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by Christina Middlebrook

  • ISBN: 0385488653
  • Author: Christina Middlebrook
  • ePub ver: 1823 kb
  • Fb2 ver: 1823 kb
  • Rating: 4.8 of 5
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Anchor; 1st edition (December 29, 1997)
  • Formats: lrf azw txt lit
  • Category: Fitness
  • Subcategory: Diseases & Physical Ailments
epub Seeing the Crab download

Seeing the Crab is not only a vivid portrayal of breast cancer experiences, it is a powerful piece of. .Trained as a Jungian analyst, Christina Middlebrook offers an unflinching and unsentimental first hand look at facing death in SEEING THE CRAB.

Seeing the Crab is not only a vivid portrayal of breast cancer experiences, it is a powerful piece of literature: deeply moving, painfully honest, direct, important, and witty. It is a book for everyone, not just those living with breast cancer. -Breast Cancer Action Newsletter. I am filled with admiration for her courageous and enlightened journey. Cancer patients will find comfort and courage in Christina Middlebrook's story.

by. Christina Middlebrook. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books.

Seeing the Crab book. In her beautiful, unflinching memoir, Middlebrook conveys the physical and emotional ordeal of coming to terms with her own imminent death.

Middlebrook was not quite fifty when she was told that a lump in her breast was . Seeing the Crab is filled with unforgettable vignettes - of the author.

When Middlebrook's husband asked the surgeon for an honest prognosis, she told him his wife had a 50 percent chance of surviving two more years. Unlike the many upbeat books that end with the author triumphing over his or her illness through traditional or alternative medicine, or by some variation of mind over matter, this book offers no naive conclusion.

In this remarkable book, Christina Middlebrook tells the story of her battle with cancer. At the end of the book, finished in 1996, she is of course still alive, but she leaves her readers very aware how her fight against cancer is one she will eventually lose. I would like the reassurance that she is still alive today, but I don't have that luxury. The book did give me a heightened sense of how tenuous our grip on life is, and of how there are no guarantees.

In her beautiful, unflinching memoir, Middlebrook conveys the physical and emotional ordeal of coming to terms with her own imminent death.

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Christina Middlebrook was not quite fifty when she was told that a lump in her breast was not only malignant, but had already metastasized, and she had a fifty-percent chance of surviving more than two years.  In her beautiful, unflinching memoir, Middlebrook conveys the physical and emotional ordeal of coming to terms with her own imminent death. Candid and courageous, Middlebrook's memoir honestly relates her story, which, unlike many books about illness that end in triumph, can offer no reassuring conclusion.  In the tradition of William Styron's Darkness Visible, Seeing the Crab is a true and incredibly powerful story of facing the unthinkable with grace.
Comments (7)

Road.to sliver
Three and a half stars. This book is well-written.

Ms. Middlebrook was a fortunate woman who lived a full life before--and even during--her valiant and courageous struggle with cancer. She endured rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, hair and weight loss, dizziness and nausea and painful rashes. I especially appreciated her honesty and willingness to reveal the full spectrum of her agonizing treatment and convalescence--and write about the many small humiliations she was subject to.

But something about this book seemed a bit...off. Other than the ravages of her disease, Ms. Middlebrook's life is just a little too perfect, as she describes it--her husband is extraordinarily attentive and responsive. He vows never to marry again after her death. She has a fulfilling career as a Jungian therapist. She has absolutely no money problems.

Her wonderful friends and neighbors bring her dinners and sit by her side during the worst of her illness. She's inundated with gifts and cards (she even tells us how many). Her successful, attentive children call and visit and express their boundless love. Even her stepchildren are supportive and caring. I don’t know. Really? Does anyone in her life have a darker side? Does she?

Ms. Middlebrook keeps her prognosis somewhat vague, although the subtitle of the book is "a memoir of dying." I should add here that, as it turned out, her death wasn’t imminent. Nowhere in the book is the possibility of an optimistic outcome even suggested. She's angry with anyone who mentions any reason to hope. I had to do a search on Google to learn that she lived another two decades after this book was written. Well, good for her. Nevertheless it seemed like a significant oversight.

I wasn’t amused by the story about her capriciously stomping on a snail, told by her husband after her death:

"Her husband recalled a walk they took one day while on vacation. A snail was inching its way along the walkway ahead of them, and he - an English professor at San Francisco State University- began spinning a yarn about its life and where it might be going.

'Then she just stomped on the thing!' he recalled with amusement. 'I asked why, and she said, "Habit. I'm a gardener."'
Muniath
I am a medical massage therapist who has dealt with many people living with cancer. So many books are too serious and hard to get through when you are already dealing with a lot of sadness and worry. This book reads as a real person speaking from the heart with both humor and anger, frankness and questioning. You can hear the genuine voice coming through. I have given this to many people, but patients and their families to help find the words to deal with this difficult time.
Wire
I volunteer and read this, and it is of help to understand. Have you tissues with you. Good for family to watch together.
TheSuspect
Good.
Kare
Trained as a Jungian analyst, Christina Middlebrook offers an unflinching and unsentimental first hand look at facing death in SEEING THE CRAB. Diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer at age fifty, she takes her readers through nearly four years of treatment, including her radical mastectomy, and grueling months of chemo and radiation therapy, and, later, "daily blood pheresis to collect peripheral stem cells" - a painful process called, interestingly, "a rescue." The original cancer metastasized to her spine after only ten months requiring months more treatment.

After a bone marrow transplant, Middlebrook tells us -

"Transplant pain is with me every day: bone pain, joint pain, foot pain, esophageal pain, headaches, earaches, jaw pain, edema pain, tooth pain, bruised shins, difficulty swallowing, difficulty eliminating, heart fibrillations, shortness of breath, fatigue, fatigue, fatigue."

She spares her reader nothing, describing marathon bouts of barfing, puke every color imaginable, as well as chemo- and drug-induced fogs, hours, whole days lost to her.

She also talks of the importance of family support, angry at first with her mother and sister, who stay mostly in denial of the seriousness of her illness. But she is grateful to her husband and children, as well as stepchildren (her husband has been married twice before, she once). She is disgusted with the people who avoid the whole issue of cancer and try to simply wish it away with comments like, "oh, you'll be fine," or worse.

This is a hard book to read, and not one I would normally even pick up. I found it at a library book sale, paged through it, and was struck by the quality of the writing and its stark honesty. Had to buy it, had to read it. Women who have had breast cancer would probably relate easily, but I think it's the kind of book the men in their lives should read too - to better understand what their loved ones are going through. And I purposely leave that in present tense, because cancer is not something you can ever really put behind you. Christina Middleton's memoir of cancer and dying is proof positive of that.

The only section of the book I found not quite so compelling was the final one in which the author philosophizes about death and how her Jungian training has figured into her illness. I did some skimming there.

Ironically, although Middlebrook was sure she would not survive her illness and its quick recurrence, she lived another fifteen years. She died in January of 2009. Her online obituary does not give a cause of death.

This is a book that needs to be read. Highly recommended.

- Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER

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