I couldn’t possibly do any better than the publisher’s book description, so I am copying it verbatim: Regine’s blog about living with Leukemia gained a huge following, and eventually became this book. She writes openly about emotional and physical aspects of her 15-month struggle to recover, and explains how her disease impacts her life. In the course of her illness, Regine has photography exhibits, goes to concerts, enjoys her friends & family, and advocates for registering as a blood and bone marrow donor. She was a typical teenager with an amazing will to live; and the lessons she learned have relevance for all of us. She died at home on December 3, 2009 with her family and cat by her side. This book actually reminded me quite a bit of Jenny Downham’s book Before I Die, aside from the sad fact, of course, that Regine’s story wasn’t fiction.
Reading this book has helped me to better understand what many cancer patients go through, and it has also helped me to put some annoying bits of my own life into perspective. Is is the end of the world if I get stuck in traffic on the way to work? No one will die if I get to the library five minutes late. Is it the end of the world if I forget a coupon and accidentally pay an extra dollar or two for my groceries? Hardly. Poor Regine really did get some “end of the world” news — as a teenager, no less — and still managed to stay extremely positive. Even after reading her blog/book, I can’t wrap my brain around how she was able to muster up the will to carry on and to hope for a cure when every indication was that her condition was beyond hope. Though her life was short, she lived as fully as possible and gave her life purpose. She did a lot to raise money and awareness for cancer treatments like bone marrow transplants — and she inspired me to go to marrow.org to add myself to the national bone marrow registry. (You can register yourself, too, if you’re a healthy adult between the ages 0f 18 & 44!)