I think we all live on borrowed time in this life but for some it’s even more borrowed. Such is the case for Amy Boesky, author of What We Have: One Family’s Inspiring Story About Love, Loss, and Survival. For as long as Amy can remember her family has always lived with the threat of the big C word – cancer – hanging over their heads and hearts. What we Have is Amy Boesky’s memoir – a haunting look at what cancer can take from you yet keeping the faith that you will move on and survive.
At thirty-two, Amy feels that she has everything to live for – she’s finally met the man of her dreams, married him and made a home. She’s also landed her dream job yet always on the sidelines is the knowledge that she must have children soon if she’s going to have them or it will be too late. You see for Amy and all the women in their family, it is important that they have surgery to remove their ovaries by thirty-five years old to prevent the ovarian cancer that runs rampant in their family and kills all of the women (yes, all of them). One quote that struck me from Amy was…
The women in Amy’s family have died young – most before the age of forty-five from cancer. This overshadows every decision and thought she has. She has planned from a girl just how her life would go – meet someone, have kids as soon as possible and have the surgery recommended by her doctor just as her sisters have done as well. All of this in the hopes of changing the course of tragedy that has gone before in their family.
Amy goes on though and has two girls, makes a home and continues to move on the best way she can but this fear of death has Amy cringing at everything. Is that a lump – what is that pain? Will I be there for my girls as they grow up? She and her sisters talk back and forth -their oldest sister Sara, already having had her ovaries out but Amy and Julie haven’t. This has always been a constant in their lives – this knowledge that surgery is the only way to prevent death. Then the hammer falls – their mother gets breast cancer – now what? Now they learn that breast and ovarian cancer are often related and that they don’t just carry the gene for one, but for both.
As times goes on the family learns that they are carriers of a breast/ovarian cancer gene. This changes things quite a bit for the girls. What will they decide now – how far will you go to prevent cancer? Where do you draw the line and just live your life? These are all issues that Amy has had to face and make decisions on. She handles her life with a grace and determination – she’s going to see her girls grow up, she’s going to be happy, and most of all she’s going to enjoy her life.
This memoir reads like a novel and definitely kept my interest although some parts did drag a bit for me. I didn’t really connect with anyone in the novel although my heart went out to all of them. My connection is more to this story as my family carries this gene as well. Some of the women in my family have gone forward with the surgeries they feel will keep them alive longer and others of us haven’t but it is always something that is never far from your thoughts.
At times this memoir is very difficult to read and more than once I was reaching for my tissue box but at the same time there are many hopeful moments like in the birth of new children and the hope of another tomorrow. What we Have is beautifully written in a very real way that takes you right into Amy’s life and has you feeling as though you are right there helping them deal with all that is happening to them. I think this book is well suited for those who may deal with having this gene run in their family and live with this fear as well as for anyone who just enjoys a heartfelt memoir that will tug at their heartstrings. This novel makes us sit back, realize what all our blessings are and to remember to live each and every day to the fullest.
I read What we Have by Amy Boesky for her book tour with TLC Book Tours. Be sure to check out all the other tour stops listed here for more thoughts on this wonderful memoir. You can also check out Amy Boesky’s website for more info on the book and Amy. What we Have can be purchased here in the US and here in Canada.
If you just can’t wait though I have 1 copy of What we Have by Amy Boesky up for grabs courtesy of the publisher. To enter…
- For 1 entry leave me a comment with a way to contact you.
- For 2 entries follow my blog. If you already do just let me know and I’ll pass the extra entry on to you.
- For 3 entries, blog or tweet this giveaway to spread the word.
This giveaway is open to US & Canadian residents only (no PO boxes) and I will draw for the winner on Sunday, September 26/10. Good luck everyone!
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