Book Review: Unbreakable Spirit –Facing the challenge of cancer in New Zealand

Liam Butler

Liam has been reviewing books, movies and music for a bit of light relief since his student days.

Unbreakable Spirit –Facing the challenge of cancer in New Zealand

By Karen McMillan 
McKenzie Publishing

There is no doubt that cancer causes lives to change dramatically.  There is however plenty of doubt about how someone will cope with their cancer journey. 

In writing the Forward to Unbreakable Spirit North Shore Hospice Patron Judy Bailey ONZM wrote “cancer is frightening. It touches all of us. We all know someone whose life has been suddenly, cruelly cut short. It hovers over us like an avenging angel, waiting to strike when we least expect it.”

The author of Unbreakable Spirit, Karen McMillan, poignantly shares her breast cancer journey giving an excellent example of just how this collection of diseases can affect all every aspects of a person’s life and what can work well in helping a person in their journey.  The perspectives shared from hospice workers, an oncologist, a general practitioner and counsellor’s perspectives provides significant insight on how deeply affected health professionals are by their challenging professions.  

Whilst health professionals have trained to face the challenge of cancer, people with cancer and their friends and family do not come so well equipped.  The personal accounts in Unbreakable Spirit provide invaluable insight into what people, young and old, have found helpful as they come to grips with their diagnosis, prognosis and journey as it unfolds.  The powerful accounts shared in Unbreakable Spirit combine to celebrate the humanity and care that embodies resilience in the face of cancer.  As such Unbreakable Spirit is a tremendous resource when you want to learn about what works well in helping a person maintain their spirit as it faces one of the greatest challenges life can offer.

 
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