Tumor Me – A Second Time Around
In 2014, I published a memoir about my son, Alex’s nine-year struggle with job-related brain cancer. He died on May 24, 2013 and I was determined to tell his story the best I could . . . and I did with love, my “gut”, and, yes, my emotions. I cried many times as I wrote and that was good for me because it permitted me to process my pain and sadness.
The first edition of Tumor Me, The Story Of My Firefighter was not perfect although it was proofread and edited by several people. And although I was satisfied with the result, after reading the book several more times, I knew I could do better. Over the course of the last six months, I did just that – rewrote it. Almost every page had a change or two – a word here, a passage there, an addition, or a deletion.
A few folks have asked me if rewriting the memoir was difficult because, in essence, I was reliving those years from Alex’s diagnosis, through the fight and ultimate decline, to the end. While tears fell more than a few times, the process of rewriting actually was quite comforting for I was able to relive our many and varied experiences one more time.
Brain cancer is an incredibly ugly disease; many dreadful moments spanned those long, nine years while Alex fought for his life . . . and I remember. Yet, through writing, and rewriting, I was able to re-experience the good times too . . . and there were many - when Alex and I talked for hours, sharing thoughts and feelings, or when we laughed heartily about myriad, random things that struck us as funny. As I actually wrote in the memoir, in an odd way I was lucky because I was allowed to be as close to my son during his last few years of life as any mother possibly could be. For that, I am forever thankful. Furthermore, as I rewrote my memoir, I was filled once again with deep gratitude for the countless instances of support from friends who cared.
The second edition of Tumor Me, The Story Of My Firefighter (2018) was made available on Amazon.com and on Kindle yesterday. I look forward to hearing how readers respond. The back cover text, that hopefully gives a potential reader insight, follows here:
In this book, the second edition of Tumor Me, The Story of My Firefighter, the saga has been honed, the details sharpened, and nuances surrounding the gritty struggle of a young firefighter’s nine-year battle with occupational brain cancer laid bare. Though this tale is one of trials, fears, unknowns, and desperation, it is countered by hope, determination, bravery, optimism, and humor - doses of laughter that tempered the tears.
And who was this man? He was Alex, my son, a CAL FIRE firefighter, a Fire Apparatus Engineer, a fire inspector, a fighter, a friend, and a confidant. He listened, he contributed, and he worked hard. He was responsible, trustworthy, respected, loved, and innately funny. Laughter was his sidekick and everyone knew it.
This memoir chronicles our experiences, Alex’s story, from beginning to end. The narrative is told from a mom’s perspective and every bit is true.