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Tears of Joy

Jerry Hanks & Bobbi de Cordova-Hanks (Author)

ISBN: 0-7414-1444-9 ©2003
Price: $12.95
Book Size: 5.5'' x 8.5'' , 89 pages
Category/Subject: SELF-HELP / Motivational & Inspirational

Cancer! The word strikes fear in the hearts of all. But is cancer really a death sentence? Or is it a wakeup call to start life’s journey anew? “Tears of Joy” is the story of two people who have experienced it all.

No one ever volunteered to have cancer. Yet 1.2 million men, women and children in the United States and Canada are diagnosed each year. For each of them, hopefully, there is at least one caregiver who attends to their needs -- emotionally and physically.

This is the true story of two of them: Bobbi de Córdova-Hanks, and her continuing battle against breast cancer and thyroid cancer; and her husband Jerry, who lost one wife to cancer and became a caregiver again--and again--when he met and married Bobbi.

Together, their stories will make you cry . . . and laugh . . . and cheer . . . and, sometimes, get fighting mad.

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Customer Reviews

  Worth It , 07/07/2010
Reviewer: Cheryl B Lemine
Not once. Not twice. But three times Bobbi de Córdova-Hanks has looked three different forms of cancer squarely in the face and lived not only to tell about it – but to write unselfishly about it. She also collaborated with her husband, Jerry Hanks, to provide an additional point-of-view – that of the caregiver in their book "Tears of Joy: In Sickness and in Health – a Cancer Survivor and Caregiver Share Their Story." (2006, The two also speak throughout the United States and Canada about cancer survivorship. Initially I was drawn to Bobbi because she and Jerry were guest speakers at local writers' meeting I attended. Let’s face it, writers like to learn from each other and hear what it’s like from those who are further down the road. Before I left the meeting, I was compelled to buy their book because someone in my family has recently re-entered the cancer battle, fighting for her life for the third time. I wanted ideas and needed them now. I read the whole book that evening. Page 104 makes a bold declaration – one that the book totally fulfills. Saying that the work “is about life and love and hope and dreams…” is the simple way of saying that cancer and living with it are possibilities. The text, a mere 108 pages, is a casual but informed one where Bobbi and Jerry take you through their personal histories. Jerry had cared for and lost his previous wife to cancer, then married Bobbi, a professional musician and writer – to their thoughts and feelings -when explaining Bobbi’s journey and her 1986 diagnosis with advanced breast cancer. What makes the 24 chapter book an even more interesting read is its presentation. The chapters rotate in candid first- person style between Bobbi and Jerry. For example, in Chapter 12, "How to be a Good Caregiver," Jerry discusses the importance of faith, being an informed consumer and the value of obtaining group support. Bobbi, herself, founded the Jacksonville-based Bosom Buddies program, which is based at the Women’s Center of Jacksonville, FL. The program, begun in 1988 is “dedicated to improving the lives of women affected by breast cancer.” In various chapters, Bobbi explains the highs of lows of a time spent in hospital isolation, the challenge of making medical decisions and being comfortable with your care team along with her efforts at helping others affected by cancer understand that it’s not necessary that it define their lives even though “it will always be a part of us.” Inspiring and fast paced, I was left hopeful knowing that assertiveness, emotional extremes and finding other heroes on their own cancer journeys are all part of the experience – one which no one chooses to have. Bobbi also has the added benefit of speaking fluent Spanish and the ability to connect with Hispanic/Latina women as they also struggle with the cancer while trying to obtain quality care. "Tears of Joy" is available in both Spanish and English. Its primary languages, though, are love and hope sprinkled with humor and watered with tears – ones of joy that enabled me to envision a new definition of what it means to survive cancer and not simply be its victim. -- Cheryl B. Lemine

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