Official Review: Cancer Was Not a Gift & It Didn't Ma...

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Ruba Abu Ali
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Official Review: Cancer Was Not a Gift & It Didn't Ma...

Post by Ruba Abu Ali »

[Following is an official review of "Cancer Was Not a Gift & It Didn't Make Me a Better Person" by Nancy Stordahl.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” -- Khalil Gibran

Cancer Was Not a Gift & It Didn’t Make Me a Better Person by Nancy Stordahl is a “cancer memoir” that tackles two parallel lines going in alternating chapters. The first axis touches on the author’s mother suffering from metastatic breast cancer, her journey of diagnosis and treatment, and the frailty she suffered from near the end.

The other axis deals with the author herself being diagnosed with hereditary breast cancer. Stordahl does a stellar job in portraying the emotional turmoil and the realistic fears of having to get subjected to chemotherapy, as well as the psychological and the physical changes that accompany the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

How does cancer affect the family? Is it just a pebble in the road, or a game-changer? What does it mean for a woman to lose her breasts? Answers to these questions and much more are to be come upon after reading the book.

With a straightforward, clear, and candid writing style, the author depicts the details of her journey with this malicious disease. Striking is the honesty of her recollection and the lack of sugarcoating of facts. “When you are recovering from surgery, you no longer take for granted the simple bodily functions such as rising out of bed, putting one foot in front of the other, brushing your hair or teeth, emptying your bladder or even breathing. Such simple motions you normally do every day with little notice or appreciation now suddenly feel like the most valuable skills in the world.”

I particularly loved the author’s sincere relationship with her mother and how intricately woven her mother was in her life. I also appreciated the messages of survivorship and hope that shone amidst the pain and raw emotions. I honestly cannot think of anything I disliked about this book.

An individual or a family dealing with cancer will surely appreciate this memoir. It would also appeal to people looking for practical ways to deal with the emotional havoc that accompanies the diagnosis of cancer, and the journey of surgery and chemotherapy. Moreover, caregivers are bound to find in it a connecting point to relate to their loved ones. Furthermore, I recommend this book to readers seeking an authentic and heartfelt account of how to deal with grief and loss. The editing is pristine, which rendered reading it such an indulgence. Considering all the aforementioned, it pleases me to rate Cancer Was Not a Gift & It Didn’t Make Me a Better Person by Nancy Stordahl 4 out of 4 stars.

On a final note, Stordahl’s words brought tears to my eyes on more than one instance and illuminated several previously unlit chambers in my heart and mind, “It’s often the simple things you miss the most about your loved ones when they are gone. It doesn’t even have to be something tangible. It might be their scent. It might be a particular mannerism. It might be a certain expression. It might be their laugh. It might be the way their presence filled up a room. Or it might be the way they said goodbye.”

Cancer Was Not a Gift & It Didn't Make Me a Better Person
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Post by MrunalT »

I have known a family whose several members have been afflicted with the disease. It is indeed a turbulent time for any family. This one looks likes worth a read.

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Post by Ruba Abu Ali »

MrunalT wrote:
25 Oct 2019, 02:00
I have known a family whose several members have been afflicted with the disease. It is indeed a turbulent time for any family. This one looks likes worth a read.
It certainly is! Hope you enjoy reading it. Thanks for the insight. :tiphat:

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno »

This is an intrestingly frank memoir on dealing with breast cancer and how it affects family members who go throught it. The book is temporarily free on Amazon Kindle and has a well-written OnlineBookClub review. I rated the book 4 out of 4 stars. Congrats @NancysPoint on the BOTD.

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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth »

For the millions who have been diagnosed, there are also millions who are close to the patient who also fall victim to its destruction. I always appreciate memoirs such as this because they remind other going through the same thing that they are not alone. I like that the author has a no-nonsense approach to penning this memoir. Thanks for the engaging review!

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Post by Julius_ »

A very nice book that can help people control their emotions when diagnosed with cancer. Thanks for the review.
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Post by Amy+++ »

Sounds really heartfelt. It's still so awful to watch someone you love go through cancer and then to turn around and do it yourself.

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Post by Readerjorge »

A "memory about cancer" that addresses issues associated with the sufferings of the patients and their family; How to deal with pain and loss.

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Post by Scerakor »

For those personally dealing with cancer or for those that have a family member going through the same experience, this memoir could help shed some light on the process, feelings, and challenges to come.

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Post by NetMassimo »

I lost two aunts to various forms of cancer, so I know it's really ugly! I understand why some people try to encourage those dealing with cancer and their relatives / friends, but when I read certain types of sugarcoating I'm like: are you f*****g kidding me? They're suffering from cancer, not doing yoga or something like that! I hope memoirs like this book can be useful to help people in need for a real support.
Ciao :)

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Post by Tesparia »

This review truly makes me want to read the book. This is a book I really need to read. I have a friend who I have harbored ill feelings toward because she broke up my marriage. We have not spoken in several years. Recently she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I hope this book humbles me and helps me understand a fraction of what she is going through. Thanks for a great review!

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Post by bb587 »

This book sounds like a real tear-jerker. I can't imagine watching your mother go through something so traumatic and then having to relive it yourself. Experiences like that will change a person, and I'm glad she shared her story in this memoir.

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Post by Foreverrmore14 »

A memoir as good as this one always has a way of leaving a brand on the reader, somehow we can feel the emotions, trials and tribulations that the person suffering is feeling. This is so heartfelt and is most definitely worth the read.

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Post by Carlyv1 »

My dad was recently diagnosed with throat cancer. I had no idea what to expect or how it would change him in the long run. This book shows the effects cancer can have on those going through it. It’s nice to read and feel like there is a support team who already knows what to expect. I recommend this book to those who are lost in this topic, and are looking for a light to be guided by.

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Post by godly02 »

Thank you for the great review. I was already planning to read it since I had to deal with my mothers breast cancer but your review really made me more excited about reading it.

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