Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Community, Compassion and Cancer: Patry Francis and The Liar's Diary

The world has over 6 billion people on it, and yet sometimes it feels like there are no strangers because a name you hear is known by a friend of yours. That makes them a friend of a friend.

Today approximately 300 bloggers have agreed to help out someone in need of support. That woman is Patry Francis. I do not know her, but she is a friend of my friend Jordan Rosenfeld.

Patry spent many years waiting tables, scratching out her thoughts on paper, toiling to improve her craft of writing. Finally she had succeeded in having a debut novel published in hardback. She achieved the success that I and many of my friends are still working toward. Her book The Liar's Diary was well reviewed and earned blurbs from such esteemed authors as Tess Gerritsen. Her book is now available in seven languages.




Patry should be celebrating her success and spending her time thinking up new characters for a follow up novel.

Instead, shortly after the publication of her book she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.

Cancer.

A word that strikes fear into the hearts and minds of anyone who has seen the ravages that disease can inflict on the human body.

I have had far too many of my friends and relatives touched by its various forms. Some have survived, some haven't.

My husband's mother is still locked in a valiant struggle with lung cancer. She was diagnosed at stage 4. Initially it was thought that she might last six months, but here she is two years later still showing how stubborn she can be. God bless her.

I know how tough it is for her to continually take poison into her veins with the hope it will kill the diseased cells and not the host. Changing treatment modalities every few months when the medications stop having the desired effect. Trying to plan her life when she does not know what the new side effects of medicines will be. She is often tethered to her bed and her bathroom for days at a time post-treatment, making it impossible to leave her house.

The pain. The morphine to relieve the pain. The endless sleeping that results when you take the narcotics.

And of course the depression.

Cancer is a cruel disease. To fight it you must be stubborn. You cannot be passive. You must have the will to live and desire to survive while forcing a life threatening disease into submission.

Or remission.

Even then, you will live with the Sword of Damocles hanging over your head always fearful that the cancer will return in a new form, in a new site, and force you to take up arms again renewing your warrior status.

Patry Francis is engaged right now in a life and death struggle with cancer.

Today is release of her book The Liar's Diary in paperback. It is far more important that she invest her energy in caring for her wounded body than spending it publicizing a book.

That is why there are over 300 bloggers banding together to help spread the word on Patry's behalf.

Here is a synopsis of The Liar's Diary from Patry's website.


Synopsis

What would you do if your best friend was murdered—and your teenaged son was accused of the crime? How far would you go to protect him? How many lies would you tell? Would you dare to admit the darkest truths—even to yourself?

Jeanne Cross is an ordinary suburban wife and mother with a seemingly "perfect" life when Ali Mather arrives on the scene, breaking all the rules and breaking hearts. Almost against her will, Jeanne is drawn to this powerfully seductive woman, a fascination that soon begins to infect Jeanne's husband as well as their teenaged son, Jamie.

Though their friendship seems unlikely and even dangerous to their mutual acquaintances, Ali and Jeanne are connected by deep emotional needs, vulnerabilities and long-held secrets that Ali has been privately recording in her diary.

The diary also holds the key to something darker. Though she can't prove it, Ali is convinced someone has been entering her house when she is not at home-and not with the usual intentions. What this burglar wants is nothing less than a piece of Ali's soul.

When Ali is found murdered, there are many suspects; but the evidence against Jamie Cross is overwhelming. Jeanne's personal probing leads her to the question none of us would ever want to face. What comes first: our loyalty to family—or the truth?"


The blog that organized this blogopolooza event on behalf of Patry Francis is Susan Henderson's Lit Park. Please go there, check out audio and video clips of the book and the list of bloggers who have joined the effort in helping Patry. There are also a variety of links to purchase the book depending on which vendor you prefer.

I have yet to read her book, but I shall remedy that soon. Today also marks my mother's 76th birthday and I am fortunate enough to still have both my parents. I had wondered what gift to get my mother, but once I heard about this blogging event and realized the significance of the date, my decision was clear.

My mother will be receiving copy of The Liar's Diary.

Be well Patry. Many people are in your corner, whether they know you personally or not.

Be well and Live Strong.

Linda
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