Monday, May 10, 2010

Cancer Journey: A Caregiver's View from the Passenger Seat

Cynthia Zahm Siegfried


Two words started Cynthia Siegfried on an unfamiliar and terrifying journey as she suddenly became caregiver for her husband, Jim.  When your spouse is diagnosed with cancer, you quickly realize that--even though it's not your body--it's your disease.  With honesty, strength, and humor, Cynthia presents a first-hand account of the struggles and triumphs in a cancer battle--from the viewpoint of the caregiver.  

Follow Cynthia as she travels through unfamiliar terrain and learns that God doesn't waste our suffering.  He is our faithful Driver along life's toughest roads.  

Cancer Journey offers hope, support, and spiritual guidance for those who provide care for the millions of Americans who are living with catastrophic illnesses.

My Take:

This book really hit me hard.  It is an inspirational book about how to not only survive, but thrive in the midst of a devastating diagnosis.  Normally I like to stay impersonal during the reviews, I keep a nice personal distance, but as this book felt very close to my heart, I'll divulge a bit of info about myself.  A book so personally written deserves a personal review.  My husband has an undiagnosed illness which has forced him out of many jobs, and he is unable to work.  This has caused a little role reversal in our family, I went from stay at home mommy to bread winner, and vice-versa, he is now at home with our daughter.  The situation has presented many difficulties, and I have seen first hand that the role of caregiver is tough.  While we are extremely blessed that his illness is not in the catastrophic realm, such as cancer, it has in fact drained a lot out of us in our attempts to find the cause of the problem, which alludes us to this day.  Cynthia's book really helped me to put things in perspective.  I was reminded in the kindest of ways that people out there have it so much worse, and if she can make it through, I can too, and so can any of you.  Her book offers practical, specific advice, which is clearly numbered at the end of each chapter.  She also offers beautiful insights as to how we can use our struggles to grow into stronger people, through the help of Christian principles and doctrine.  This book is a must read for anyone trying to make sense of an illness, for anyone who finds themselves asking "why me?".  This book is great, if you or someone you know is facing a catastrophic illness, Cancer Journey is one to buy, and as such, I rate it a 1, Pay Full Price

Do you agree with my review?  Do you think I'm totally off base?  Either way I'd love to hear from you, be sure to leave a comment and tell me how you feel!

While the content of this book is not offensive it does deal with heavy situations such as death, cancer and coming to terms with one's mortality

And now a few words with the author, Cynthia Zahm Siegfried:

The Book Buff: What inspired you to write you Cancer Journey? 

Cynthia Zahm Siegfried: When I recognized the lack of support for families facing catastrophic illnesses, I realized that I could fill the gap by sharing my personal experience.

TBB: Do you have a muse? 

CZS: When my mother died two years ago, I inherited her beloved cat. He never leaves my side when I am at the computer.

TBB: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

CZS: Lynn Eib and Dr. Al Weir, both of whom endorsed my book

TBB: If you had to choose something besides writing, what career would you choose?

CZS: Medical research

TBB: What is your favorite interview question? 

CZS: “How has writing the book changed your life?” When my husband was diagnosed with advanced cancer, I thought my life was over. Instead, my life is greatly enriched. I have embarked on a new and exciting career at an age when many women are living through their children and grandchildren. 

TBB: What is the number one lesson you want readers to learn from Cancer Journey? 

CZS: Often a terminal disease diagnosis leads to a spiritual or psychological crisis which, if embraced, can result in self-growth and maturity.

If you are interested in learning more about Cynthia Zahm Siegfried or her book, Cancer Journey, please visit the following link:

**FTC Disclosure-This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.  No other compensation was given.  All opinions are my own.**

If you are interested in purchasing Cancer Journey, please consider supporting The Book Buff by purchasing from the following Amazon link, thank you!


Bookangel said...

I have a bit of a back log on my reading list, but this one is now on it. Sounds very powerful.

Jenn said...

I have often asked myself, why me? It seems as soon as I make it across one hurdle, I land smack-dab in front of another. I will be sure to buy this book, because sometimes its harder than others, and if I can find hope in this novel, it's worth it. Thanks for the review.

Felicia S. said...

Not entering but it does sounds like a fantastic book! What a wonderful review and Q&A with the author. It is important for these books to be out there for people :)

Laury Ann said...

