Surviving Cancer after Surviving Cancer
by Kevin L. Murphy
Headline Books

"Cancer puts its victims smack in the middle of a war between good and evil."

Pregnant with their first child, the diagnosis of Hodgkin's disease for Kevin Murphy's wife set in motion a chain of events that would forever change their lives. In Surviving Cancer after Surviving Cancer, Murphy shares this journey in a very open and honest format, expounding the all consuming twofold aspects of cancer (i.e. the physical and emotional). Part memoir, part survival guide, Murphy's story takes us between Kentucky and the West Coast, where his wife's cancer treatments ultimately involved x-ray tracking, surgery, and radiation procedures at California's renowned Stanford University Hospital. From Murphy's vantage point readers learn the importance of asking questions, finding the best medical team, and appreciating doctors who exhibit confidence and compassion. But beyond the realm of conquering the physical aspects of this disease, the author brings us to the forefront of the underlying emotional battles that often arise with cancer and have far-reaching consequences.

Within the narrative of Murphy's revelations, his voice is raw and intimate. The overwhelming stress and anxiety relative to his loved ones' health crisis, clearly breeds a palpable fear. From sheer exhaustion to mounting financial concerns, job insecurities to friends falling by the wayside, the daily grind takes on a whole new dimension. As Murphy notes, "Fear shuts down communication." Herein is the relationship downfall. In the interest of helping others waylay this downward spiral, Murphy closes each chapter with a reflective "Looking Back/Lessons Learned" segment featuring bullet points of practical advice for dealing and coping with cancer-related issues. Two key messages are to keep talking about your feelings and ask for outside help. The author also found solace with a new connection to God and comfort in the offerings from human "angels" that brought assistance in his darkest hours.

With modern technology and continuing research, new treatments are surely on the horizon. Hopefully the inner psyche of cancer patients and their supportive loved ones will reap some of the rewards, and more people like Murphy will be willing to share their personal wisdom and insight, with those facing the emotional mire of a serious health situation.

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