Moonbridge Books interviewed Rachele Baker about her book Eighteen Months To Live: the real life story of Midge Rylander. This captivating interview reveals poignant new insights into Midge's feelings and thoughts during her final months of life.
Moonbridge Books' Linda Austin published her interview with Rachele Baker about her book Eighteen Months To Live. Eighteen Months To Live contains the journal entries and letters written by Rachele's mother, Midge Rylander, in Midge's final months of life after a diagnosis of terminal cancer.
Here is an excerpt from the author interview on Moonbridge Books:
"Journal entries are not memoir. At least, not usually. Rachele Baker, however, took her mother's end-of-life journal and turned it word-for-word into a book, with just a few notes of explanation here and there and some letters her mother wrote or received. This is not how a memoir is supposed to be, but it worked out pretty well. While the book started out slow, with plenty of meandering writing that could (perhaps should?) have been edited out, it turned into an intense ride that I didn't want to jump off of. I cared about this strong woman determined not to be a burden.
Linda: Did you think about editing the journal, to leave out parts that had nothing to do with the cancer issues, or even, say, the many normal temperature readings?
Rachele: I do not think this is just a book about cancer or a cancer patient. It is a book about a woman who was trying to live her life as normally as possible in spite of her terminal illness. I think the book would be very sterile and boring if it did not contain the information that my mother included about her walks, her interactions with friends and neighbors, her time with her family, and other daily experiences.
I wanted to let this book be my mother's story in her own words. While the temperature readings might not seem to be very interesting to some people, the fact that my mother kept taking her temperature gives some insight into her thoughts and feelings at the time. She was obviously worried that she might be sick with something besides the cancer. She wanted to make sure that she did not just attribute all of her ailments to the cancer if there was something else going on. She wanted to make sure that she went to the doctor for treatment if she had something that needed treatment.
Even though she did not verbalize it very often in her journal, my mother was very frightened by her diagnosis with terminal cancer and by all of the "unknowns" in her future. She did not know what to expect in the course of her disease. She tried to get information about malignant pleural mesothelioma but information was not readily available back then. So she had a fear of the unknown, a fear of possibly missing some important clinical sign, a fear of not obtaining necessary treatment when needed, a fear of not knowing how she would die, and a fear of her impending death.
My mother put on a very brave face for the world to see but her journal reveals a very scared and vulnerable side of her that she only allowed us to see in the pages of her journal after her death."
Click here to read the full author interview on Moonbridge Books:
Eighteen Months To Live is available on Amazon:
For more information about Eighteen Months To Live or the book's author Rachele Baker, please visit Rachele's website and blog: