Book Feedback

I finished the book in two sittings. The night of the book group I read half and it stuck with me all week and then last night I read the other half, both times completely THERE. I found myself feeling that feeling when I’m reading an author who knows what they’re doing… completely trusted that I was being taken along on a journey, in this case, a very difficult one but one that I knew would lead me to greater understanding.

I think this book should be read by everyone. Above all, it is a story of love and family and of will and how these intertwined. It informs us of the loss of control over life for all of you, the fear that flutters there in your gut, the despair that accompanies the setbacks that you kept kicking back into a corner, the strength you pulled from Hannah and she from you and her Dad and sister, and the wonder of Hannah—that she faced all this with such grace and fortitude!!! It really is a magnificent story!!!! The ladybug ovary infection: all I can say is that it added an absurdity to reality that mimicked the larger absurd reality of facing the death of your healthy, exuberant child.

And for medical people, who will feel like they have slipped into your shoes from the same room they live in, there is a wealth of understanding to be gained from reading this!

And for a family that is going through this: it gives words to the whole gamut of thoughts and feelings one experiences and, if I was going through what you were going through, I would want this in my pocket. It’s a roadmap of what is needed: to consider the importance of all my actions in the healing process; to not hide from the inevitable negative thoughts but face them down and thus find greater understanding through them; to know that one will largely lose oneself in this process but, ironically come to know oneself AND LOVED ONES through the hardships; the importance of taking small pleasures that keep the well from drying up. And to know that going through this process, regardless of outcome, magnifies what is important in life.

It is an enormous accomplishment!!!!
Margaret Murray, PhD.

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Memorial Day

As I watched the coverage of Memorial Day events yesterday, I thought about all the families for whom this is a painful holiday. For them, the day represents memories of a loss so deep, it can never be erased.
While I know that the origin of the day is from the Civil War, it had in the past been expanded to include everyone. When I was growing up, we called this Decoration Day. We went to the cemetery and placed flowers on the graves of the family members we had lost and remembered all the things about them that were special.
I thought about the families we knew when Hannah was in treatment whose children had lost their battle with cancer. For them this day and every day is an ongoing reminder of their grief. If you know a family who has suffered this loss, give them your support, prayers and a special “we are thinking of you” message.

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Memories of Diagnosis and Treatment

As the anniversary of Hannah’s diagnosis and beginning of treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukemia looms, the intensity of the memories of that time lessens, but the fears aren’t completely gone.

Driving to Scarborough yesterday for her annual check up, I thought back to all the trips, we made during treatment and in the months after. Some of them were made feelings of pure terror and others with the boredom of 60 miles driven too many times.

Hannah is now a healthy college student who lives her live to the fullest. She sees the time she spent in treatment as something that happened when she was a child and now she has moved on. For her the blood work, echocardiogram and exam are a minor inconvenience to be tolerated.

For me, I can still feel the fear of relapse deep in my being, despite it being very unlikely after eight years. Perhaps my fear is a talisman against bad luck. If so I can accept it as a tradeoff.

The publication of Loving Hannah has completed a portion of my recovery. If this book helps others who are struggling with their own challenges of childhood cancer treatment, perhaps I can catch up to where my daughter is.

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Books Available at Local Book Stores

Signed copies of Loving Hannah are available for purchase at River Run Books in Portsmouth and Water Street Book Store in Exeter. Please visit these local independent book stores.

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Thank you for your interest in Loving Hannah

Loving Hannah: Childhood Cancer Treatment from the Other Side of the Bed published by Maine Authors Publishing & Cooperative Custom Museum Publishing in Rockland, Maine, is available for purchase.

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