Not Without a Fight
by Donna Redman
Trafford Publishing

"But I feel betrayed by my body, the body that I’ve always tried to take such good care of. I feel guilty because I must have done something to cause the cancer."

Redman’s affecting memoir begins by exploring her daughter Tammy’s personal belongings. The memories that surface from them recall those happy moments and achievements in her daughter’s youth. Redman’s loss of her daughter to cancer motivates her to share how their lives irrevocably changed since Tammy’s diagnosis with a rare cancer called angiosarcoma. As a cancer survivor herself, Redman recounts the joys and fears of being with Tammy in the last years of her life, watching her daughter suffer while doing all she could to provide support, strength, and dignity.

Infusing Tammy’s journal entries within the narrative, Redman weaves together the voices of mother and daughter, allowing insight into their individual and collective encounters through this ordeal. She delves into the complexities and nuances of the myriad hopeful and failed treatments that wreak havoc on Tammy’s body as they strive to rid of her illness. In their shared journey together, familial bonds strengthen in their travels as they learn about each other and themselves. It is their love for one another and their hope for survival that drives them in their persistent endeavors to fight “the monster.”

This is an honest book that portrays in graphic medical detail the deep impact of confronting a serious health crisis. It reveals the afflicting experience of a parent who is simultaneously strong and vulnerable, watching a child become sicker and weaker in a painful battle. Redman conveys the raw emotional, physical, and financial toll that comes with such a transformative experience. It tells of a mother’s determination to help her ailing daughter and of a young woman’s positivity in her continuing efforts in the face of mortality. It is an empowering story that both paints a stark reality of one family’s resolve against a malady such as cancer while honoring a daughter's memory and celebrating the human spirit.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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