Title: Our Journey with Prostate Cancer
Author: Judith Anne Desjardins
Publisher: Spirit House Publishing
Genre: Non-Fiction, Self-help
Reviewed By: Tiffany Ezuma, Pacific Book Review
Pacific Book ReviewFor anyone, writing a book about a private, personal battle with an illness would be a momentous task. But to write a book about a personal experience and turn it into an advice guide for others is quite a serious challenge. Author Judith Anne Desjardins was more than ready for this challenge after she published her true account of her husband’s battle with prostate cancer.
To tell her family’s story, Desjardins uses bits and pieces from her own journals to chronicle the ups-and-downs of taking care of her husband. By telling their story along with her own journal entries, Desjardins gives others a unique insight into not only their emotional and physical health, but their mental and spiritual health at the time as well. Their experiences allow the readers to empathize with her story, which offers a sense of catharsis to readers that may be experiencing something similar. She never glosses over her own frustrations or appears as the perfect Saint; instead, she chooses complete honesty in publishing her thoughts as they were at the time, even when she was struck with depression.
In between her journal entries, the author intercuts their story with meditations, recommendations and guides for checking in on one’s spiritual and mental health. Each guide asks reflective questions, as well as realistic ones such as making sure everyone’s affairs are in order in case of death. These are questions that the reader knows Desjardins must have asked herself at some point or another.
The author has an interesting background as a former social worker at St. Jude’s Hospital. Her advice is not simply from her husband’s battle with illness but it is knowledge she gained working with patients, doctors, nurses, and patients’ family members. She is able to key in on the human psyche and mental capacity so well and it shows beautifully in these guides. Another important aspect of Desjardins writing is her personal relationship with God. Throughout the book, she mentions instances when she needed to call for help from a higher power. Even if readers are not religious, they could use her examples of drawing on God for strength as a means to explore who or what keeps them afloat in times of need. Even though the book contains many details about prostate cancer, her advice transcends this particular disease and could be useful to anyone dealing with a potentially terminal illness, as well as their loved ones. This book would be quite the useful tool to help readers cope during a difficult time.
Our Journey with Prostate Cancer is truly a must-have for anyone who receives this diagnosis and for their caregivers; to help them understand just what their loved one is actually going through. You will find many wonderful tips to guide you through each and every day of your journey.
It is always lovely when someone offers another option to a difficult situation. In this heart-felt book, Judith Anne Desjardins opens a door and allows the readers to enter a world full of hope. Thank you to the entire Desjardins family for sharing such an inspirational account of your life!