It Was a Privilege to Care for Her
by Keith A. Klafehn
Trafford Publishing

"...most people do not realize what those cancer patients go through as they try to prolong their lives."

Klafehn chronicles the unchartered journey on which his wife of over forty years, Muriel, has embarked; her destination, breast cancer survivor. This book of journal entries ranges in length from two sentences to two full pages, covering a period of four years and eight months (1998-2003). Given the strong focus on the various aspects of Muriel's cancer treatments, the journaling format proves to be an effective means for Klafehn to document pertinent details pertaining to his wife's care. The entries also reflect a goal critical to the author: to maintain established routines that would coincide with his wife's cancer treatments. We are reminded throughout the book of Klafehn's commitment to continue activities both he and Muriel share and cherish to create a sense of normalcy on a path that is uncertain at best.

At first, the treatments fit into the established itinerary of both Klafehns, but as the disease progresses, the reverse occurs and the accustomed routines must now center around Muriel's treatments and resulting weakening condition. The Klafehns strong Christian faith sustains them, as they experience emotions of hope, anxiety, anguish, and ultimately, peace. It is Muriel's sustaining faith, as she moves forward on what she deems as her "adventure," that becomes Klafehn's salvation as well.

The author gives readers an insight into the daily activities and requirements of an advanced stage breast cancer patient. The book concludes with the author's list of pertinent statistics related to Muriel's care and treatments. Klafehn's candid, unabashed detailed summary provides valuable and realistic expectations for those embarking on the road of breast cancer treatment for themselves or a loved one. More importantly, Klafehn's journaling allows the reader to experience this journey as seen from multiple perspectives—medical, relational, and spiritual.

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