4 out of 4 stars
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Almost all of us know something about the fatal illness called cancer. There are several kinds of cancer, and the treatment of each varies with the severity of a patient’s situation. Usually, a patient is said to be in a battle with cancer, where survival seems to determine whether they win or lose this battle. However, is such a mentality actually fair to the patients? Why cannot passing away be a peaceful transition? In the book below, we learn about the journey of a woman with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
The Smooth River by Richard S. Cohen is an exceptional combination of memoir and guidebook. It revolves around a PR specialist Marcia and her pancreatic cancer experience. Her husband Richard wrote this book to share their unfiltered cancer journey. After the initial shock of the discovery and diagnosis, they gave their all to make Marcia's days peaceful and beautiful. However, the couple did not apply the conservative and traditional approaches that refrained from any conversations about death. Instead, they uncovered a comprehensive meaning of strength, order, and peace in the face of no medical remedies. They identified this thinking as the Smooth River. The use of Smooth River in Marcia and Richard's lives enriched little things and events. During rigorous chemotherapy, severe pains, and societal expectations, their Smooth River thinking gave them the strength to move ahead openly.
There were multiple positive aspects of this book. The writing style was excellent and proficient, making for a lovely read. The author explained medical terms carefully. So, any non-medical reader would be able to grasp the contents of this book quite smoothly. One of my favorite things in this book was undoubtedly the Smooth River philosophy. Through better honesty, emotional warmth, and realistic expectations, this ideology explains how to customize Medical and Life Plans that assert the worth of a patient and lead their family and friends. I also liked how the author shared instances beyond fatal illnesses where this Smooth River thinking could be relevant. There was beneficial information on pancreatic cancer, chemotherapy, hospitals, doctors, palliative care, medicine, legacy, and will. Reading through Marcia and Richard’s days and the harmony of their relationship made me emotionally moved. Marcia was a graceful and kind individual who left an imprint on everyone she met. She had also developed a non-profit called Marcia’s Light Foundation. Overall, this book gave me a greater understanding of pancreatic cancer and the beauty of the little things in life.
There was absolutely nothing in this book that I disliked. The author had taken his own notes during Marcia’s cancer period and even included them in the book. The literary work also seemed professionally edited, and it made my reading all the more pleasant.
Therefore, I would gladly award The Smooth River by Richard S. Cohen with 4 out of 4 stars. The Smooth River thinking can teach readers how to face the probability of passing away with peace and comfort. Furthermore, unlike the usual “beating cancer” approach, this book explored the true essence of a patient’s cancer journey in greater depth. Hence, I would recommend this book to all those people whose loved ones may be affected by a fatal illness in hopes that they gain strength from it. In addition, aspiring doctors and medical students may also find this book very helpful.
The Smooth River
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