4 out of 4 stars
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When taking care of a terminally ill loved one, you start to view things differently. You begin to realize what's really important in life. Most people, after this experience, realize that family is very important. The best you can do is spend some quality time with your family, so you don't have any regrets when they're gone. The fight against cancer is one that humans are determined to win. However, we still lose so many people to this disease. This is because sometimes we don't fully know all the options we have whenever our loved one is diagnosed with cancer. If this war is to be won, we should stay informed and get fully involved in the treatments of our loved ones. Not in Vain, A Promise Kept by Melissa Mullamphy is a non-fictional novel about the author's family's struggles after her mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
When Constance E. Burns, the author's mother, was born, she weighed only two pounds. Her mother had to use a microwave to warm the room where she was placed. Being a fighter and being the only girl among boys, she struggled and, eventually, she survived. This fighting spirit was always instilled in her. This is evident by the fact that she worked as a night waitress for forty years and raised two beautiful girls: Alicia, the author's sister, and Melissa, the author. On this day, Melissa received a phone call from her mother. She sounded perturbed, which was unlike her at all. She narrated about this tumor that had been growing in her uterus. She'd been hiding it for a long time. In fact, upon examination, the doctors found that the growth was twenty-three centimeters long. However, the doctor in charge assured them that the tumor was benign. How will they react when they realize it is a stage three cancer?
This book has one hundred and twelve pages. Including the prologue, it is divided into twelve chapters. The author narrates the story from the first-person point of view and in the past tense.
I liked several things about this book. First, the author's writing style was very impressive. She writes with such clarity that reading the book was easy and fun. Her vocabulary is simple and easy to understand. Second, the author includes numerous colored pictures within the pages. This made it easy to imagine the kind of life her family led. Third, after the end of each chapter, the author wrote notes on the lessons learned during that particular month. This ensures that the reader learns from both their triumphs and their mistakes. Fourth, the events in this book were arranged in chronological order, then grouped by the months they occurred. I found it easy to follow not only the story but also the progress of the author's mother as she battled cancer.
In conclusion, there's nothing I disliked about the book. Although I found a few grammatical errors, the book seems to be professionally edited. I, therefore, rate it 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to anyone who finds inspiration from people's struggles and is eager to learn about taking care of cancer patients. There are vivid descriptions of the patient's struggles and incessant swearing. If you don't like these, you may have to pass this book.
Not in Vain, A Promise Kept
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