Donna L. Breen Cancer's Gift

ISBN 13: 9780970223807

Cancer's Gift

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9780970223807: Cancer's Gift
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This informative and engaging read travels through a four-year journey in a battle with pediatric cancer. Breen shares with us the trauma of seeing other patients-patients whom she had grown close to, and with whose parents she had bonded in the crucible of the cancer war- lose their battles. She also includes some surprisingly humorous and ironic moments fron her experiences with a child ill with cancer. Breen's narrative is no-holds-barred, baring her emotion and soul. Most of all, it provides readers with a reason to hope even when circumstances in their life seem futile.

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About the Author:

Cancer's Gift is the first book by the diminutive, energetic Breen, who personifies tenacity. Today, the Breens have three healthy children, including Kyle-now an athletic, freckle-faced 10-year-old who has been in remission nine years. Breen has become spokeswoman about the experience of parents of cancer patients. She is scheduled to speak in fall 2000 at the annual convention of the Perspective on Pediatric Oncology in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Writes Breen in one chapter of Cancer's Gift: "Everyday Kyle is in remission is like making it through a room of zombies walking with scissors that could snip the life lines hanging over the patients' heads. If you were lucky, your string never got cut. Every day is a gift."

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

...At this point I felt overwhelmed. Staring at our infant in a hospital bed with tubes coming out of him left me fearful and stunned. Being unfamiliar with the tubes, I was afraid to pick up my baby. Feelings of inadequacy rushed over me with the realization that my abilities to heal my son were meager. Dr. Wallace came to speak to me while I stood by Kyle's bed.

"You can take Kyle home in the morning," he said. "We'll watch him for a week to 10 days to see if he starts urinating on his own. Although this is a long shot."

"I can't take my baby home," I replied, "until you take this tube out!"

Dr. Wallace kindly reassured me. He said keeping Kyle in the hospital for two weeks was not practical. I remember thinking he was crazy, that he must have overestimated me. How could I possibly take care of that tube sticking out of Kyle's belly? But Dr. Wallace explained it to me. A few times a day the tube needed to be swabbed clean, and ointment applied to the opening. Simple enough, in retrospect.

Richmond and I were confident Kyle's ailment was merely a blip on our family screen. This trouble would just "go away," we told each other...

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Breen, Donna L.; Sion, Michael (editor)
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