4 out of 4 stars
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The book title, Survival Symphony: My Lung Cancer Journey, perfectly sums up Louis V. Cesarini's experience detailed in this book: a difficult journey through the rough terrain that was "stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer," which he was diagnosed with in May 2019 after experiencing persistent and severe back pain for almost a month. What would you do if you were in Louis V. Cesarini's shoes, especially when he exercised regularly, did not smoke, and had no family history of lung cancer?
If you asked the author, he would tell you, in no uncertain terms, “Cancer is not how I’m going to die.” So, he fought back with everything he had and took advantage of the new lung cancer treatments available today, and in this book, he bares it all and hopes that sharing his journey with us will introduce cancer patients to the possibilities of surviving lung cancer while instilling a fighting spirit and the spirit of taking control of our lives in us.
This was quite an emotional read for me, and I am sure that readers who pick up this book will feel the same way, not just because his story centers around fighting lung cancer but because of his attitude and the way he presents his story. The book is divided into four parts (Discovery, Treatment, Courage, and Believe) and written in a diary format that fully immerses the reader into the author's experiences in real time. The author's experiences every single day from March 2019 to April 2020 are documented here, so we get to experience everything he went through, from the kinds of treatments he used and the numerous side effects to his progress and relapses.
Furthermore, Louis V. Cesarini also shares a lot of helpful knowledge from his experience of surviving lung cancer and working as an oncology drug marketer for almost two decades. From this book, I learned that there are a lot of things that patients assume without getting the actual information, like authorization processes employed by health insurance companies and what services they cover. It was a very difficult journey for the author, but sharing the burden with him every step of the way was his husband, Scott. I thoroughly enjoyed following Louis V. Cesarini's personal life, and it was endearing to see the strength that love from his friends and family gave him.
Another source of strength and healing was the author's love for symphonies, especially Beethoven's symphonies, and blowing the French horn. He also creatively used the movements of symphonies to describe his feelings in the different parts of the book, which, together with the numerous pictures included, bring life to the author's positive and negative experiences in many ways.
Survival Symphony: My Lung Cancer Journey is an exceptionally well-edited book, as I didn't come across any errors. I cannot think of anything I dislike about this book. It was inspirational, educational, emotional, and entertaining. Therefore, I rate this book four out of four stars. Readers who are going through any form of cancer will benefit from this book. If you enjoy inspirational stories, you will love this book too.
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