I knew that C.S. Lewis and I had more in common than our Christianity when he said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." Welcome to a celebration of faith, tea, and the written word. I'm always engaged in a book, and whether it's one I'm reading or one of the inspirational historical romances I write, there's always a cup of tea close by. Join me in a cup as we chat about faith, our favorite books and the exciting places our reading and writing adventures take us.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

You Mean, Besides the Cancer?

On January 4, 2011, Bob Marcotte’s wife Carole—a vibrant red-head with an infectious smile and a knockout singing voice—endured the first of many tests which ultimately led to her cancer diagnosis.

In the following months, the couple endured uncertainty, misdiagnosis, and incredible pain--physical and emotional. Meanwhile, Marcotte juggled his job with his new role as caregiver, nurturing Carole while working and making repeated trips from their home in Fresno, California to the medical facilities at Stanford University in Palo Alto.

Throughout the process, Marcotte wrote a series of journal-style blog entries to update friends and family, which he realized might be of benefit to others going through a similar situation. The result is You Mean, Besides the Cancer? A Caregiver’s Journey: Some Days the Cancer Was the Least of Our Worries.

Poignant, honest, and sometimes raw (including the language), Marcotte offers his experience to help others understand what caregivers go through, hoping that when others read his book, it “can shortcut the learning curve that cut me to shreds.”

While he watches Carole suffer, Marcotte emerges as his wife’s cheerleader, defender, advocate, and buffer. Day after seemingly-endless day, he grapples with the obvious concerns one would expect from a spouse in his situation (fear, impatience, sleeplessness, helplessness) but also with difficulties that often cling to medical issues like life-sucking parasites: insurance hassles, doctors of suspect skill levels, appropriate medications, wearying travel, and the costs—financial, emotional, physical and spiritual—of ensuring one’s beloved receives quality care.

Balanced with thoughts on God, art, worship, purpose, and love, You Mean, Besides the Cancer? flows smoothly, shaded with light and dark in the writing as well as the accompanying photographs—most of which Marcotte took himself. Faith plays a role in Marcotte’s journey, and he doesn’t fail to notice the blessings sprinkled through his experience: there is praise for quality physicians, pride in Carole’s endurance, gratitude for the prayers and help of others, and mostly, love for Carole, which saturates every page.

Anyone dealing with a serious illness would benefit from reading this book, from caregivers and family members to physicians, nurses, and insurance companies (I can dream, can’t I?). It can be purchased from the publisher, on Barnes and Noble, and  Amazon, (just click the links).

Per FCC Regulations, I must disclose that an electronic copy was furnished by the author for the purpose of my review. A positive review was neither promised nor expected.


Cheryl Klarich said...

What a wonderful reminder to make the most of each day.
Thanks for sharing!

Susanne Dietze said...

Thanks for coming by, Cheryl! I hope you're making the most of today. Enjoy!