Monday, 11 September 2017

Lessons from a CF Cornerman...Wow

Title: Lessons from a CF Cornerman: 38 Lessons I Learned During My Wife's Illness and Lung Transplant
Author: Raymond L. Poole
ISBN: 978-0692792100
Rating: 8/10
Genre: Health, Illness, Non-Fiction, True
Book: Kindle

"The fact that we got along so well made me worry that she was the one. Early on, I had to make the call whether or not I should go through with a relationship that if successful, could end in heartbreak too soon...If we let emotion overtake us and respond with our baser instincts, we can easily be left wrestling with guilt and regret. At the end of the day, we sit alone with our thoughts and memories. I want mine to be saturated with little victories, tons of laughs, and enough bright spots to outshine the dark."
I took Lessons from a CF Cornerman with me on my holiday to Croatia at the end of August. I went away for a week and had every intention of not doing anything but reading and lying on a sunbed for the week, this was not the case! I was, however, able to read 90% of this book whilst away from getting onto the plane to landing back in England. I completed the rest of the book once I returned home. I found it really difficult to put this book down. I would be laid around the pool and my partner would observe how I had not spoken to him for a while only to find myself 20% further through the book, I do love how a Kindle tells you how far through your book you are.

I started talking to Ray after I was reading a post on Goodreads about people reviewing books shared by Goodreads users. He kindly sent me a copy of his book for my Kindle. I started with reading other reviews which had been posted. The reviews were promising, they talked about how emotional, funny and distressing the book is. How the way Ray talks about his wife and her illness of Cystic Fibrosis. He talks with such affection that it never seems to occur to Ray that his life is anything other than caring and loving Rebecca in the way he does. I felt very emotional for Ray, how he has this unconditional love for his wife. Their relationship clearly shares a love which won't be broken, no matter what life throws at Ray and Rebecca. Ray shares a very honest and open perspective of Becca's condition and her fight with Cystic Fibrosis. He goes into detail about the medicine which she takes, the diagnosis Becca has and how she puts up a tremendous fight against Cystic Fibrosis.

Ray discusses the different relationships he and Becca share with both family and friends. They appear to have a very secure network around them with friends and family. However, I did feel a little hostile towards Rebecca's mum, Brenda. I genuinely believe Brenda cares for Becca, but she does have an unusual way to show it. Brenda appears to be more concerned about what people think of her and what she can gain personally from any illness or condition Becca may have. In order to keep Brenda happy Ray has to hold his tongue a number of times. Every time he does this I could feel myself challenging him and wanting him to ask Brenda about any issues she had and to find out why she acts the way she does. I can't even comprehend how hard Ray would have had to try to and work to keep everyone happy. To stay in touch with everyone to keep them updated on Becca's developments, to ensure that everyone they know is having regular contact and visits and communication when I just wanted to tell him to focus on his and Becca's needs. Don't be bothered about what everyone else is telling you or trying to get you to do! Just focus on your own well-being and the well-being of Becca and everyone else can fit in around you. If they don't like it, tough!

I was in absolute awe of how much one person can go through! I have never heard of someone having so many illnesses, ailments, set backs, troubles and so much more. Ray talks about it always being one step forward and two steps back, this is absolutely true, but this is still moving forward. Praise the good and roll with the punches. This book truly shows what the human body can go through. How positive thinking, determination and the absolute god send that is medicine can fix almost anything. I cannot even begin to comprehend how thankful Rebecca and Ray must be for the amazing gift someone gave them of donating an organ. I am a massive believer in organ donation and I think it is an incredible thing to do. I personally am signed up to everything I can, organs, bone marrow and I want to donate blood but due to my own blood transfusion following sepsis, I am no longer able to do so. Please if you are reading this sign up to organ donation and make an incredible gift once you are no longer here. Let's be honest, what are you really going to do with your organs once you have died? Why not allow yourself to give another person the chance to live and continue in life.

I am so glad Ray sent me this book as I feel it has opened my eyes to a whole range of things that life can throw at you. It really made me feel like life can only give you what you can take. Although there are a number of things which Ray and Becca experience I feel they have not been given anything they can not handle together.

Becca, you are an inspiration and you should be incredibly proud of everything you have been through. You are a true fighter and I can't believe the determination and dedication you have.

Ray, you are such a strong person. You and Becca clearly work incredibly well together. I wish you both absolute happiness in the future and I hope you are now able to grow old and happy together.

I absolutely would recommend this book, its open, honest and emotional. It was refreshing to read something which is non-fiction and true. Thank you again, Ray, for sending your book to me.
10-word-review: A great, honest read which you must donate your organs!

The next book which I will be reading is Brown Owl's Guide to Life by Kate Harrison. I am a Brownie leader with the Girl Guides and I was given this book as a gift. I have not heard of it before or of the author. I am really looking forward to it as it sounds like an easy, funny read. By all means, let me know what you're reading, I look forward to it...Steph xx

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