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My Turn on the Couch: Our Cancer Journey

My Turn on the Couch: Our Cancer Journey


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My Turn on the Couch covers the span of nine years in the Alimenti family during which three family members each face a shattering cancer diagnosis. This is a true story of how that family confronted these challenges, drew closer as a family, and remained resilient despite the hardships. The primary author, Carol Alimenti, tells the story of her mother’s struggle with cancer, coping, caring, and fighting for her son, Chris, who was diagnosed with leukemia, then having to face her own terminal diagnosis. While caring for her son, she must come to accept the finality of her own life. The book began as a journal and as therapy, but transformed into a collaborative project among the family members as they united to help Carol finish this book and cross the final goal off her bucket list. All the family members who ultimately contributed to this story learned what it meant to be “on the couch.”

This compelling story is a testimony to the power of love, family, hope, and an unbridled faith in God. These key ingredients have allowed the Alimentis to defy the odds in the hope that one day they will reunite again in a land without suffering, tears, and pain—and most of all—without cancer.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781939930934
Publisher: Brandylane Publishers
Publication date: 08/01/2017
Pages: 204
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.47(d)

About the Author

Carol, a New Jersey native, was drawn to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2004 with her husband, Tony, and their two children, Christopher and Darcy. An environmental science graduate from UC Berkeley, Carol was also a painter, chef, Master Gardener, lover of the outdoors, and designer of gardens and interior spaces. She had a passion for the arts, and for finding and creating beauty in life. My Turn on the Couch is Carol's first and only book. She passed away in 2015.

Anthony Charles Alimenti, nicknamed Tony - or as his wife Carol called him, "Ant-ny" - worked for over thirty years as an engineer in the telecommunications industry. He met his wife Carol while they lived in New Jersey, where they had two kids: Darcy and Christopher. He was a caregiver with Carol; first for their son when he battled cancer, and then for Carol's mother, until she passed while living with them. Then he and his children provided care for Carol through seven years of her battle with cancer.

Anthony recently retired to Crozet, Virginia, where he spends his time participating in various men's groups, playing guitar, golfing, and trying to learn Italian.

Chris Alimenti was born in Little Silver, New Jersey, and lived there until 2004 with his sister, Darcy, his mother, Carol, and his father, Anthony. Chris suffered from seizures and earaches as a young child, which may have caused his audio-processing disorder. He learns in a hands-on and visual style, which prompted the family move to Charlottesville, Virginia for better school systems and, of course, for the Blue Ridge Mountains. Chris attended Murray High School, a charter school that focuses on kids who learn in a different, more abstract manner. At the age of sixteen, while attending Murray High School, he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphatic Leukemia (ALL), a blood cancer. Two years from the day of his diagnosis, his mother was diagnosed with uterine-based leiomyosarcoma (ULMS).

Chris is a cancer survivor, and recently completed a camping trip around the United States. He currently lives in Richmond, Virginia, attending Virginia Commonwealth University as an English major.

Table of Contents

Prologue i

Part I: Our Life Unraveled

Chapter 1—Why? 1

Chapter 2—Hospitals 9

Chapter 3—Home 13

Chapter 4—Blessings 16

Chapter 5—Reentry Into the World 18

Chapter 6—Death and Dying 23

Chapter 7—Breathing Lessons 26

Chapter 8—Maintenance 29

Chapter 9—Bonding and Humor 32

Chapter 10—Music 35

Part II: A Case of Extreme

Mother-Son Bonding

Chapter 11—Weird Happenings 39

Chapter 12—Back Pain 41

Chapter 13—Origins 47

Chapter 14—My Turn on the Couch 49

Chapter 15—Tour de France 53

Chapter 16—Stable is Good 57

Chapter 17—Mom 60

Chapter 18—Jack the Knife 63

Chapter 19—Alternatives 67

Chapter 20—Staying Active 70

Chapter 21—Palliative Care 72

Chapter 22—An Endpoint 74

Epilogue by the Caregivers 76

Part III: CaringBridge Journals

CaringBridge Journals 85

Memorial Service Messages 177

‘Song to Carol’ by Chris Alimenti 177

Tribute to Carol by Darcy Alimenti 178

Tribute to Carol by Tony Alimenti 182

December 16, 2015 187

About the Alimentis

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