he finds the Slippery Elm Tree which nourishes his weak body every single day. His discovery of the tree causes Schwartz to research natural remedies for Oscar’s cancer and the poignant journey begins.


Last Summer with Oscar is truly remarkable as Schwartz recounts the co-operative efforts made to ensure Oscar always feels loved despite the looming prospect of death. His courageous presence is significant to Schwartz who is constantly in awe of his efforts to stay happy, healthy and alive. Oscar further acts as a source of inspiration to those surrounding him as he shows us that anything is possible and his eating of the Slippery Elm leaves disproves his vet’s regimented course of action.

The novel Last Summer with Oscar inevitably poses a multitude of questions to the reader and Jan Schwartz personally offers her insightful answers. When asked, “who would be interested in reading this book?”, Schwartz suggested that animal lovers and those with cancer “may find the research about the Slippery Elm tree and the Graviola tree to be both fascinating and important”. She also hopes that “many will feel renewed after reading this book”.

The dominant theme of cancer is familiar to many pet-owners as statistics suggest that cancer kills 1 in 4 dogs in the USA. This moved Schwartz to write about the daily occurrences and changes which Oscar lived through right up until his last moments. His impact on the wider community is notable as the natural treatment of his cancer makes him a celebrated figure in the neighborhood.

Dr Janet Schwartz has worked with children and families for over a decade, notably working as a child counsellor at a domestic violence shelter. Her selfless contributions to society prompted the wide-spread research of ‘white collar organised crime’ on a multi-state level. She is the President of Forensic Fraud Research, Inc., an altruistic firm which is made up of highly skilled professionals, working together for a charitable cause.