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Best book I have ever read by a cancer survivor that deals w/ the emotional issues of surviving, coping + recovering from cancer

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2009

I would like to get the word out to the cancer community about an amazing book written by a Carcinoid Cancer survivor called "Between Me and The River" by Carrie Host.

I am an oncology nurse and this is simply the best book about surviving, coping and recovering from cancer that I have ever read.

This book is so beautifully written and so amazingly accurate and insightful. I wept throughout the whole thing. It covers so many of the emotions that my patients have expressed to me over the years, and it is exactly how I know I would feel if I were in the author's shoes. It is outstanding.

I have read so many cancer books with the hope of finding the perfect book to give to my patients, but always find them lacking something. This book is perfect. I loved the "summary" of the lesson learned at the end of most of the chapters. I have read excerpts from this book to two of my support groups this week to promote discussion and it has already touched the cancer survivors in those groups.

I can only imagine the impact that this book will not only have on cancer survivors and their families, but also on oncology nurses and doctors who read it. This is a must read for any oncology nurse who truly wants to empathize with his/her patients, and all medical students need to be forced to read it to remind them of the emotional toll the cancer journey takes on someone, and to remind them that they are dealing with human beings and not just a cancer "diagnosis".

This book truly touched me. The part where she describes looking in on her children while they slept before she heads to The Mayo Clinic, not knowing if she would see them again, made me sob. The way she wrote about her baby, her amazing husband, sisters...unbelievably beautiful and loving. The part about her mother wishing she could take her daughter's cancer from her and the whole mother daughter bond....heart wrenching. So perfectly accurate the way she describes the friends who stay and the friends who don't. I can't tell you how many times I have heard this and have seen this when working with cancer patients/survivors. A perfect description of the overwhelming fatigue that cancer survivors feel.

I have no doubt that this book will be hugely successful and if Oprah doesn't pick it for her book club she is insane. But the most important legacy that it will have is with the thousands of cancer survivors who will totally be able to identify with it and will feel less alone after reading it.

This is a beautiful book and an amazing lesson in how to value life. Cancer survivors know what is truly important in life and are so much wiser and more powerful than we mere mortals without cancer. This book captures that perfectly.

For those without cancer in their lives, I also suggest this book, as there is a truly beautiful love story woven into the pages between the author and her husband. Not a romance novel love story, but a story of a true and strong love that is tested through the worst of times and not only survives but is victorious.

Anyway....I just wanted to let you know about this book. I obviously loved it. Thanks.

bluerose's picture
Posts: 1102
Joined: Jul 2009

Thank you for passing along the name of this book, it sounds very interesting indeed. I am a 20 year survivor of non hodgkins lymphoma and can identify, as I'm sure most can on here, who have taken this journey with cancer. I think your idea of med students and doctors reading this kind of book is fabulous as so many times we, as survivors, feel so misunderstood and invalidated. I will pick up a copy of the book, it sounds terrific. Thanks again for bringing it to our attention, you hit on alot of common situations just in that short blurb you wrote here about the book, things we all deal with sooner or later that affect us deeply. Take care. Blessings, Bluerose

lindaprocopio's picture
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

After that rave review, I had to have it! Got it for less than $7 through Amazon. Thanks for the idea!

lindaprocopio's picture
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I just finshed this book, and encourage anyone who has had cancer to read it, especially those who have had 'optimal debulking surgery' or any other big cancer surgeries or hospitalizations because I think this author really hones in on that experience so beautifully. This is a great book for caregivers to help them understand the emotional roller coaster of cancer treatment.

here's quote from it:

"Take a deep breath and invite your solitude in, as close as possible. Nestle into it, take yourself there, and breathe. Find the quiet and settle into it like a seed in the warm dark earth. Honor it for the strength of its darkness, for the hidden space it provides. Have faith in yourself and take shelter there. Trust that spring will come. You can be in the dark for a while. You can look at this, at your possible death. You just about have to, in order to revisit your life. You have yourself, and you are everything you need."
(Carrie Host, 'Between me and the River')

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