"You should not take anything or anyone for granted because things and the abilities that individuals have can be taken away so quickly, and then regret sets in."

Ms. Anderson has survived both breast cancer and the deleterious effects of its treatment. Much like many cancer patients, she had to undergo multiple surgeries and other treatments. Unlike typical cancer patients, however, Ms. Anderson had to endure these hardships while taking care of her dad (an Alzheimer’s patient) and later on her mom, whose deteriorating health ended in death. Anne kept a journal throughout her journey with cancer, and her published work is a compilation of these journal entries.

With exceptional honesty, Anne opens her life to her readers, beginning with her discovery of a lump in her left breast. She was diagnosed not long after being laid off from her job as an assistant principal and shortly after separating from her husband. After chemotherapy, a mastectomy, and radiation therapy, Anne was finally declared to be cancer-free. Being a cancer patient is a full-time job in itself, but Anne somehow found the time to care for herself and her parents, play piano regularly within her church community, and deal with her job search—not to mention cope with an unexpected encounter that involved a family member who pointed a pistol at her.

Anne’s journal reflects her incredible inner strength and resiliency, due in no small part to her steadfast faith. Her work will undoubtedly serve as an inspiration to all who read it. The ending is particularly moving. Here, Anne found meaning in her volunteer work at the chemo center, and she survived a frightening health scare regarding a possible recurrence of cancer. Although it isn’t an instructional guidebook, Anne’s journal does offer some words of wisdom for other cancer patients and caregivers: Always get a second opinion, treasure each day as if it was a gift, and help yourself by giving to others.

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