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Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite
Even when a person is gone, their experience can be inspiring to others. This is the case of Don McCall, whose battle against cancer is now told in the memoir My Journey Home: Reporting on the Final Days of My Cancer Battle. This book is unique because Karen Westphalen wrote it by transcribing the audios McCall recorded every day from when he learned he had little time left to live. My Journey Home tells the story of McCall's final months, noting his "last times for everything," the blessings he found along the way, his own feelings, and the behavior of the people surrounding him.
The first thing that amazed me about My Journey Home is its genesis. Karen Westphalen had an excellent idea when she decided to transcribe McCall's audio recordings because this choice gives the book its unique perspective. It is sad to think that the first-person account I read comes from a person who is no longer here, but telling McCall's story in this way helped me understand his situation and point of view. Certainly, this result depends on Westphalen's excellent transcription. McCall's "voice" echoes on every page, and his honesty and clarity make the book an enjoyable read despite its delicate subject. Anyone who wants to understand the situation of a person with a terminal illness should read My Journey Home. McCall's journey is not a happy one, but it offers a lot of food for thought for anyone who wants to help a loved one who is sick.