“What is the sense of living if we do not continue to learn and grow through each day given to us?” – Diane Davies
Cancer. The very word sounds negative, foreboding. It has a stigma associated with it. Disease. Death. Despair. The End. But what if cancer didn’t have to be the end, but rather the start of things? For Diane, it was exactly that. At the time of her writing this book, a memoir of sorts, she had experienced the diagnosis of this life-changing disease twelve years earlier. When that happened, she connected the same dots every other soul makes: the funeral scene. Was life all that it was cracked up to be? Who showed up? Who didn’t?
Most people get lost in this and quickly fall into a cynicism that poisons their heart more than the disease ever could. But for Diane, something else happened. A spark ignited, and she nurtured that spark into a flame. In 2005, she published her first book on the cancer trail. A daily diary of sorts, it invigorated her with life lessons that guided her through the experience.
She first brushed breast cancer with her mother’s diagnosis, and as if the disease had a taste for blood, it came after her as well. Her diagnosis took time, and the healing process even longer, but I won’t go into the details – that’s one of the reasons to read this book. Her experience, captured in agonizing detail, allows the reader to feel the anguish and pain, as well as the hope and joy. Quite an odd combination, the two, but if you knew Diane, you would understand completely. What is evident in this book, and in my communications with her, is that she has a peculiar trait about herself: she is a believer in G-d. There’s something to be said about a faith like that – it could be the very defining attribute of who she is and why she not only survived her encounter, but thrived. Sometimes the greatest growth a believer will undergo is that while in difficult circumstances.
On a literary note, Diane is very personal in her writing. In the case of her book, it is a necessity to its success. Part personal diary and part encouragement for those faced with breast cancer, this book is a natural selection for not only those facing the disease, but those affected as well. It’s not entirely scientific and weighed down with medical opinions, and it gives hope in a situation that can seem lacking. No matter how dark the tunnel may appear, this book reminds readers that there is light, even if just a pinhole, around the corner. Her prose is practically perfect for its application and purpose, and the book is everything she promised it would be and more.
For being an independent writer and not part of the larger publishers, this book stands out as one worth taking a peak. Next time you’re looking for a book that has hope, consider this for your shelf…
Disclosure: I have received a reviewer copy and/or payment in exchange for an honest review of the product mentioned in this post.
Also published on Medium.