My blog today is the 10th stop for the blog book tour of This Time’s a Charm: Lessons of a Four Time Cancer Survivor, written by Don Wilhelm. The book chronicles Don’s battle with lymphoma…a long and difficult journey over several years. His journey has included several remissions that he says in the end were “intermissions” as his cancer has recurred multiple times. At the time his book was published, he had survived 4 recurrences. He is now currently out of remission again and facing his 5th battle with lymphoma.
I’ve read several books written by cancer survivors, and Don’s book was one of the better ones. It was personal, inspiring and easy to read; I finished it in one day. What I enjoy about reading books written by other survivors is that they validate our own experience, they make us feel less alone, more understood. Don’s book does all of those things.
In This Time’s a Charm we travel with Don through the shock of his diagnosis, his search for an oncologist willing to be a team player, his research into his disease, his experiences with testing, chemotherapy, radiation and even a stem cell transplant as he’s battled multiple recurrences…Don’s been through it all.
Don has faced what all of us fear, a recurrence, multiple times. At one point he said that “not 10 seconds went by any day that I didn’t think about it and worry that my cancer was coming back”. Much of his book chronicles the emotional impact cancer has had on his life, and his learning to live with the uncertainty we all face. He talks about spending the summer after his transplant living what many of us do at some point, a “short term life”. His was a phase of “gluttony, irresponsibility and disregard for the future”. But he grows through this phase and many others to acheive a full and rich life in spite of and often with cancer.
Don’s story is the courageous and inspiring story of a man living for years through a life interrupted frequently by cancer recurrences…a man who chose to explore, to grow and most of all to LIVE. Definitely recommended reading for anyone struggling with a cancer diagnosis.