Patient and Caregiver: the main characters in a drama that started in 2007 and is still unfolding for Evelyn and Wayne Hausknecht. In 2007, Evelyn was diagnosed with an aggressive, recurrent type of non-Hodgkin’s T-cell lymphoma. Although in Unseen Arms Evelyn and Wayne are as medically accurate as their memories and blog allow, the greatest purpose here is to tell the story from a patient’s and caregiver’s perspectives.
Recently, while having an in-depth conversation with a lung doctor when Evelyn was in the hospital with pneumonia, Evelyn was thanked by the doctor for what she and Wayne were doing. She was in awe of his excitement for the book. The doctor saw the need for future patients to learn from experienced patients. Evelyn and Wayne were peer volunteers for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for years. The goal of that program was the same: an experienced caregiver and patient walk beside a person entering the transplant program to make their path smoother. Even though each diagnosis and circumstance is different, every patient has the same questions, fears, and needs. The greatest need is for someone understanding to talk to. When Evelyn was diagnosed, it was easy to find medical information, but caregiver and patient perspectives were limited.
Evelyn and Wayne had three purposes for writing this book. One was to give God the Glory for His faithfulness during this process. The second was to give hope to the patients and caregivers of today and the future. The third was to give some limited insights into the stem cell transplant process. The medical part of this process is rapidly changing, but the patients and caregivers still have the same needs.
Evelyn and Wayne Hausknecht have spent most of their careers in education. Evelyn has taught different subjects and ages in public and Christian schools. Wayne, a wood engineer, helped build the largest sawmill in Brazil and has managed mills in Michigan and North Carolina. They both enjoy motorcycle riding and rode their Harley Davidson Road King to Glacier National Park in 2006. Recently, they traded their motorcycle for a Model A truck and now enjoy going to car shows. They have two married children and six grandchildren and reside in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
“‘Travels with Maurice is a gem of a book that just sneaks up on you with its greatness. While the title makes you think it’s a travelogue or road trip book (and we’ve all read enough of these), Travels is so much more.” – Michael Berman
“Every Women Wanted to Be with Him Every Man Wanted to Be Him”― Gary Orleck
A simple “thank you” led to the trip of a lifetime, along with an unbreakable friendship of two opposites. See them come of age while rubbing elbows with the rich and famous like the Shah and Queen of Iran, The Who, Paul McCartney, Brigitte Bardot, and even Shirley Temple Black. An unbelievable story, yet it’s true because nobody could make this story up. Find out things the rich and famous do not want you to know.
I grew up in Lincoln, R.I. which is a blue-collar town, went To Babson University School of Business, and graduated with a BSBA in 1966. I worked my way around the USA for six months.
Two years later, I traveled with the son of the richest man in the world – covering 19,988 miles, twelve countries, and ten weeks.
Then, I went to work at Broadway Tire Inc. Twenty years later, I bought the business. I then owned and operated it for thirty more years before retiring in 2016!
In Between, I met and married my wife Ronna and had two beautiful children, and now I have five grandchildren!
The love of travel remained with me, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited 75 countries – each in a unique style – all my own way, using much of which I learned in my travels with Maurice in 1968.
Living with cerebral palsy is enormously difficult. But what if you never knew you had it? This is the incredible story of Ilana Estelle.
Born the second of premature twins, from a young age Ilana knew she was different, but for all the wrong reasons. A child of the 60s, Ilana experienced first-hand the way that disability was so often brushed under the carpet and not spoken about. Her constant physical and mental struggles made her feel isolated, alone, frustrated, and misunderstood… it took 46 years for her to find out why.
