Inspiring and painfully honest,
This review is from: One Day at a Time: Mel's Story (Paperback)I had to review what has been one of the best books I've read this year.
Mel was just 20 years old, a student at Aston University and a football loving girl who was clearly adored by her family and friends alike. This book charts the day when the family were told she had cencer (and in fact the amount of other diagnosis she had in the preceeding couple of months) and the journey that they all follow throughout the illnesses' progression. This isn't a book with a happy ending, yet the way in which the family pull together and deal with the news and terrible symptoms and side effects is somehow incredibly uplifting. Ian, Mel's Dad, has contributed large chunks of a blog he wrote to help keep everyone updated. He is a natural writer, and should definately write more please! He is so, so honest, as is Mel in the facebook posts that she wrote and are also included.
If you are currently living with any long term illness, this books will be an incredible comfort. To know that others are muddling through, not knowing how to manage, and screaming at the unfair benefits system, is like being tucked up with a teddy bear. It seems much more alright, because it isn't just you wondering how you're going to function long enought to cook a meal, let alone eat it. Yes, this is the voice of painful experience. But it is also amazing for those who have family members, friends, or colleagues facing long term acute or terminal diagnosis. It tells you the things about illness that the 'how to deal with you illness books' leave out. Like please send books/films/games/etc as being stuck in bed unable to move is incredibly boring. I will treasure these things more than you could understand. Or the side effects of the drugs sometimes being worse than the illness, and are sometimes embarassing and horrible. Or that no matter how much you plan a lovely day out, everything has to change at the last minute if you're not well enough.
What an impact this book has had on me. I picked it up from our local library, but am ordering my own copy and one for lending out to others to help them understand the frustrations and fears of long term illness.
Ultimately Mel and Ian write with such wit, honesty, and genuine feeling, that this book is a joy to read. Can't wait to recommend to everyone I know!