Traditional wisdom dictates that to fight against cancer is to fight a losing battle. One can only prepare for the unavoidable sight of decimated bodies littering the field. The book, Come Home Alive: The Power of Knowing how to Work Together to Make It Through the Crisis of Cancer by Mari D. Martin proposes a different outcome-a win for the good guys. To show that this scenario is even possible, the author takes the readers along on a very personal journey, her husband’s painful battle with Stage 4 throat cancer caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).
What strikes the reader from the get-go is how organized the book is. There are no misplaced chapters or quotations. Everything is so well-written that the conversations smoothly flow along. The way the author handled herself and her husband’s coming ordeal reflects this organized approach. She did not take any chances but instead listened to and relied on the wisdom of physicians that she had already judged capable of handling Chris’s condition. Notwithstanding the presence of an excellent medical team around her for support, she still had to navigate the rigors of Chris’s debilitating chemoradiation treatments, the difficulties of having a feeding tube inserted into Chris’s stomach, and the ups and downs of her husband’s health condition.
What should touch the reader to the core is the author’s manifest spirituality. Despite the deep well of hopelessness that surrounded her and sometimes left her crying alone by herself, she truly believed that God had a plan cut out for her and Chris. She was also fortunate to have the support of faithful friends and neighbors and the indispensable presence of their children. Her alone time and inner-self reflections while doing exercise running around the neighborhood aided in keeping her glued to the straight and narrow path.
The book is a testament to how much a person can endure amid trials and difficulties. It illustrates the importance of faith, hope, and love, and the value of community. All in all, an inspiring read that will leave readers red-eyed from crying.
– The Moving Words Review
Official entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 3, 2022
About the Author. Mari D. Martin is president of Performance Strategies Group Inc., a consulting and coaching organization. She is the first recipient of the Kolbe Professional Award and the first recipient of the Mari Martin Award, given to a community member for their help to reduce domestic and sexual violence. Martin is a child of God, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and daughter. She is an avid reader, runner, golf enthusiast, and football fan. She lives in Holland, Michigan.