Judith commented, “What I find so interesting is that this woman is someone I knew and she knew years ago what had happened to Nadia. Yet, perhaps because of the isolation we put ourselves into, it took the book for us to become connected.”
“Recently a friend received an email about your April 23rd reading at Mt.Sinai. She forwarded it to me and I bought and read your book. I completed it in practically one sitting because I could hardly put it down; so many aspects of your experience were true of mine as well. I also sent copies to two other members of the walking wounded, moms I befriended at MSK, one of whose 15 year old son’s osteosarcoma has relapsed, which breaks my heart.
One thing that was particularly resonant for me was your frustration when Nadia was not chosen to portray Kerri Strug upon her return to Nightingale. Every time something doesn’t go well for A__, I get so angry and upset. I believe that he has suffered so much–eight surgeries, bedridden in a full body brace for months, eighteen rounds of chemo, a month of radiation–that he should now have everything his heart desires. (He doesn’t feel that way at all; he just wants to be a “normal” college kid.) When his girlfriend of two years broke up with him unexpectedly while he was still in treatment, I was despondent for him. When my husband and I dropped him back at school shortly thereafter, with his still-bald head, limping, on crutches and still in need of daily chemo for the entire coming semester, I couldn’t sleep for a week because i was so overcome by anguish.
I even feel upset when my younger kids–coincidentally, boy/girl twins–don’t get what they hope for because they have had to endure so much during high school. I spent much of that period practically living at MSK. I still have tremendous guilt because I was unavailable to them so often during such an important time in their lives. Now that they are seniors, my heart aches as I think of them leaving for college in the fall. I feel cheated because I was unable to focus on them or spend a sufficient amount of time with them, and that is time I will never get back. And they in turn have been cheated as well.
It was very cathartic to read another mother’s description of the nightmare of pediatric cancer. Thank you for sharing your experience.”