Longueville media (2010)
Karen Leibovitch has written an account of her journey that serves to inform the reader that cancer has a far reaching impact on the individual and their family that extends well past diagnosis and treatment.
Two Years to ‘Normal’ gives a clear view of the immediate effect and ongoing consequences of diagnosis and surgical excision of tongue cancer on the author and her family.
The author has written in a conversational style, which enables the reader to feel like they are sharing a coffee and a story, in turn making the book an effortless read. There is great value in the author’s description of the effects of her disease (both physically and psychosocially) on her immediate family and their relationships, and how these effects did not immediately resolve upon remission. As health professionals it is important to be reminded that a diagnosis of cancer affects not just the individual but their partner, children, siblings, parents, extended family and friends and that these effects continue long after treatment, whether successful or not.
Leibovitch, a counsellor, depicts her thoughts and emotions over the two year period from diagnosis through the book with both honesty and humility. An interesting component that the author has included is the development of therapeutic relationships between herself and the health care professionals involved in her care, particularly the relationship with both her surgeon and later her counsellor, which emphasises the need for both trust and veracity.
For those diagnosed with cancer, Two Years to ‘Normal’ may be a resource to allow increased understanding of the rollercoaster of emotions they and their families are embarking on. The sale of Leibovitch’s book supports the Cancer Council’s National Helpline.