Steering Through It

Navigating Life-Threatening Illness Acceptance, Survival and Healing

Non-Fiction - Memoir
107 Pages
Reviewed on 10/06/2018
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

"‘I am sorry to inform you ... an abnormal lesion ... aggressive.’ A brain tumor. A brain tumor the size of a golf ball, growing in my left temporal lobe.” These are the words that spelled out the doom that would forever change the life of the author, an experience that many people face and one that changed the life of Lynn McLaughlin in shattering ways. In Steering Through It: Navigating Life-Threatening Illness Acceptance, Survival and Healing, the author shares insights on how to cope with a devastating diagnosis. She began journaling the day she received her diagnosis. In this book she unveils secrets she discovered on the journey, secrets that led her to find emotional, psychological, and spiritual strength to hold her life together. But most importantly, this memoir is a healing journey, one that can be replicated, and one that teaches readers that hope is not dead when they are faced with a life-threatening illness.

Lynn McLaughlin writes with simplicity and her voice is strong and moving, filled with humanity and compassion. One hears the voice that speaks from the experience of deep pain, unassumingly and yet confidently. Steering Through It: Navigating Life-Threatening Illness Acceptance, Survival and Healing is insightful, a memoir that captures the human spirit brilliantly and teaches readers how to find the strength to stand up for others and for themselves when life is threatened by illness. The prose is elegant and it captures strong emotions, thoughts, and insights with unusual clarity. I loved the brutal honesty of this story and the many lessons that are woven into it. It’s a real gift for suffering humanity, a journey towards love, compassion, and inner freedom; a journey towards healing.

Jack Magnus

Steering Through It: Navigating Life-Threatening Illness Acceptance, Survival and Healing is a nonfiction memoir written by Lynn McLaughlin. Lynn had ignored the warning signs and symptoms for several years before the severity of her headaches gave her no choice but to seek medical advice. She had figured that the tinnitus was natural for her age, and the dizzy spells she had attributed to vertigo. And while she had consulted with her optometrist on the headaches in the past, she began to realize that Advil was not the answer. She endured the cacophony of the MRI, while tightly clutching the panic button that they supply patients with, but that ordeal seemed tame in comparison to hearing the doctor tell her about the aggressive tumor growing inside her brain.

Each danger the doctor described seemed more dire than its predecessor. Lynn could suffer a stroke, lapse into a coma or have seizures. They would need to operate as soon as they got the swelling within her brain under control. The procedure was called a craniotomy. They’d only be able to tell afterwards if it was cancer -- and if they had been successful in removing it entirely. Would she be the same afterwards? She had no way of knowing. First, she had to face telling her husband about her condition, and her kids, and then the other people in their lives. Lynn began to write her experiences down in a journal to help others who may find themselves or their loved ones in similar straits.

Steering Through It is a moving and inspirational account of the author’s diagnosis of, treatment for, and recovery from the removal of an aggressive brain tumor. Lynn accurately shares her initial dismay and confusion as she tries to figure out how to tell the people in her life about her condition. I was most impressed by how she put her concern for her family and friends’ feelings on hearing her news over her own emotional needs during a trying and terrifying time. Lynn’s story is beautifully told, and I was awed by her resilience and ability to ride through the procedure, the healing period and the eventual transition back into her professional life. Steering Through It: Navigating Life-Threatening Illness Acceptance, Survival and Healing is most highly recommended.