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A Review of Tom Brokaw’s Book “A Lucky Life Interrupted”

As cancer survivors, many of us recognize the changes in our lives, as a result of dealing with the devastating effects of blood cancer. I recently read the inspiring and touching book by Tom Brokaw, “A Lucky Life Interrupted”, in which he candidly discusses the impact of multiple myeloma on his life.

Many of us, as blood cancer survivors, can relate to his experiences told throughout the book. He writes that he lives with cancer physically, emotionally, and spiritually every day. Mr. Brokaw describes cancer as a club with a bond built on survival, and the common anxiety of having your body turn on you in such a vicious way.

Being your own best advocate

While reading this book, I recognized the feelings expressed by many of us: issues of stem cell transplant and chemo, how we have lost control over our bodies, and the loss of our normal take-charge attitude. The author strongly recommends a driving motivation to improve healthcare. He suggests that we be disruptive, challenge convention, and change it positively.

Mr. Brokaw describes his heavy pill regime and his need for calorie-rich meals as his appetite and taste buds faded. Many cancer patients have altered their nutrition and have explored strategies to overcome weight loss. I don’t think I ever lost a pound, despite the chemotherapy because my husband became my chef. I would eat and then sleep due to the incapacitating fatigue.

Good suggestions for the cancer patient are recommended to consider:

  • Is this the right approach for treatment?
  • Am I making progress?
  • Are all parts of my treatment team working together?

Leaning on family

The importance of the emotional support of family is emphasized in the book. He suggests that we need someone to trust, help manage care, ask questions, help interpret the medical lingo, research the latest information, and act as an ombudsman. Family is why this fight is worth waging.

The author repeatedly stresses the importance of family and the steady resolve of his wife who states, “We’ll get through this.” Many of us agree that our caregiver or partner plays a vital role in our cancer battle.

Gaining strength through multiple myeloma

He also talks of Nelson Mandela as an example of a person he emulated; someone who personified the importance of patience, courage, and absence of self-pity.

A meaningful and inspiring quote from his book:

“Streams and rivers have a source and a destination. They have stretches of calmness and turmoil. No day on the river is ever exactly the same, as it is not in life”

Since my cancer diagnosis, I have learned to be more observant, looking at the details of my surroundings that I had ignored in the past. I live in the Hudson Valley and now when I cross the Hudson River I marvel at the sunset or sunrise over the river.

Mr. Brokaw, a well- known newscaster, author, and outdoor sports enthusiast has shared his life experiences as a multiple myeloma survivor. The book “A Lucky Life Interrupted”, speaks to the life of blood cancer survivors.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Ann Harper moderator
    2 months ago

    @cmccue first – I live in the Hudson Valley too! Second, I’m now intrigued to read Tom Brokaws book. I agree that cancer is a bond we all share and it has definitely changed everyone of us. Thanks for sharing – and who know, maybe we’re neighbors!

  • Carole McCue author
    2 months ago

    Hi Ann, glad you enjoyed.
    I was in Cornwall by the river. Are you nearby?
    Maybe coffee🥰

  • Deb Wesloh moderator
    2 months ago

    This sounds like an incredible book that’s not only inspiring but provides some good advice as well. I will definitely be checking this out! It sounds like a great book to keep me occupied during this crazy time. Thanks for sharing.

  • Carole McCue author
    2 months ago

    It’s positive reading especially needed in these unsettling times.

  • Connie Connely
    2 months ago

    Thank you for the review, Carole! I have read Tom Brokaw’s book. Years ago, I saw a wedding announcement in the Catoosa, Oklahoma newspaper. The names were Brokaw and Fry. I looked at their photo; the names seemed familiar to me. I thought, I must know the parents of these young people. It turned out that I did! Tom Brokaw’s daughter, Jennifer, married the son of Allen Fry. I had worked with Allen on school committees! Tom Brokaw mentioned a trip to Oklahoma in his book!

  • Carole McCue author
    2 months ago

    Glad you enjoyed the book. Compelling words

  • Carole McCue author
    2 months ago

    Hope you enjoy the book. Stay safe🙏🏻

  • Daniel Malito moderator
    2 months ago

    @cmccue I didn’t even realize he had this! Considering this is the perfect time to read books instead of bingeing another streaming show, I”ll have to check it out! Thanks! Keep on keepin’ on, DPM

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