A diagnosis of life-threatening illness can be devastating. When Diane Pretty’s husband George was found to have mantle cell lymphoma a form of cancer said to be incurable life as they had known it came to an end. Faced with the possible loss of her spouse Diane experienced all the expected emotions: denial fear despair confusion anger and the total exhaustion caused by trying to hold her own life together while fighting for her husband’s.
That fight took them 1200 miles away from their home in Michigan to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Clinic in Houston Texas where a second opinion gave them hope that an extremely arduous but promising new treatment might put George’s cancer into remission. After driving themselves and their belongings to Houston they had a difficult time finding short-term rental home for them and their three beloved dogs. Alone in a strange environment without the comfort of having family friends and their church community nearby Diane found ways to make a home for herself her desperately ill husband and their pets. Her faith in God helped her find the strength to tend to his needs care for the house and animals keep friends and family updated with information on their lives and the progress of the treatment and be a source of strength for George as he was for her.
Early in George’s treatment it was found that he had serious heart problems and emergency open heart surgery was scheduled to prevent a sudden fatal heart attack. He was also diabetic and the problems associated with this condition would complicate other necessary treatments. Under the circumstances it would have been easy for them to give up accept that George would soon die and return to Michigan to await his passing. Readers will be amazed at how many things went wrong for them; aside from the tremendous toll the treatments took on George as well as Diane they also had to cope with plumbing and electrical issues in their rented house that left them without heat and hot water neighbors who partied loudly late into the nights when they both needed healing rest the deaths of two of their pets Diane’s own encounter with cancer and the heartbreaking loss of two unborn twin grandchildren.
Diane’s account of her husband’s struggle for life and the strength and courage with which they both faced what would most would call insurmountable odds will inspire readers. Their experience would surely qualify as a “worst-case scenario” and may afford some perspective to others battling similar illnesses. It was their love for each other and that of their family friends and church community that supported them in their trials. More than that Diane believes that it was their faith in God’s awareness of and concern with the tiniest details of their lives that brought them safely home.
Diane Pretty’s message is one of hope in the face of incredible odds. Caregivers friends and family of those who are ill will read in this detailed and engaging book just how much even the seemingly smallest acts of kindness and concern can mean to those who are suffering and how much faith can help to replace their fear with assurance.
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