published by Harper Element
The Choice by Bernadette Bohan
BACK PAGE BLURB -
This moving memoire tells the story of the writer, by her own description, an ordinary woman, and her fight for her life and health and family. In 1988 she won a hard fought battle with cancer, and seven years later she got pregnant. Her doctors told her that her pregnancy would likely trigger the cancer again. Bernadette Bohan made her own choices then and later when her cancer returned, managing to turn her life around and help others to look at responsibility for their own health.
BOOK REVIEW -
I certainly hope that this book is not a one off, as I enjoyed it immensely. The story is basically the story of Bernadette Bohan’s life and is told in simple straightforward language. The characters are mainly Bernadette’s family and her doctors and she manages to avoid being overly sentimental in portraying a very emotional subject. The descriptions of the family life when Bernadette was young will be an eye opener to people who have never had to pay for medicine or to see a doctor. Her mother, like a lot of mothers then had their own cures and remedies for most ailments, which were mixed with tough love. Her mother thought, ‘doctors are expensive, not for the likes of us.’ By the time Bernadette had recovered from her first bout of cancer you realise what a supportive and caring person her husband Gerard is. She calls him her rock and he never changed throughout all the very difficult times. When Bernadette discovered she was pregnant she was told by her oncologist that her changing hormones would likely give her cancer again.
She didn’t flinch and she describes herself as being ‘defiantly, stupidly pregnant,’ at the age of forty. After an uneventful confinement she said she felt truly blessed to have another daughter. She seems to be a practical and loving mother and has been able to care for her three children even at her worst times. After twelve years of being free of cancer, it happened again and she tackled it this time, alongside conventional treatment, with making healthy changes to her own lifestyle which really worked for her. This writer describes herself several times in the book as an ordinary woman; she is totally wrong, she is very special and has been able to help many people through their difficult times and asked for nothing in return for her teaching and lecturing on the life changes she made. I would highly recommend this book as an inspirational read.