Part memoir, part motivational guide, Cerebral Palsy: A Story is Ilana’s open and honest journey from an angry, confused child, knowing something was wrong, but not knowing what, to the ‘real’ her – a courageous woman using her experiences and lessons to create inspiring messages about mental and physical health, positivity, resilience and change.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
Cerebral Palsy: A Story: Finding the Calm After the Storm informed me about 11 secondary conditions connected to CP (cerebral palsy). The memoir also gave me facts that escaped me until now. For example, 800,000 individuals have CP, and 10,000 people are born with it each year. Ilana Estelle also explained how the brain is affected in those with cerebral palsy. There are physical limitations. People also face emotional and mental roadblocks.
She went in-depth on how emotional stress can affect a CP’s immunity. A positive attitude, surrounding yourself with positive people is vital for a CP person’s overall health. Ilana Estelle gave examples of how to achieve a happy mind, cope with stress, and live a healthier life.
There were many sections in Cerebral Palsy: A Story: Finding the Calm that could apply to those not living with CP: foods to maintain good high blood pressure, foods that alleviate arthritis pain, and parenting tips. At times, these areas seemed to deter away from the topic at hand—cerebral palsy. While I appreciate the extra health tips and her parenting advice, I wanted more about her journey in life with CP.
Ilana Estelle discussed the misdiagnosis at the age of 2 (2.5). She spoke of the lack of family support (often)and felt guilty and depressed about failing in life. She also emphasized what she learned in the process.
know your limitations
ask for help
gain knowledge about your condition
To parents, she stressed having a sit-down and make sure all siblings are aware that people with CP need patience, understanding, compassion, and assistance.
While Ilana Estelle has struggled in life and will as she continues her journey in this world, I’m pleased to see she’s not bitter or angry over what’s occurred in the past. She’s working hard to achieve a happy mind. Peaceful soul.
You can’t change the past, but your actions today can pave the road for a better tomorrow.
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)
Ilana was born with a disability she didn’t know she had until the age of 46, when through her medical notes she discovered she had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 2.
That discovery turned out to be a unique and life-changing experience that has forced Ilana to stand back and look at her life experiences differently. On her late diagnosis, Ilana set up her website The CP Diary and uses her experiences to explore her emotional and physical health, with an inspiring message advocating resilience and change.
Ilana likes to spend her days writing and blogging about anything that contributes to her health and well being. She is an animal advocate and is passionate about environmental issues. When she is not writing to tending to her blog, Ilana enjoys days out exploring the Yorkshire countryside. Ilana lives with her husband and their much-loved cat, in Yorkshire. Her grown up son and daughter both live in London.
One story. Two endings. Genuine and fictional. Which ending is yours?
What do you say to someone who is dying? And what do you say when that someone can’t understand a word you are saying? How do you comfort each other throughout… and beyond?
My love, if you go away in a few days, the world will lose its colors and darken like the land of Mordor. If you go away and leave me to wander aimlessly, alone in this sea become wild, like a ship with a broken rudder and drowned sailors, and if I don’t find comfort in the warmth of your body, clutched in my embrace at the end of the day, I’m afraid I won’t survive.
“I don’t regret anything. Marcel was not only my cat, he was my everything. My brother, my friend, my world shrank in a soft gray-striped furry ball.”—Bernard Jan
Powerful. Emotional. Honest.
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
If you’ve ever loved and lost a pet then A World Without Color: A True Story Of the Last Three Days With My Cat by Bernard Jan will make you cry.
A couple years ago, I lost my best friend. He brought me so much joy and watching his body deteriorate broke me. I watched him slowing stop eating and drinking. I witnessed his hind legs give out. There were so many doctor appointments, so many meds, all to prolong his life.
Pets become a part of our day. They listen while we talk. We might pet them for comfort. They are our constant when everything else seems out of control. When they die, life seems to stop. We mourn them like we would a human. We miss their face, the sound of their voice, moments we could’ve had together if we weren’t so busy, and moments we’ll never have since they are gone.
Like Bernard, I never thought I’d ever get another cat. I too felt like I would be betraying my buddy. It took a while but my children convinced me to get another one. We eventually adopted two rescue cats.
