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Sisterly Shove: A Fight to the Death Against Pancreatic Cancer and Dementia

Ratings:
260 pages3 hours

Summary

A story of love outlasting memory.

When Mama is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and Papa has dementia, a humor writer and her serious-as-a-heart-attack physician sister engage in hand-to-heart combat in a 13-year battle to do what’s best for the parents who were always there for them.

Growing up, Malia and Diane always loved each other despite their differences. Dark straight hair vs. curly, light hair. A pleaser vs. a protester. A wallflower vs. a Governor’s School standout. But the two sisters don’t understand how truly differently they view life, death and the caregiving in between until middle age when their beloved parents are whittled away by disease and dementia. As they struggle to share caregiving from opposite coasts and conflicting mindsets, sisterly love changes to sisterly shove. Diane, a physician, proclaims Mama “a goner” when she is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in North Carolina, but then takes her against doctor’s orders to her home in California to preserve the hope that she won’t really die. When Malia moves Papa into an Alzheimer’s assisted living facility in their hometown, Diane calls it “assisted dying” and eldernaps him to doctor him herself 24/7 instead of entrusting his life to Malia and institutional eldercare. Will the sister’s relationship be the biggest casualty in this story of love outliving memory? Or will the demon dementia that consumed Papa and all his siblings also take Diane and Malia away from each other at the most vulnerable stage of their lives?

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