Michael Coccari
Author and Educator

Michael Coccari


Michael Coccari

Michael Coccari retired in 2019 from a 33-year career as a high school English teacher.  In the early 1980s he taught English for three years in Osaka, Japan.  His proudest professional achievement as a teacher was helping adolescents find their voices and develop their competency as writers, deepen their humanity and values through the study of literature, and discover life directions through introspective writing and analyzing literary characters.

In 2017 he published a memoir, Cancer Fight: My Wife’s Faithful, Fearless Battle Against Breast Cancer.  The book aims to honor his wife’s experiences living with this vicious disease, document her efforts to maintain a vibrant quality of life, and explain how she handled surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.  The book also explores Coccari’s experiences as a husband of a cancer patient and caregiver.  Cancer Fight was the subject of an interview and podcast on nationally syndicated I Heart Radio /Daily Spark Show hosted by Dr. Angela Chester; a segment on TV station KBAK/Fox 58, an affiliate of CBS News in Bakersfield, CA; and an article in Tehachapi News, a weekly newspaper in Tehachapi, CA.  


Köehler Books published Coccari’s second memoir, It’s Good to Say Thank You, in March of 2022.  


Without the pressures of preparing lesson plans and grading papers, Coccari is trying to market a novel, screenplay, and book of poems, as well as posting blogs on diverse topics, including travel experiences, culture, and education.



Cancer Fight

Cancer Fight

This is a book about my wife’s seven-year battle against stage 4 breast cancer.  From my perspective as a husband and caregiver, the book attempts to describe how my wife responded to her cancer diagnosis and then fought against the disease with grace, courage, faith, and optimism. Included are explanations of my wife’s medical treatment and the effects of that treatment on her body, mind, and spirit.  

My wife’s fearless fight against a deadly disease is an affirmation of love, family, and friends, as well as a reminder that in life and death struggles, nothing surpasses in importance faith in God, a positive attitude, a sense of humor, a rejection of self-pity, and an indomitable strength of will.

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It’s Good to Say Thank You
(March of 2022)

Taking time to express gratitude and appreciation to the most important people in our lives serves as a simple yet profound way to deepen and illuminate the meaning of our relationships and experiences, solidify our identity and values, recognize our personal evolution, and brighten our future with the knowledge that we are sustained by invaluable life lessons from those we are closest to.  Michael Coccari’s It’s Good to Say Thank You validates and enriches universal life stages, including innocence, adolescence, infatuation, maturation, competition, inspiration, accomplishment, love, disappointment, loss, separation, and death.  Michael Coccari charts a path to uncover the influence and impact of the most important people in our lives, enriching our past, reaffirming our truest nature, and encouraging our pursuit of unfulfilled goals and dreams.   

Through the simple act of writing letters, It’s Good to Say Thank You demonstrates how we can discover the profound blessings in our relationships and experiences, which can then propel us to lead more meaningful and fulfilling lives. Michael Coccari shows how expressing appreciation and gratitude to key people in our lives enables us to uncover important life lessons that deepen and renew our identity, values, strengths, and aspirations. It’s Good to Say Thank You provides an easily accessible way to recharge our belief in ourselves, validate the significance of our past, and brighten the possibilities of our future.  Coccari demonstrates how expressing gratitude can serve as a catalyst to intensify the meaning of our past and transform the trajectory of our future.  

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See More

It's Good to Say Thank You


January 24, 2018

Bakersfield Now

Husband shares story of wife's battle with cancer in memoir

July 23, 2017

Tehachapi News

She was someone who loved life': Teacher publishes book about wife's battle with cancer

March 10, 2021

Dr. Angela Butts Chester

Cancer Fight with Michael Coccari | EP 326


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