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August 17, 2009

Perseverance: True Voices of Cancer SurvivorsOne of the hardest parts about getting a diagnosis of cancer is the isolation you feel. Sure, I knew there were many, many people who were going through (and still are) treatment for various cancers, many of which were much more serious than my own. Still, there are moments when I felt all alone.

When I received a copy of Perseverance: True Voices of Cancer Survivors by Carolyn Rubenstein, I quickly realized it was full of stories of young adults who also felt that isolation of a cancer diagnosis. Perseverance is a collection of essays told by twenty college age kids about how they survived childhood cancer. The essays were compiled by the author, who during her own teenage years founded Carolyn’s Compassionate Children a non-profit organization that provides emotional and financial resources to childhood cancer survivors.

These kids tell their personal stories of scary diseases, long treatments, painful biopsies, surgeries and even transplants. Like Jamie Saunders, who underwent a year and a half of chemotherapy treatments after being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma as a high school freshman. Or Rob Dooley, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor the day before his twentieth birthday. These are harrowing stories of hardship some of us will never know and yet these kids have hope for the future.   

Emily Corwin writes about starting treatment for cancer:

“I saw five-year-olds laughing and smiling who were so sick. If they could do it, I could do it.”

Or Henry Choi:

“I now appreciate every single bit of life, and I think of challenges as ways to make me stronger.”

In the end, Perseverance is a book full of touching stories, told in unique voices, and leaves us with the feeling of hope and more importantly, that we as cancer survivors are not alone.

Perseverance is on sale August 18, 2009.

Cross posted over at Mothers With Cancer.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. August 17, 2009 3:06 pm

    There’s really very little one can add to this touching post. Keep your strength up Stephanie. We all – your blogger buddies – admire you. You are not alone. Hugs!

  2. August 17, 2009 3:56 pm

    I am over from Beth’s blog. She alone is responsible for about half my blogroll! I am touched and awed by your courage. God bless Ms. Rubenstein for publishing something that will help those fighting cancer to feel a small bit of comfort.

  3. August 17, 2009 4:34 pm

    This sounds like such a lovely book. And one full of hope!

  4. August 17, 2009 5:03 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful book Stephanie. Thanks for sharing.

  5. August 17, 2009 6:20 pm

    Stephanie, your post is well-written, as usual, and inspirational. I especially like this quote by Henry Choi, “I now appreciate every single bit of life, and I think of challenges as ways to make me stronger.” I will try and keep that one in mind.

  6. August 17, 2009 7:05 pm

    This sounds like a real tear-jerker for a crybaby like me. By the way, I love your new picture!

  7. August 17, 2009 7:15 pm

    I love the quotes! Like Kathy, it would probably be a sobfest if I read this book.

  8. August 17, 2009 8:56 pm

    This looks like an amazing book.

  9. August 17, 2009 10:05 pm

    It’s amazing how resilient people can be. Cancer is so scary, anything that makes people feel less alone is a godsend.

  10. August 17, 2009 10:56 pm

    Sounds like a pretty amazing book. One that I will keep in mind for reading in the future. I like that it revolves around young people!

  11. justicejenniferreads permalink
    August 18, 2009 1:40 am

    This sounds like one of those books that everyone should read.

  12. August 18, 2009 2:43 am

    (((BIG HUG)))

  13. August 18, 2009 8:19 am

    Wow. Sounds so emotional. I’m truly hoping you are done, done, done with this and fully healed.

  14. Nadia permalink
    August 18, 2009 8:49 am

    Sounds like a great book.

  15. August 18, 2009 1:12 pm

    Thank you so much for the great review and wonderful comments!

    I appreciate the support! Perseverance has been released today! You can order it through all the retailers online if you wish (or go to the stores!)

    Thank you everyone for the support!

  16. August 18, 2009 6:57 pm

    Sounds like a very encouraging and uplifting book. Thanks for sharing, Stephanie!

  17. August 18, 2009 10:31 pm

    Just had to pop in and say I love your new profile photo!!
    I hope your recent surgery (in NY) went well. I’ve been so absent — actually, I’ve been reading blogs — just not commenting since I read them while walking on my treadmill. Need to figure out a system for replies without falling on my face. 🙂

  18. August 19, 2009 1:46 pm

    My father is a cancer survivor, going on 26 or 27 years now and I have just watched a co-worker go through a double mastectomy and now reconstructive surgery. With the advances in medical care and a lot of faith and prayer recovery and survival is such a possibility now days and I certainly think books like these…ones that speak of hope…are so vital.

  19. August 24, 2009 7:46 pm

    Definitely sounds like an inspiring book.

    When you get a chance, please pickup a special something from me:

  20. August 29, 2009 9:13 am

    Stephanie, I am sorry you have had to battle cancer. Not too much else is so scary or so uncertain or so painful (physically & emotionally). I think this looks like a wonderful book to read. I am going to put it on my list for books to read later- it may be too soon still as my emotions are still raw from losing my father to it 8 months ago. I am so glad that you are still here, as well as those in the book, so they can share their experiences with those going through it now, and those who want to understand what it is like. Thank you for featuring this.

  21. September 5, 2009 8:54 pm

    I am very sorry to read about your diagnosis, but am glad to read that ,all things considered, you seem to be handling everything very well. Although there is so much support and stuff out there, you still can not help but feel a little alone. It’s still you that has to deal and process everything, while thinking about those you care about.
    Stay positive and this too shall pass.
    Big hugs, good thoughts, and happiness your way.


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