Review by Carlton Rolle
Erin Michaela Sweeney is a writer, mommy, yogini, daughter, editor, sister, and napper extraordinaire who lives in Claremont, California.
This story starts following Erin. She is married to a man named Jonathan and they have a child together, Elliot. In the midst of her family life and work as an editor, she is diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). This is a cancer in the blood that effects all portions of the body. Without chemotherapy and transplant, this is considered terminal. Erin being an optimist and practicing yoga, decided to fight against the cancer for life.
Erin explains the time after she was diagnosed. She would undergo eight to ten day chemotherapy rounds. This was to push her cancer into remission. Once the status is attained she was then left to wait. The hospital searched for a potential marrow transplant. Once a match was made she had to endure radiation to kill as much of the Leukemia in her body as possible. It drained her body and much of her mind. Erin was able to find a match for blood marrow. A transplant was done and she had to wait, rest, and heal in hopes that the transplant was successful. With time, it was considered successful and Erin had to keep quarantined until her new immune system developed.
Erin talked about the impact that Leukemia and chemotherapy, had on her body. This in turn affected her life and relationships. She found a lot of people that knew her were caring and supporting in different ways. The two major people in her life were her husband and son. They kept her grounded. She discovered the powerful effect of love when being quarantined.
One of the aspects that I liked about the book, was that it presented the readers with an inside understanding of what happens to a person suffering from Leukemia. The science vocabulary wasn’t difficult and I have a greater scope of the effects of cancer. I also like how Erin searched for ways to keep her life positive. Throughout the whole process, Erin focused on achieving success without being pulled down for too long.
One issue that I did have with the book was the change of her relationship. On the last page, Erin mentions that she and Jonathan had separated. Jonathan was incredibly important in her life and recovery, to split up with him after such hardship is draining. I think it’s important to mention the various ways that cancer negatively affected their relationship. He was such a strong motivating factor throughout the entire book and to hear that they broke up at the end with no story behind it was disappointing… But a part of life none the less.
All things considered, I believe Every Breath You Take is a great book that is informative and inspirational. Part of the power of the overcoming cancer is increasing awareness and finding greater knowledge. Erin Sweeney is definitely a positive example of this.
For more information visit: www.erinmichaelasweeney.com