Reviews of the book, Cancer Essays by Dorothy Sauber
"The death of any human is tragic, but Dorothy Sauber's passing is doubly sad because people who didn't know this intelligent, vibrant teacher and traveler will never get to meet her. The slender paperback she left us was shepherded into print by her wide circle of friends, including author Kathleen Coskran, who says in the foreword that Sauber was 'a woman of uncommon intelligence and sparkle, a woman who saw the world straight on, a woman who observed this last state of her life with characteristic curiosity.'
Sauber, who died of lung cancer in 2008, recorded her thoughts, hopes and fears from the time she was diagnosed in December 2005. Some of her essays and journal entries are touching. In 'Cancer Lunches,' for instance, she writes about handling the deep emotions of friends who know her days are numbered. Sauber faced her illness with courage and found the ability to live a day at a time, taking pleasure in her beloved cat, the artwork she brought back from her world travels and her friends.
She has left us with a precious look at end-of-life grace and dignity. Her friends should be congratulated for bringing this book to us."
— Mary Ann Grossman, Saint Paul Pioneer Press, Sunday Life, January 10, 2010
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"I finished Dorothy's book last night. I read it pretty much all in one sitting. I loved it. I cried numerous times. My young sons asked me, 'What's wrong?' I said I was sad, but happy at the same time . . . Dorothy's memoir made me laugh, and minutes later made me cry. I mean, I was sobbing. I don't know why I cried so hard at times. Maybe it was that I wasn't just crying for Dorothy, but also for so many people (in hospice) who I know had to make the decision to renew or not renew their subscription to their daily newspaper. To buy or not to buy a new alarm clock. Those decisions were stated bravely by many patients, but at the same time were very sobering to me . . . I think Dorothy puts the reader in a place to better understand the day-to-day feelings, anxieties, and grief that someone who is dying goes through."
— Val Hofius, Hospice Nurse for 13 years
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"Drawing on her farming roots, college teaching experience, and deep humanity, Dorothy Sauber has written an eloquent and beautiful book about living with terminal cancer. 'Thousands write about dying,' she says, 'but once inside its city gates no two walk the same path.' Her path is richly textured with humor, compassion, honesty and the whimsy that truly great writers invoke. A novel blend of powerful essays and intimate journal entries, Cancer Essays puts readers in Sauber's well-travelled walking shoes, providing the opportunity to see the world anew through her observant eyes. This book is a must-read for the ill and well alike, for we will all pass through those gates. What a blessing to have Dorothy's guide book in hand for the journey."
— Nancy Manahan, Ph.D. & Becky Bohan, M.A. Authors of Living Consciously, Dying Gracefully: A Journey with Cancer and Beyond. www.nanbec.com
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"With searing honesty and her characteristic cut-to the-chase approach to life, Dorothy Sauber has honored us with the privilege of being inside her experience of cancer. She faced life—and death—head on, with a clear-eyed pragmatism born of her early years on a farm. She 'knew where to stand when the bull came charging.' Her unflinching attitude often left us breathless and amazed by her ongoing curiosity about the process of dying. In these essays she offers a front row seat in the last class she taught: a tutorial on living and dying. This is a book that will reverberate across the years, keeping Dorothy's spirit alive in us. Cancer Essays is a treasure to be savored."
— Julie E. Neraas, Author of Apprenticed to Hope: A Sourcebook for Difficult Times. www.julieneraas.com