Dying to Live Your Life: Why Does It Take Facing Death to Live Your Best Life?
by Lisabeth Mackall
ReadersMagnet LLC

"You either live life, for whatever moments you have left, or you let whatever is happening, take over."

What if you only had hours left to live? Would you do anything differently? It isn’t until faced with one’s own mortality that the noise of life is muted, and the fast-paced blur of routine comes to a screeching halt. This memoir is more than an epistolary of Mackall’s experience with breast cancer. It is her message, a challenge to her readers to experience life to a degree that is normally taken for granted. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Sometimes it is the simplest solutions that are the most difficult to reach, however.

The book is composed of blog entries, from the start of Mackall’s breast cancer diagnosis through remission. Each entry is a rollercoaster of raw emotion. Her entries begin with optimism but eventually are interspersed with moments that try her will to carry on. There is a particularly defining moment for Mackall that rises above the rest: when chemotherapy seemed to take its ultimate toll, Mackall decides that either she can allow herself to be lost to the chemo and cancer or continue to fight back.

Mackall’s entries, however, are not meant to be just a glimpse into her mind. She seeks neither pity nor sympathy. Rather, she uses these experiences to be a clarion call to the reader. There are questions at the end of entries to give perspective to readers without them having to experience such a hardship themselves. The author’s book is a poignant read that summons the soul to drink deeper of life and not to sleep-walk through it.

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