I’m not quite ready to give the final review. However, I wanted to jot a few things down while they were top of mine. First I need to correct myself. This is the book about living and dying not death and dying. Making the most of the time you have however long or short that might be.
Of course I’ve already cried. But I’ve also laughed. Bittersweet.
Interestingly only 11% of breast cancer is genetic the other 89% is as Nina says “hurtling randomly towards us through the outer space”. Her grandfather. Yes male/grandfather had breast cancer. As did some aunts and cousins. Hers was not of the genetic variety though.
Think about that … 89% is much higher than I realized. With all the talk of family history, I was sure genetics played a larger role. I guess with the increase risk it does just not in the same way as I thought. Not sure if that is comforting or uncomfortable? It makes things seem more random. And random = unpredictable to me.
Here is the part I had to laugh about. Nina talks about becoming a Google PhD. And looking at about 100 catastrophic topics on what are the chances of death… eerily similar to me and my WebMD addiction.
This is also exactly something that I do. She read that a lot of people with ovarian cancer have no symptoms. Then you think well I also have no symptoms therefore I am able to deduce that clearly I must have ovarian cancer. Talk about your flawed logic.
A therapist told her that she holds on so tight that she believes she will be obliterated if anything bad ever happens.
I relate to that so much. It is my incessant need for whatever twisted reason to assume the worst case scenario. To prepare for the worst so when whatever happens finally happens, I can deal with it because it’s clearly never as bad as what I make up in my mind.
“cancer removes whatever weird barriers we have with others”. I know this to be true, by watching my mother, after she had breast cancer the first time around. You’re pretty much stripped of all your privacy. Might as well and let them see you puking your guts out or your hair falling out or whatever other indignities you go through during the treatment which at that time with her was radiation/cobalt. There was no such thing as chemo yet.
This part is fantastic. She writes “I love that gutsy cement hero woman and I also love the real potty-mouthed housemaid with a ruffled bonnet who is buried somewhere below that crooked, faceless grave. I love the musketball not hitting me, and I also love the musketball. I love goddamnit motherfucker. And I really love Well, that could’ve been worse”
I am on chapter 18 of 32. These are very quick little vignettes basically. The Bright Hour is an absolutely beautiful book. I recommend that all of you read it.
I rate it 5 out of 5 stars ✨ and I’m not even done yet. I don’t think there’s anything that I might read going forward that will change my mind on this either.
As always, more to come.