What a great book to read! Mark describes his experiences with complete candour and doesn't hesitate to use what could be said to be medical jargon. His explanations and encounters rang many too many bells for me - I had a subarachnoid haemorrhage in 2013 and some things were chillingly familiar in Mark's story,such as not allowing me to take my everyday medications prescribed by my GP. His bed being uncomfortable? I have a condition that causes all my joints to need support. A memory foam mattress left me in so much pain that,with the denial of my pain relief medications,I was exhausted with pain and confused as to why I couldn't be made properly comfortable. This book will be read and re-read by myself and my family as a reminder of just what an all-round jumble can be created by such a dangerous episode. Much recommended.
I have been meaning to write a review of this for a while, putting it off because I couldn't find the right words. I still don't have the right words! For a book focusing on such a scary subject, I must say I laughed a fair bit! I loved the way it was written, and I hope Mark will find it amusing I read the entire book in his voice haha. The attitude of both Mark and Sarah are to be admired, there's no self pity or feeling sorry for themselves, they get on with living their lives to the fullest. I'd like to think I have learned something from the book, we really do only have this 1 chance. It is indeed good to be alive.
I have been following Mark on twitter for sometime now. I cannot remember exactly how I came across his feed but was drawn to his bio of surviving a brain haemorrhage and his wife's battle against breast cancer.
It was very recently though that I became aware of his book documenting their journey titled I’m Never Ill. The cover of the book doesn't necessarily immediately jump out at you, but it is a powerful picture to me, of the long, bumpy road ahead. It is to a warm or exciting looking trip, but instead more dreary, cold and lonely. A very compelling image that sums up the story you are about to embark on.
You may not be be immediately drawn to such a foreboding topic either. Brain surgery, brushes with death, serious illness are hardly uplifting subjects but what the story gives you is a detailed yet lighthearted insight into a subject that could affect any one of us at anytime. From the very first page the wording grabs hold of you. Mark opens with...
If we have something that people can benefit from or enjoy, there is no excuse not to share it. Maybe we have a responsibility to do so.
At several points throughout the book my reaction was one of Oh my gosh. Wow. Disbelief. Amazement. I was continually gripped by the obstacles that Mark had to overcome, and overcome them all, he did without wavering his resolve and positive outlook. All the time wanting to share his own journey to hopefully help someone else on theirs.
The way that Mark writes draws you in to the book and you feel is if you are right there on the hospital ward with him, with the rich descriptive language that he uses to visualise every aspect of his life, hospital stays and subsequent recoveries. I feel as if I am now a friend of the family, knowing his lovely wife Sarah (great name), his children, work colleagues and family.
Mark reiterates for you the need to grab life by the reins, get out and enjoy. Yes we need to work to save for retirement but everyone can find a balance and enjoy life too. You need wherever possible to adopt the mindset of working to live not living to work. For Mark, having a brain haemorrhage was the best thing that has ever happened to him. It helped him to remember that it is good to be alive. It helps me to know there is light at the end of the dark tunnel my own son is in on his Lymphoma road trip.
I've thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and was not able to put it down once I bough it. It is at time painfully honest however with a sense of humour injected at the right times. It is refreshing to read the positives about our struggling NHS and the fabulous work they have done for this family alone.
I have really enjoyed reading this book. I am a driving instructor and I work mainly out of Abergavenny and I know Mark as an examiner. I must admit that I was one of those with “raised eyebrows” when Mark returned to work. When he briefly told me his story I was amazed and worried that, still, things could easily go wrong. Marks humour and cheerfulness comes across, so well, in this book, it’s almost like he is reading it to me. Sarah’s insight into keeping a diary during the lowest times of Marks illness is a treasure but when reading this book I was dreading hearing of her bout of illness. I, along with the others that have written reviews, wish you both health and happiness, and keep doing things because you can.
A truly inspiring story, what an incredible and honest account of the journey throughout of both traumatic illness, most couples would have just hidden away, but No this galvanised them both. This book is inspirational, humbling, funny, caring and is MUST READ