"Postings from the Far Shore of Life; An Incurable Cancer Patient's Reflections On Life, Death, And The Journey Between," by T N Robbins

By: Susan W. Smith

Volume 17, Issue 12, December 2022

TI Life receives several suggestions for book reviews, but this one took me by surprise. Tom N. Robbins has written several articles for TI Life - often illustrated by his sister Sarah Coate. Read the title slowly and you realized this is not a novel, not poetry but a book about a most serious subject.

I purchased the kindle version immediately and then took my time reading each chapter - some twice. How many of our family members or friends have gone down this path - or sadly still will? Reading Tom's account is sometimes difficult, sometimes not, but it does - as that simple saying goes, "make you stop and think."

The first thing read the Dedications & Acknowledgements:

" Book authors typically have one page of Dedications and another page of Acknowledgements prefacing their manuscript. This author is combining those two into one. Why? Because this book lacks the usual behind-the-scenes teams of agents, researchers, editors, and publishers who get cited . . .  I wrote the book, I edited the book, and I co-designed the book. For better or worse – and you the reader will be the ultimate and only judge of that!"

However, he goes on to pay respect to "those who really DID make this book possible." I immediately guessed what he meant, and sure enough he says,

They are the docs and the nurses and the lab technicians and the ER and hospital staffs and the lab staffs and the pharmaceutical drug scientists and the researchers and the family members and friends who, in their own inestimable but wondrous ways, have helped keep this author alive . . .  
Table of Contents "Postings from the Far Shore of Life" by TN Robbins

He goes on to say:

Some are identified within; many are not in part because in most cases I do not even know their names. But they are utterly and forever worthy of my sincere and abiding thanks and fulsome recognition for all that they do, for me and for cancer patients everywhere. Because without them, this book - and I - would not exist.

Tom Robbins has given his friends and our TI Life readers several stories these past few years. We thank him most sincerely. His memories will last. Now he gives us a gift that is a difficult one, but one that may help in its own way. You be the judge.

The book is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats. If you do buy it, and regard it well, posting a review on Amazon is the single most important step in helping raise awareness of it for others—especially those with cancer and their families and friends. Because it will help each one of us understand, in a small way, what others may be going through, right now, at this very minute.

By Susan W. Smith

Posted in: Volume 17, Issue 12, December 2022, Essay, People, Book review

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