Poems, paintings and reflections chronicle a cancer survivor's experiences and lessons of her first year battling the illness.
The story begins with Hyman Fead's initial doctor's visit to confront the long-suffered pain deep within her stomach. As cancer had claimed her grandmother, mother and two sisters, she also fought the disease for much of her life. Nevertheless, she delayed facing the truth, which turned out to be quite dire: fourth-stage, inoperable, metastasized leiomyosarcoma. Her knowledge of what lay ahead is both blessing and curse, and she shares her moments of hope and fear with equal honesty. Though she begins with very little chance of recovery, she perseveres through her own unfailing resolve and the love and support of her family and friends. She intimately shares the comforts and inspirations, big and small, that get her through each day during the first weeks and over the course of her treatment. Encouraged by a friend to take a poetry class at the Cancer Center, she finds strength in her own creativity, revealed through the poems and paintings contained herein. Some members of her support network encourage her to try natural therapies such as acupuncture; others stop by with that old panacea, chicken soup; still others assist with quotidian tasks such as answering the phone and taking messages. In addition to providing real hope for anyone diagnosed with cancer, Hyman Fead offers valuable insight into what is required from family, friends and other loved ones. More importantly, she deftly avoids didacticism, leading by example with a writing style that is heartening and effective.
A slim volume full of much-needed love and medicine. (15 b&w photos, 6 color illustrations throughout)