Thursday, August 21, 2008

Book Review

I’ve just finished reading a good book.
It’s called Voices of CaregivingThe Healing Companion, put out by LaChance Publishing (www.lachancepublishing.com).

It is one in a series of books called "The Healing Project" (www.thehealingproject.org) the brainchild of Debra LaChance, who through her own struggles with breast cancer, created this “community” . A community where people facing similar life-threatening illnesses could reach out to one another through the written word, sharing stories and experiences.

Stories of love, courage, compassion, patience, forgiveness and even humor are told in the pages of this simple, yet profound book.

Mothers patiently looking after “challenging” children. Husbands courageously looking after terminally ill wives.
Children compassionately looking after elderly parents.
Tough road. Why me? Who chose this path?

Questions with no answers. Answers nobody really wanted to know anyway.
Throughout each and every story, however, we find Love is the motivating force.

Love for the incapacitated spouse, the aging parent, the demanding, infantile, yet adult child. Where do we find our inner well of strength to carry on?

By sharing stories. By reaching out to each other in comfort and love, understanding and support. Voices of Caregiving is written as an anthology. Some sample tidbits are:

These Days I Will Remember by Laurie McConnachie starts like this:
"Heartache is watching your father lose his mind in front of you…"
And goes on….."Every night, I take his hand and lead him down the narrow hallway to his bedroom. He insists he is a visitor in this house in which he has lived for more than thirty years….."

"Despite my efforts to ease the way, I feel helpless as I witness my father’s constant struggle to maintain his dignity in the face of an illness that is determined to rob him of it……My father is with me, yet I miss him terribly…."

Speaking the Unspoken by Mary Graham (who gives voice to my own feelings as a caregiver).
"When the one you are caring for is terminally ill, and his needs spill out around him and crowd into any space you are reserving for yourself, it's difficult to remain constantly obliging."


And lastly, an excerpt from Part IV - Humor. This is a story about a husband who had no idea how to handle his wife’s diagnosis of cancer.

A Crash Course: How To Be A Do-Right Husband by Marc Silver:
"….When my wife was diagnosed with the disease in 2001, I didn’t know what to say or what to do…….
……..my reaction to Marsha’s desperate phone call, sharing the news that the results of a callback mammogram had prompted the radiologist to tell her, 'Sure looks like cancer to me.' As she likes to remind me, I said, 'Ew, that doesn’t sound good.' Not the kind of husbandly comfort she was expecting…….."

……then I said: 'See you tonight, honey.' I hung up the phone. I stayed at work all day.
My wife thought she had called the wrong husband."


Caregiving. Rarely are we prepared for this role. But we do it for our loved ones.

I highly recommend this book; particularly if you are a Caregiver. October 2008 is the date it will be released.

12 comments:

beckie said...

Wendy, so glad you have found others' stories to help you. Most of the time that is how we get through the tough times-with the love and support of others. I think of you often and say a prayer for your courage.

Mimi said...

These snippets made me really misty. It's refreshing to see that just because one doesn't handle news the same way as others makes them different. Reading all of these made me realize that we all have unique ways of handling things. It helps put things into perspective too...

annette said...

My eyes are filled with tears. I will most likely purchase the book as my parents' needs increase.

Love is the only answer to the question, isn't it....

Bear Naked said...

Thank you for your comprehensive review of this book.
Your words have me convinced, I am going to read it.

Bear((( )))

Cheryl said...

Hi Wendy.......the quotes from the book made my eyes fill.......my parents and mother in law live nearby, I help them all in different ways and I see a marked change in them all....I don't know what is ahead but I will be there for them all.......that is what we do, we care....

I think of you often, I admire your strength and courage........

Shammickite said...

Thank you for letting me know about this book.

JeanMac said...

Thinking of you.

MoM2-2GoodBoys said...

Sounds like a great book. I may just have to read this one.

I remember my Mother and Father caring for their parents as they aged. It was not easy. I tried to help out as much as I could at the time. But of course, the bulk of the caring was on my parents shoulders. On a positive note though, My Grandparents knew they were loved...

Beverly said...

That sounds like a must-read. It is interesting to read everyone's experiences. When I read about CF and how patients and parents deal with it, sometimes I weep; sometimes I laugh out loud. It's not an easy road.

miss*R said...

I remember when I told my husband that I had been diagnosed with cancer.. he was a rock. He was my caregiver for long months while I went through treatment and I am so very grateful and blessed that I had him by my side...

thankyou for visiting my blog and the kind words for my sister in law xo

Freadom said...

Thanks for the book review.

Wendy said...

Thank you everybody. I appreciate the time you took to comment and add your own experiences to this.