Sunday, June 5, 2016

A Series of Catastrophes and Miracles: A True Story of Love Science and Cancer; Mary Elizabeth Williams

 Mary Elizabeth Williams - National Geographic Partners - 2016

"A wry, witty account of what it is like to face death—and be restored to life."
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"August 15, 2010 - My last Sunday with an intact head is a glorious one for the family to go to Govenor's Island"

Mary Beth Williams is a journalist, married with two young daughters, she was forced for deal with the fact she had Stage 4 Melanoma. In her book she shares her two year battle and her participation in a new immunotherapy treatment which stopped her cancer in its tracks.

Although the author is clearly a survivor, she shares other stories of loved ones and friends who were not as lucky as she was. The author's story pulls you in quickly and, although a story about someone battling cancer should not be enjoyable, this one was  The author is skilled at using humor at just the right times and her writing is honest and down to earth. She has a way of turning her personal medical crisis experience into a compulsively readable story.  I learned a lot about new cutting edge process and treatments as well.

If you tend to shy away from stories about illness and cancer, don't let this one slip by.  This is a story to be embraced, it's a story I'll remember.

4.5/5 stars
(library)


17 comments:

  1. I'm curious about this one. We know someone who had melanoma and the treatment killed her so I think this might be a tough read for me.

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    1. Oh so sorry to hear this Kathy.😰

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  2. My husband had melanoma all over his body from many years spent in the sun in only shorts, and he too was a survivor.

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    1. Melanoma is become more common these days as the earth heats up even more. Glad he survived cancer but, sorry you had to lose him afterward.

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  3. I heard her interviewed on NPR last week... it made me want to read her book!

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    1. She writes so well, I hope you try this one.

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  4. That might be interesting since Dad is a cancer survivor too.

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    1. That's awesome- must be because he's such a good guy and animal lover😻

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  5. I've lost so many loved ones to cancer that one would think these books don't appeal to me, but they really do. Just like When Breath Becomes Air, although the author didn't have a good outcome, it was more uplifting and inspirational than depressing. This one looks really interesting, and I'm curious as to the medical approaches that were used.

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  6. My husband had stage 3 melanoma, the rare type that grows inward instead of on the outside.

    He had two surgeries, is under the care of a great oncologist sending him for multiple PET scans, bloodwork, and dermatologist check ups over the past 2 1/2 years... and is now considered cancer-free at the moment.

    When we lived in NY a couple of years ago, he was sent to the famous Sloan-Kettering Cancer facility and applied for a popular experimental treatment, but was turned down because they didn't think he was a good fit and his daily meds would negate some findings. We were disappointed... but luckily he bounced back anyway.

    I don't think I could read this book this year-- but maybe in the future-- since you found it worthwhile and interesting, as other bloggers have, Thanks!
    http://goodreads.com/ritagoodreads

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  7. I am sure this is very touching, Diane. I hope your Sunday is relaxing.

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    1. We had a very nice weekend; hoping you did as well.

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  8. I think too emotional for me. I am sure this is a good book.

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    1. It was very good and not too painful because of the humor and fact she was a survivor.

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  9. Love the sound of this one. I love it when writers can make books featuring diseases or tragedies humorous. I will have to check this.

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    1. It was so well done. You can tell she is a good journalist.

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  10. I have an aversion to cancer stories. Just one of those things I need to get over because apparently cancer is a part of life, especially more and more these days. Thanks for your review.

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