“Unable are the Loved to die
For Love is Immortality”
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
This book is the journal and letters that the author’s 57-year-old mother, Midge Rylander kept in the last few months of her life.
She died of cancer, caused by exposure to asbestos, simply from washing her husband’s work clothes. A story of courage and determination and an unsurmountable will to live.
I found strong parallels between my own life and this brave lady. Both of us strong, independent women, who find it impossible to slow down and take life easy, even though we are fully aware it would be better for us.
I discovered a similar sense of humour too, and the unshakeable belief that will power alone could make the cancer recede, as she knows other people have done it.
She decided to keep the diary to help others, as her condition was so rare, no helpful information was available. Her bravery and determination to fight for as long as possible, and to manage all the “how’s and when’s” is very inspiring. This woman had fought long and hard all her life, nothing had ever come easy, and so when she declines the chemotherapy, she does so in the knowledge it may well be her last battle.
One question… It would seem from this book that people in this position need to talk to people… not medical people, but those who really know what is going on. Something that should be encouraged, maybe?
This story reinforces what I strive to remember each and every day.
That every day is a blessing, and a gift. We should make it the best we can, as Rachele Baker’s mother so obviously did.
About the author
Rachele Baker, DVM, Author, ‘Eighteen Months to Live’
Dr. Rachele Baker is a veterinarian and writer living in California. She has been a veterinarian for over thirteen years. Dr. Baker is currently in the process of writing a series of short books about medical problems in dogs and cats entitled My Virtual Veterinarian. For more details about Dr. Baker's works in progress, please visit her website http://rachelebaker.com