Ever since I was a teenager, the library was one of my favourite places to hang out. I would scour the titles and touch the books with reverence. It did not matter to me what the genre was – it could be biography or romance or business. I was mesmerized by words on the page and acknowledged the brilliance of the writers to give voice to their thoughts.
I continued my passionate affair with the library through my 20’s and 30’s, even 40’s. Over time, technology caught up with me and I started purchasing books on my kindle and using the library’s online system to borrow books. Yesterday, I saw that multiple copies of my book Choosing Hope: One Woman. Three Cancers. is in the library – in Toronto, in Hamilton, in Burnaby! I don’t know why this is such a shock to me. But I shed many happy tears as this was an unexpected finding.
It took me two years to write this book. Two years of recounting painful memories. Two years of discipline and perseverence. Two years of going through the rollercoaster and emotions of sharing information, not just of one cancer, or two, but three advanced cancers in 5 years. But it was not just me. Shayne, Sabrina and Nagib wrote chapters in the book. Their passages are raw and unadulterated. Until I read them, I did not know the extent of trauma they went through. Shayne expressed honestly about how he did not like to visit me at the hospital because he could not bear to see me so swollen, almost unrecognizable. Sabrina talked about the agony and miracles she witnessed as my caregiver. Nagib poignantly spoke about how helpless he felt as my caregiver. If you have not read the book, please consider borrowing it from the library. It would be a public service! And if you have read the book, I ask that you take a few minutes to rate and review the book on Amazon as it will help more people find the book.
If you are able to come to my presentation at the library on September 27, I would be ecstatic! And if you have a group of friends that get together and want to invite me over for a book meet and mingle, let me know.
It has been two years since Mawenzi House gave birth to this book. For almost two years, I have found it difficult to re-read the book and only just picked up the book again a few weeks ago. It feels like visiting a dear old friend and I find I am having self conversations and reflections as I read through each page carefully. Would I do anything differently? What was the hardest part? What lessons have I learned? How has my life changed? My myeloma did make an unceremonious return and I required a second stem cell transplant in November 2019. In this moment though, I feel fantastic, living each moment with precious care. In this moment, life has never been better and I am sitting in a place of gratitude for the privilege of being alive!