Nursing Book Club
Unwinding the Miracle by Julie Yip and One Pedal at a Time by Caryn Golden
The Unwinding of the Miracle and One Pedal at a Time
These are two unrelated books by different authors, but I read them both for the same reason: Each is a memoir examining the interpersonal and psychological impact of serious illness. In the first, Unwinding the Miracle, the author’s life is cut short by colon cancer, forcing her husband to become her caregiver. In the second, One Pedal at a Time, the author herself becomes a caregiver and charts the vast lifestyle changes involved.
Young Person Facing Mortality
The author of Unwinding the Miracle, Julie Yip, was born in Vietnam in 1976. Considered a burden by her parents due to her cataracts and pitied by neighbors, she learned early to forge ahead despite the limits others tried to place on her.
Later, she travelled alone through much of the world, earned a law degree, scored a position at a good law firm, found a kind and handsome husband and gave birth to two daughters. Unfortunately, in her late 30s, she was diagnosed with colon cancer.
The book follows her through the next four years, through surgeries by different doctors in different hospitals; herbal treatments; oncology medication and its various side effects; clinical trials; and finally accepting her illness and saying goodbye to all she knew. (Her husband Jason wrote the final chapter.) Yip’s goal became to experience as much of life as she could, as she believed that that is what makes us all human.