JDubsReview of The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs

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.

14 thoughts on “JDubsReview of The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs

  1. I agree with the comments above. I’m not sure I would have read this book yet having lost my parents only two months apart 15 months ago. Reading is healing therapy though. Maybe some day, I’ll be as brave as you!

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    1. Tough but rewarding is how I would describe it. Makes me feel good to see her triumph over the situation and live while she was dying.

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  2. You are a brave reader, and it makes me happy to know you love the book so much…I like to think of you basking in the beauty of beautiful words and messages…I don’t know that I’d have the guts to read it, but I can relate to falling in love with a story…thanks for shaing (and, great review by the way!) πŸ™‚

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  3. I don’t see your webmd as a problem. At least you stop there. I admire that you do webmd, because after webmd, I am off to the mayo clinic website, medicinenet.com, and ALL the other search results that pop up ;);) I love the mayo clinic. False sense of better information probably because it’s the mayo clinic hahaha πŸ™‚

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      1. πŸ˜‰ I try to stay away from them. They say it’s part of the panic/anxiety thing. One of the sypmtoms is “fear of or feelings of being or needing to be locked away” They crammed that in between, “headaches” and nausea” I took pause and said, what was that between headaches and nausea??? LOL

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  4. I have a friend that woke up one morning and her foot was killing her. Her big toe got swollen and she had a lot of redness and fever in her foot. Her friends at work told her it could be cellulitis and it’s serious. She went to webmd and printed the article and went to dr and gave it to her and said this is what I have!!! Her dr said no you have gout……lol! I check webmd way too often too!

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    1. Yep! So many symptoms overlap. I joke a lot. I’m not a doctor I just play one on TV πŸ˜‚. I’ve tried to quit looking but I can’t.

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