“We still had to get indoors, wipe the pooch’s paws, put his breakfast down, change his water –all this I did as if on autopilot.”
“One of the most honest letters I received at the time simply stated, ‘I don’t know what to say.’ Honesty. You just need to be honest, rather than trot out the phrases that you may have heard others say.”
I expected something with verve and energy, giving details of the trials of dealing with cancer, but with the underlying belief that is was an illness that could be dealt with. I was looking to read something that reflected how I had approached the whole cancer issue. I wanted to read a book that I could relate to and say ‘that is how I felt’.
It was someone’s cancer journey, but not mine. Mine was different. Everyone’s is. It didn’t resonate with me, as I had hoped, based on the description.
The first half was a ‘bald’ description of diagnosis and treatment. The second half was about the rebuilding of a Christian marriage, and the author’s re-integration into the family of her church.
The book was pretty much a book of two halfs. The first half being about the cancer life; the second half being about her marriage and faith beliefs.
As regards cancer and its accompanying ‘ghosts’ or ‘monsters’, this book will possibly not work, as the author intends, for anyone other than devout Christians. I don’t think I would have bothered reading it had I known what the latter part of the book would be like.
2/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)
Although any cancer diagnosis is devastating not only to a patient but also to their family, a positive outlook, a grateful heart and a belief that life can only get better is vital to recovery. There will be readers who understand the attitude that overtook me at the time; my marriage breakdown will resonate with others – just as our reconciliation will also be close to the hearts of some people. I also draw on some hilarious moments, because it wasn’t all bad. My cancer attacked me when I was most in need of a break from life. Disastrous, worrying, life threatening and emotionally draining, the story will touch on some very personal, sad moments but also the victorious end when I refuse to even acknowledge that I had cancer. Yes, it was real, but it deserves no place in my life any more and certainly no capital ‘c’.This is a cathartic book for me and hopefully an encouragement to others who may be going through a similar situation to mine. This book is an honest account of how I drove myself to get well again. Ten years on, my life is so different that I hardly recognise the person in the story. But it was me and it is my story.
About the Author
Elizabeth Caush lives in Portsmouth, UK, with her husband, adult son and Wallace, the White West Highland Terrier dog who constantly sits by her side whilst she is writing or knitting. Wallace is also a source of inspiration as Elizabeth walks him daily while she thinks through the next chapter of writing and mulls over thoughts for the books and articles she wants to produce. Born with a positive attitude, Elizabeth is often found encouraging others to achieve their potential, try new things and improve their lives. This particular book has been in her ‘waiting room’ for ten years as some of the memories have been too painful to revisit, but as she hears of more and more women diagnosed with breast cancer (including her sister and next door neighbour) she wanted to write for them in the hope of encouraging and helping them through their journey. This is Elizabeth’s second book, the first being ‘The Blanket Book’ a look at how therapeutic knitting can help people through the traumas of life.