Bookworm: The Radiation Sonnets

The other day, I was going through Sweetly Six’s bookshelves and came across this book, Radiation Sonnets. WTF is THIS doing HERE, I wondered…

Well, as with all things, I presumed that I was supposed to see this (book) when I was supposed to see it. I don’t remember buying this book, which means that some kind & thoughtful person probably gave it to me when I was bald and drooling, hoping that it would inspire me.

While I am no longer bald and drooling (well, maybe the occasional drool), I am still wildly inspired by this book (Silver Lining).  I read the whole thing in one sitting. Wowsy, did it bring back memories. Written by the wife of a man with cancer, it is an amazing and accurate account of what it is like to go through radiation….from the perspective of a spouse.

Below is one of my favorite passages, describing what – exactly – it’s like sitting in a waiting room…ohhhhh, those f-bomb waiting rooms.

You can purchase the book here:


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  1. says

    I did not wish to immerse myself in reading books on or about cancer, but I did really like the ONE I chose to read. It was Jamie Bernard's book, "Breast Cancer, There and Back". She reminded me that cancer can have a stigma in our society, but that it's not a stigma or a death sentence, it's simply a diagnosis.
    She said that we need to understand that the treatment after surgery is just a preventative measure. We have to see ourselves as people who are not sick, who do not have an illness, but who are going through a protocol to prevent recurrence. I usually spent my therapy time reading a book, (something light), so I wouldn't have to engage in conversation. I never shed a tear for myself, but when I saw someone much younger in therapy, tears would well up in my eyes for them and their journey to the other side of FBC. Each of us find our own way.

    • says

      Dear Carolee,
      Thanks so much for your note. I'm not familiar with that book, but will certainly look at it. Thank you for the recommendation.
      Your note about the younger people in therapy really resonates with me. I remember so vividly the post that I did on "Scarf Stares" It was when I saw the young woman (in her 20s?) getting her neulesta shot that I was stopped in my tracks. Phew.
      Thank you, as always, for your comment!

  2. says

    Dear Dana,
    Thank you for your note. I am sending my very best wishes that tomorrow morning you continue to be "NED!" Please let me know how your appointment goes.
    Best wishes,

  3. says

    I sat in that room for my bestest friend.I had just had knee surgery and we laughed all the way there and back.We both had different pain pills,they may have had something to do with the laughing.Shes gone now ,five years .We still have an occasional laugh .

  4. says

    I have also stumbled on books that I was meant to read. After our own health crisis has calmed down, we can see how our illness has affected our loved ones. I have "No Evidence of Disease" today, but my husband is terrified that I will die. Of course, we both get nervous while waiting for the results of my semi-annual mammogram, scheduled for early tomorrow morning. I always enjoy your posts, thoughtful and positive.

  5. Victoria says

    Wow, that brought tears to my eyes and I'm not even a huge poetry person. I think anyone who has ever had to wait in any hospital waiting room can understand this one.