On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

May I recommend

I loved this book, just loved it! Perhaps it helped that I once knew the author, but that was about 30 years ago and we weren't close friends, only acquaintances. Still and all, I liked Susan Moon then, respected her then, and when she spoke about her latest book recently, THIS IS GETTING OLD, I wanted very much to be present.

I read the book slowly, over a week, but I wanted to rip right through it because I was enjoying it so much. We are almost the exact same age, the author and I, and have much in common, actually and historically. Her concerns, many of them, are mine - and the same concerns for so many of our vintage. We worry about our health, we grieve the deaths of friends who die ahead of us, we watch ourselves age into grayness and wrinkles. Some of us age gracefully, with style and dignity, others of us just, well, just age.

Way, way back, in 1977, I was taking courses in gerontology at San Francisco State University. As it turned out, I was soon employed by a South of Market senior center in the City, so completed the semester and didn't return for the full certificate. The classes I had taken so far were of great interest to me at the time and I read all the assignments and many additional readings. I threw myself into the papers and projects and I learned a lot about the problems of our elders -- and at that time they were elders to me, I wasn't one of them.

If I were to take those same classes now, and certainly if I were to teach such a course, THIS IS GETTING OLD would be on my required reading list because of its generous spirit, realistic and focused chapters, general readability and gracious attitude toward those above the age of 60, 65 or thereabouts.

May I suggest this book as a great gift too. No one could possibly be offended by the kindness in this book, although some might be in denial that aging is happening to them. And that was one of the points!

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