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Duets with My Daughter: Lessons in Hope, Heartbreak and the Human Spirit

Duets with My Daughter: Lessons in Hope, Heartbreak and the Human Spirit

by Kathie Wennes Taitano


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Imagine that your child has cancer. You sit with her in the doctor's office; she's gone through multiple tests to look for a reason for puzzling symptoms and today the doctor will review the results. The doctor is kind and pragmatic, offering treatment options and encouragement, but the only word you hear is cancer. You secretly knew that it was a possibility, but you wanted to believe that if you prayed hard enough, it would not be so. How is it possible that one so young, so joyful, so healthy could have cancer? No reason, no answer; she just does.

Over the years I had worked as an RN in various specialties including oncology, the operating room, and intensive care and as each area became relevant to Rachael's course of treatment, I was grateful to have that background, to be the interpreter of the unknown. I was secretly terrified that because I had also been a hospice nurse at one time, I would be called to use those skills as well. I would not let that thought in.

What I came to realize however, was that Rachael would become my teacher, my guide, as we navigated together the heartbreaking maze that entailed her next nine months of treatment. Early on she said, "Why not me?" She was never bitter, never angry...only determined to be a survivor no matter what it took. She grieved each failure in private and I had to learn to respect that need for solitude. I wanted to follow her into her room, to hold her, provide comfort and make it better. I failed; this was not my five year old with a sore throat. This was my twenty-three year old with cancer.

The beauty and blessings of this story are that Rachael and we, her family, were connected to a network of loving souls that willingly shared every single step with us, who lifted us when we were down, laughed and cried as we did and brought more than they will ever know to this journey. Honoring Rachael by remembering her story is an important goal, but the truth of the matter is that we must honor the human spirit, hers and ours.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781977232144
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication date: 11/15/2020
Pages: 158
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.43(d)

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