Carrie Host, a mother of three, is diagnosed with a rare life threatening Carcinoid cancer. Obviously no one thinks such things could happen to them and Carrie is devastated. This book deals with her journey through Cancer with all the up’s and downs. The River signifies the various stages in her life.
This book was a torture to read, torture as in scary. It could probably be because it reminded me of how fragile life is and anything could happen anytime, about how a seemingly happy family could suddenly plunge into darkness and uncertainty.
Carrie Host gives every detail of her treatment and healing process, mostly about her personal journey as opposed to the medical details. She expresses her fears about her children, her future and the fact that there might not be a forever for her and her husband. She is also a poet so that kind of makes the prose a little flowery unlike the usual straightforward tone you find in memoirs, which is not a bad thing.
Take a look at this passage; it gives an example of the flowery writing that I was talking about.
Cancer is like that. At first, you can’t believe that you are in the waiting room of a cancer center. It’s not like the waiting room anywhere else, because all these people are in some way affected by cancer. You don’t want to be one of these people. You don’t want to believe this. It’s the person next to you in that waiting room, looking like he is doing well, who helps you see the first piece of tangible evidence that there are people who survive this. One moment you are spiraling down, sure that you are utterly alone, and then circumstances reveal that you are not. This is where hope comes and puts an arm around you.
This book is not just a memoir, it is in small parts a self help guide too. And although I might not understand the full extent of help her words provide, I do have an idea of the comfort and support they might offer to those who need it.
While I could see how difficult it was for Ms. Host in spite of having loving family and friends, an incredible support system, financial stability and not to mention a very loving husband, I can only imagine how it could be 10 times more difficult for someone who does not have even one of these.
Although a lot difficult to read because of the emotional aspect of it, I do recommend it if you are looking for stories of people who suffer through a deadly disease and see life through their eyes.
Thank you Lisa for the book.