In December of 1995, at the age of twenty-four, Lisa Shaw-Brawley was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, a form of lymphoma. Shaw-Brawley and her husband were visiting her family in California during the Christmas holidays when swollen glands sent her to see her lifelong family doctor. Only When I Sleep: My Family's Journey Through Cancer is her inspiring, first-hand account of what she learned that day and the battle she fought against cancer, based on the journal she kept from the moment she was diagnosed.
The story chronicles in detailed, compelling scenes both the emotional and physical journey of cancer, including the numerous tests and treatments Shaw-Brawley endured. Honest and forthright, the author does not disguise the bitter truth of her experience or the fear that accompanied her diagnosis. Because of this, the book will reassure newly diagnosed cancer patients that their fears-of possible infertility, hair loss and recurrence-are normal and give them guidance on facing these fears.
Only When I Sleep is also the story of Shaw-Brawley's family, and their journey through a harrowing and ultimately strengthening experience. The book is a remarkable story of family love and the commitment of marriage, which also explores the tensions and comforts of returning home as a married adult. In vivid prose, the author invites the reader into her family's home, into their hearts, and into the battle of their lives. As readers join in this journey, they will be moved, informed, reassured and assisted in their personal journey. The author's father also contributes a heart-warming journal entry of what his family endured, offering comfort and insight to every mother and father in a similar situation.
In the end, a second miracle in Shaw-Brawley's life proves to be the ultimate lesson in redemption and hope. This, coupled with her determined fight, will send a clear message of survival that will inspire and empower other cancer patients.