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Round the Twist: Facing the Abdominable: Memoir of a Young Colon Cancer Survivor by Lisa Febre
In 2021, as the covid pandemic stretched into its second year, a different kind of disease was brewing inside of Lisa, a 47-year-old vegan and yoga practitioner. Without any of the classic risk factors or symptoms, she was desperate to rationalize away the obvious tumors on her scans, wanting to believe anything except cancer was possible.
The long and difficult journey to diagnosis was fraught with pitfalls and wrong turns, ambivalent doctors and insensitive nurses. Through the efforts of a strong advocate, she was finally placed in the care of some of the best doctors Los Angeles has to offer, only to be devastated to learn that she had Stage-4C Colon Cancer.
Facing unspeakable odds, she dove head first into aggressive treatments that decimated her body, but never destroyed her natural optimism and positivity.
Through the lens of the natural world around her, the young cancer survivor reveals the intensely private and deeply emotional aspects of fighting for her life. Sometimes with a pinch of humor but always with raw honesty, she holds on to bright hope that warmly invites you to share in her journey.
Lisa Febre pulls no punches in her heartfelt, compelling, and thought-provoking book, Round the Twist: Facing the Abdominable.
While performing during concert season with her cello, Lisa noticed some persistent pain that eventually made standing and sitting for three-hour rehearsals nearly impossible. After seeking support from her gynecologist, Lisa eventually ended up in doctor’s office after doctor’s office with a litany of scary diagnoses. At the top of the list? Colon cancer. As Lisa detailed in her blog throughout her experience, the journey from random pain to “something is definitely wrong” happened quickly. Her yoga practice–replete with mantras and meditations–had kept her mind and her body strong for the journey she would inevitably face next. Lisa underwent multiple surgeries, ended up with a colostomy bag, went through multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation and experienced more unbearable side effects than one would think fathomable. She details the journey with such candor and grace which astounded and inspired me to realize that she could have the courage, and strength to keep a positive attitude through it all.
Lisa herself mentioned at the beginning of the book that many say her writing is approachable. I think it’s that way because she’s direct in her style but also because her personality bounces off the page. She says herself that she’s garrulous, energetic, and curious. Her writing is all these things as well. This energy balanced out the devastating news and difficult treatments she endured. Her writing helps readers feel close to everyone that assisted Lisa as well; almost aiding us as we relive the experiences through Lisa’s writing. I was grateful for our healthcare workers more than I’ve ever felt after seeing the impact each had on her. Lisa did an amazing job giving an unflinching view into what cancer, its diagnosis, and subsequent treatments were like for her. She made her readers feel they were there with her, and yet the knowledge that she wrote the book also helped ensure readers there would be a happy end. To know Lisa feels like such a gift; I couldn’t bear the thought that her effervescent personality would no longer be in this world.
While cancer is such a scary topic for everyone, it feels like a gift to understand it with the kid gloves off. I now have an even greater compassion for those around me who’ve endured a diagnosis such as this just as I feel I may have a deeper understanding as well. Chick Lit Café highly recommends this book; it is a wonderful gentle reminder that each day is a gift to enjoy and appreciate. Book read and reviewed by Mary Rosenthal for Chick Lit Book Café book reviews and reader recommendations.
Buy Round the Twist: Facing the Abdominable:
Memoir of a Young Colon Cancer Survivor by Lisa Febre
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