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take my hand – Kerry Fisher and Pat Sowa

This is a book about the sensitive topics of cancer, suicide and death which was written after a very traumatic time when Kerry Fisher’s son had had cancer and her good friend, Pat Sowa, had lost her son to suicide.

Ms Fisher told me:

It was the book we wished we’d had, everything we’d learnt and wanted to share to help others.

(Ms Fisher – personal correspondence)

She now speaks at the Royal Marsden (where her son was treated) to parents whose children have just completed successful treatment. She describes this as helping them to:

…have hope but not certainty. I absolutely love doing it because there’s such a shortage of support after the immediate threat to life has passed and everyone expects you to be elated but you’re just sitting there in smithereens wondering what hit you! … We tried to be as honest as possible!

(Ms Fisher – personal correspondence)

Whether you’re a parent or carer of a child with a serious physical / mental health condition, or you’re friend or family member of someone in this situation, this book has so much to offer. It’s the story of 2 amazing women and their son’s battles with cancer and mental illness, which makes it challenging reading and yet they write with such grace and healing, supportive humour that I found I didn’t want to put it down. It would also be a great way to gently open those conversations that sometimes we just don’t know how to start.

I’m including this book in my recommended reading list for those who might be searching for something that could offer them connection and support when facing similar situations in their lives, rather than because I endorse any particular form of approach or treatment. In fact I would encourage people to look into all possible options in order to make choices that are as fully informed as possible. Both medical and complementary practitioners, I believe, should be open to telling you the pros and cons of what they offer, and let you know that other approaches can also be considered. It is then down to the individual person / family, with the support of their team of practitioners, to create the treatment and care plan that is right for them.

I strongly believe this book will benefit so many people. In addition to all that it shares about the journeys of these two women, their sons and their families, there are also very valuable comments on what friends and families should / should not say, and the kinds of things that can be helpful and supportive.

If you have any questions, either about this or about your own condition and possible routes forward, I’m very happy to have a free, no obligation conversation. You can book a Zoom call with me here or see my contacts page for other ways to get in touch.

The book is available on Amazon here: take my hand – Kerry Fisher and Pat Sowa

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