THE CANCER WHISPERER by Sophie Sabbage

THE CANCER WHISPERER

Finding Courage, Direction, and the Unlikely Gifts of Cancer
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A woman courageously stares down incurable late-stage cancer.

Motivational speaker and first-time author Sabbage tells how her "fierce, feisty and indomitable sense of self" drove her to reject defeatist doctors and an impersonal health care system that recommended she accept a traditional, medical death sentence rather than a management plan to treat her disease. In this uplifting book, the author seeks to inspire patients in their journey of "coming to terms" with their mortality. “This is the passage from no to yes,” she writes, “darkness to light, victim to author, paralysis to creativity, passivity to power." Conversely, "if you believe your game is up, then it is." Sabbage provides a directory and self-help guide for cancer patients but little else for loved ones or those not directly affected by the disease. For them, the author offers a two-page list of what well-meaning friends and relatives should do: “Helpful” includes empathy, child care assistance, “prayers (of the authentic variety),” and “not visiting me if you have any viruses, especially if I am going through chemo. Using antibacterial gel before seeing me, even if you are healthy.” On the other hand, “unhelpful” includes “giving me advice” and telling “me about your non-life threatening ailments and how awful they are.” Sabbage is a compassionate writer who advises patients to direct their own treatments, and she provides reassurance that "we cannot control what happens to us, but we can control how we perceive what happens and how we choose to respond." Throughout, she remains both defiant yet encouraging regarding her treatment. "I hope this book will help you experience…the wonder of forging your own path through a dense, dark forest that sometimes seems to offer no respite or escape,” she writes.

Sabbage proves to be an empathetic advocate for patients confronting one of the world's most unsparing and mystifying diseases.

Pub Date: Jan. 24th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-7352-1236-7
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Plume
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