Sounds like a really powerful book...I am not sure if I can handle the emotional roller coaster of emotion...even when she shows strength and inspiration. My mom has been a caregiver all her my grandmother has Alzheimer's and it's been so hard on her especially. Thanks so much for all the great reviews!

Julie P said...

This sounds like such an emotional, powerful read. I am going to pass for now--I would probably cry myself to sleep for a month!

Elise said...

I recently(2 weeks ago) went to an online website called blog for a cure, an online forum with bloggers who have cancer and are there to support each other through these hard times. I met two strangers who are dealing with cancer and whose stories inspired me. I sent them two books from me within the past 2 weeks that were cancer related, so that the books could come in handy to them. Anti-cancer: A new way of life, and Hope: Medicine and Healing. I would love to send them this book you are giving away next. It would mean the world to either one of these deserving women. To them its more than just a book, it's a way of life for them. Thank you very much.

Booklover said...

Some of the best books are the ones that can make a personal connect like this one.

debbie said...

I was reunited with my father after 15 years. He was dying of cancer. I took care of him all by myself, my mother and sister were no help at all (until his passing, then they wanted his money. Of course, there was none.).
My son has recently been diagnosed with unoperable tumors in his legs, after 2 failed surgeries. Now I have to worry whether each new one is cancer, and if not, how much damage will it do.
Yes, I could use this book.

KleinsteMotte said...

Survived the cancer with family support. Faith in all who helped me was a necessary component. I may read the book because I like your review.

Kelli said...

I just picked up a copy of a book that fits this category... "Mom, Interrupted A Young Family Faces Cancer by John S. Viehweg. It is a true account of a families journey with their Mother's battle against cancer... I can't wait to read it... just wanted to share.

BettyMc (Reflections with Coffee) said...

My daughter's new husband (they married last Sept.) has neuroblastoma multiforme -- he was diagnosed soon after they became engaged. They go to Duke Brain Cancer Center every 8 weeks. He is doing well.
Seeing this book and the title hit me hard.

Edna said...

this book would be a help to our family as our only son-in-law who is just 36 is suffering from Lukimia, thank our great God it is not the wrost type but is is bad enought.

Please enter me I follow on google


sharon54220 said...

I recently lost a close family friend to Brain Cancer. I would like to read this book myself and then donate it to our Cancer Center. I work at a hospital and we have a Cancer Center.

Barb said...

I would love to read this book and take its message to heart. My sister was diagnosed with brain cancer last August and I am traveling with her through the journey of surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy. I sometimes feel so lost at what to do so I'm hoping this book would provide me with some guidance.

bstilwell12 at comcast dot net

Annette said...

I would love to read this book. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy. I'm a breast cancer survivor Oct 31 will be 5 years for me.
I am a full-time caregiver of my elderly dad.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this book. I lost my Daddy last Dec. to cancer. He was diagnosed in May and gone by Dec. It all happened so very fast and the grief, well it's holding on. I loaded up my kids the day they got out of school and we drove to Fl. and lived all summer to be with Daddy. I came home in time to put them in school and returned to spend the final month caring for him. I HATE CANCER! IT IS AWFUL.

I am so glad your husband doesn't have cancer. Having an unknown and undiagnosed illness takes a toll on your family nonetheless. You are a strong woman and a blessing to your family!

NancyCL said...

Cancer is an insidious disease and I've lost a few people I've loved to it, but to me this book seems to hit, not just cancer, but the loss of someone special. I lost my dear mother 15 months ago and the pain is still raw. I've tried to write about my loss, but it's still too soon, so I feel reading this book would have a big impact on my muse as well as offer me insight into death and give me closure and comfort.

Lynda M said...

I would give the book to my best friend who recently lost her sister to cancer in October. She is an avid reader and would really appreciate the book.

lmains at acsalaska dot net

Nancye said...

I would like to win this book because cancer is something that is very close to me and my family. Quite a few family members have dealt with cancer on a variety of levels. The one closest to me is my mom. She was unlucky enough to be both the caregiver and the patient. She cared for my dad for quite a few years when he had lung and bone cancer. He died in 2000. In 2003, my mom was diagnosed with colon cancer. After undergoing surgery and a long recovery, she is blessed to have beaten this disease. (She is watched very closely for any evidence of return.)

I would like to win this book not only for me to read, but for my family to read as well. Especially my mom.

Thanks for the chance to win this book.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net


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