Patient Stories

Think about a moment of great adversity and those things that helped you overcome it. When interviewed, most people say that having the opportunity to talk to someone who endured a similar experience was critical to the coping process, while the healing power of time marched slowly and faithfully.
In compiling the honest, real-life accounts included in Patient Stories: Coping with Life-Changing Illnesses, Metro Detroit journalist Andrea King has provided the world with a multitude of candid, open conversations with patients who have experienced infirmity, and their families.
King brilliantly arranges the stories by illness, allowing the reader to either plunge headlong into these tales of truth and hope, or skip to the chapter that relates best to their circumstances.
There is great beauty in the fact that this book is not written by medical experts, because the reader is able to see through the eyes of those who were diagnosed, or of those who love someone diagnosed, however frightened or confused that view may have been initially. Each short story progresses to a point of realization, acceptance, and hope—a process that is difficult to achieve, and so important to share with others.
Take for example Ralph Bear’s (pseudonym) story of his leukemia diagnosis. Ralph asked his doctor what he could do to strengthen his odds of remission. The reply? Nothing. Ralph writes, “Nothing? Boy did that piss me off! At the same time, I was scared silly and began one hundred twenty days of panic.” Talk about honesty!
His decision to undergo chemotherapy was a successful , though perhaps not permanent, one. Ralph wraps his story by explaining “I think now, if I didn’t do the treatment, I don’t know, I’m certain the cancer would have spread…If I need another treatment, yes, I’ll go back in again, but I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed.”
Patient Stories is filled with stories like these: real, raw, and filled with life. We think those things are something all of us could use, whether ill, recovered, or healthy.