Dying to Live Your Life

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In Dying to Live Your Life: Why does it take facing death to live your best life? Lisa Mackall shares the most intimate details of her journey through diagnosis, treatment, and recovery of Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. Just four years before her devastating diagnosis, her husband, Frank, was involved in a near death experience in which he suffered a traumatic brain injury. The automobile accident that nearly took his life, in a strange and unexpected way, helped prepare her for what lies ahead in her own path. As a therapeutic means, she began blogging throughout her husband’s recovery, and now, as she faces her own medical journey, she tells her story through the same medium. Her blog entries begin pre-chemo and continue through the next two years of her life. She writes weekly, sometimes even daily, and shares with her readers what it feels like to be diagnosed with a disease that is prevalent but often devastating to the lives of so many women today. She vows to not let cancer define her, to not let it overtake her still young, 45-year-old life. Vivid descriptions are given of what it feels like to have the first chemo drugs pulsating through her body, what enters her mind when she finds out her port site has become infected, and what emotions are triggered when she learns, nearly two years after her battle began, that more surgery will be needed before this long and tumultuous chapter of her life can be concluded. Mackall shares her deepest fears and her greatest disappointments, but amidst it all, she never ceases to find joy in the special moments, in the little, hidden treasures of life. She shares her gratitude for all those who have reached out to her to lend a hand of support and advocates for each of us to take notice of the blessings that exist in our everyday lives, no matter how difficult our voyage may be.

Mackall’s story is one that parallels those of countless women across the globe, but the insights and truths she provides her readers go unmatched. She writes with candor, simplicity, and authenticity about a subject that deserves attention. The author shares her belief that life is full of choices, some over which we have no control. The ones we do, though, she says are the ones that define us and the direction in which our lives will take. She challenges her readers to face life head-on, to give it everything they’ve got, and to embrace each sacred moment of it. “Life is meant to be lived differently than most of us have been—living it coasting through and not seeing the amazing joy and beauty around us, within us, is a wasted life,” she writes. Mackall expresses sincere hope that her story will have a positive impact on others’ lives, however great or small. Her words exude courage, determination, and optimism, and despite undergoing 15 surgeries in two years and experiencing countless complications and setbacks, Mackall leaves her readers with a salient message. “You can’t “unhear” metastatic breast cancer. What I can do is fight against it, using the tools, diets, and medications that I feel make the most sense for me. They might not for others, but all of us in the cancer fight get to choose how we will engage in the battle.” Her tenacity is real and her courage indisputable. Further, the layout of her story, in relatively short, dated blogs, is welcoming and undaunting.

Her simple and non-conventional style does lend to a couple of drawbacks, as well. Imperfect sentence structure and grammar errors are prevalent throughout many of her entries. However, Mackall’s story is one that has the potential to deeply touch the lives of others, especially those traveling similar paths to hers, making her book well worth the read.

Reviewed By:

Author LIsabeth Mackall
Star Count /5
Format eBook
Page Count 204 pages
Publisher ReadersMagnet LLC
Publish Date 2019-01-16
ISBN 9781949981170
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue July 2019
Category Health, Fitness & Dieting


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