Tag Archives: death

An Amazing Second Half of a Book

Cancer In Two VoicesCancer In Two Voices by Sandra Butler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An excellent book, though if I hadn’t seen the documentary by the same name, I might not have made it through the beginning. In the film the couple’s openness and closeness is apparent throughout. In the book it shows up later. It is especially vivid in the chapter about Barbara making her will and some of the introspection it prompts in each partner. Though they had been coupled for quite a while, there had been no ceremony. But after Barbara’s diagnosis, she and Sandy created a ceremony meant to include their Jewish and non-Jewish friends, their professional friends and friends from the lesbian community.

It is a book of journal entries, some by the partner with cancer and some by the partner without. Because Barbara’s breast cancer was misdiagnosed when she first noticed a lump, there was no early detection. By the time it was diagnosed it was aggressive and already metastasizing. While the book is about coping with cancer and eventually about both coping with Barbara’s dying, it is about much more. It is about life, about community, about family, about communication, about loving.

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