Had I Known: A Memoir of Survival by Joan Lunden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Joan Lunden was a host on GMA before I started watching it, so I don't have a strong connection with her as some of the other viewers or readers. Since I didn't know who she was I read her book without any underlying expectations. She shares a great deal of intimate details about her diagnosis, treatment, and decision making process. It was reiterated many times that each person should approach their treatment carefully and with great consideration and what works for one person may not work for someone else. She was very open about her fears, struggles, and procedures. I was glad that a lot of medical information was provided for her specific type of cancer, and it was especially helpful to read the rationalizations for certain treatment approaches and why she or her doctors chose them. Yet, I still didn't feel in tuned with her on this journey. I have no doubt that her recollections of the events are as upbeat and as positive as she tried to convey. Perhaps when she recalls her struggles she only chooses to remember the positives, but I know with certainty her journey must have been harder. I just hope that she hasn't set the bar too high, so when other women read the book and compare their treatment with Joan's they are not discouraged because it does get a lot harder, getting appointments with well known doctors, the time spent in waiting rooms to be seen can seem endless, the actual treatments and especially the aftermath of the treatments. I believe the book will help a lot of women or men and it will allow for conversation to happen, but I was longing to get more out of it and it just didn't happen for me with this book.
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