I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
In honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Thanks Julie for bringing it to my attention.
This is Julie’s memoir about her experience with an aggressive from of breast cancer. She starts off with what her life looked like before the diagnosis, from training for a half marathon, to her career path as the Clinical Director at a rape crisis centre and then to a private therapy practice. This all started with a letter written in the middle of the night to her oldest daughter. Not knowing if she would survive, she wanted to tell her all the life lessons she might miss out on.
This is a 120 page book that packs a punch. It took me a while to write this review, I wanted to sit with this after I had finished it: I wanted it all to soak in. She starts off with a the process of being diagnosed and the stress of it all; but, what Julie brings to the table is her attitude. She took this horrible thing that had invaded her body and saw what this experience could teach her about life (in the end what it could teach us all).
The book is broken down into many chapters, all looking at different lessons she has learnt from the whole ordeal: acknowledging the negative presence the cancer is in her life, but then choosing to not to let it define who she is. Julie’s memoir is unbelievably inspiring. The whole thing started with her cancer, but the lessons she talks about are universal.
Although the memoir is centred around a cancer diagnosis and treatment, Julie brings it all back to how it can relate to generalized life lessons- how she came to love her body even with the cancer; the balancing act between the body, mind and soul; and how this pushed her to refocus on the things that are truly most important to her. I think this is something we could use some help with, a little more balance in our lives. Even when our world is turned upside down, there are still things to be grateful for. Whether it is in our own lives, or just gratitude for our families.
Christianity is a main topic throughout the memoir. She is a Christian, and this helped her through it all. A few of the lessons come back to faith, but Julie leaves it open to other beliefs. The God you pray to or not, does not influence what you can get out of this book. Obviously her faith is a very important part of her and has helped her to be a better person: helped her to see the good in life, even when you are diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. I am not a Christian, but I still got a lot out of this book.
Reading this book, gave me a sort of calmness. It made me want to be a better, more positive, more forgiving person. I made we want to look for the good in life, no matter what was is going on.
If you are interested in a short but powerful memoir, about cancer, and really just life, I urge you to pick this up.