I know one day I will have to make the decision to prolong life or put them down. There’s no reason to let a loved one suffer because we can’t or don’t want to let them go. Don’t let them live in agony.
There are some days I still swear I hear my buddy, see him out of the corner of my eye. I don’t get too sad anymore because I think he would be happy I have learned to love again.
Bernard, your words brought me many tears. The photo of Marcel made me cry even harder. Despite all these tears shed I must say thank you because it warmed my heart to see the love another person had for his own furbaby.
My pen name is Bernard Jan. I am an author – a novelist and a poet – from Croatia and I have released two indie books in English.
“A World Without Color” is the honest true story of the three last days I spent with my cat while “Look for Me Under the Rainbow” in unique and gentle way sheds light on the plight of harp seal pups in Canada and warms the hearts of young adult and other readers concerned about our planet and its treasures with the idea that change is needed, change is possible, and change will come.
My first books have been written at the beginning of war in Croatia in 1991, amidst the air alerts and illusory attempts when I wanted to believe and think that life is normal, that everything is alright with the world.
In my lifespan I have written and published five novels, two novellas, one book of poems and an essay in Croatian. Four of my manuscripts, together with my book of poems, are translated into English.
My passion for entertainment resulted in my becoming a partner of Tom’s Music Place, which was established in 2009 by my friend Thomas Carley Jr. with the goal to respect the music.
My need to help others came to the fore during my volunteering years: first in advocating for environmental protection, and then my volunteering, activism, work and advocacy for animal rights to the present day. I did some volunteering for the refugees, too, because suffering does not know about the borders and when it comes within your reach, in your yard, you simply have to do something.
As part of my animal advocacy activities, it has been a great honor and pleasure to translate “Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust” by Charles Patterson into Croatian language. I guess that makes me a translator, too, huh?
Take a wild megalomaniacal trip into the American spiritual and Cultural Revolution of the 1960s-1990s, as a young southern man gives fresh perspective to the propaganda, bad marriages, a collection of strange gurus and some bizarre mystical places. For many years, author W. Boone Hedgepeth was a magnet for unusual occurrences of an ethereal nature which vigorously affected the world around him. Suffering a life threatening illness and after a near death experience, Boone goes on an adrenalized journey from the American south and across the country seeking answers. Here, force of will and prayer are the proven best weapons against very unusual circumstances. Literally seeking the face of God, the author plunges into the magical medicine of his native ancestors, the new age metaphysical movement, Christian fundamentalism, and other wild and life-changing experiences before coming out of the fires to the other side.
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
There is so much I want to touch upon regarding Wild Willful Heart. Please be patient with me as I share my thoughts on many aspects of Boone’s story.
I’m not too familiar with Mormonism (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). I grew up in a Pentecostal church and my minister only spoke of our beliefs. While reading Wild Willful Heart, I learned both religions believed in the power of prayer and the Holy Spirit.
However, Boone disclosed some bizarre facts about Mormonism that had me shaking my head.
1.) For over 100 years, Mormons believed there were six foot tall beings living on the moon because an early church leader named Orson Pratt had said so. This was debunked after the moon landing.
2.)Mormons believed their “magic underwear,” which had Masonic markings on it, was knife proof and bulletproof. It had to be worn everyday to protect the righteous wearer from evil.
I’m not sure why anyone would believe such nonsense but, then again, atheists wonder why people believe in GOD so to each their own, I guess.
Like many people, Boone questioned organized religion. He used words like hypocrite and hypocrisy more than once. I can understand why he used these key words. I’m not saying all churches or church members are hypocrites. What I am saying is I can fully understand why some people are losing their faith in GOD, churches, and religion as a whole.
As Boone embarked on his vision quest, he discussed troubling times from his past. At thirteen, he began to hear voices in his head, which instructed him to end his life. He assumed every teen experienced these voices as they transitioned into adulthood. As a teen, I began hearing voices too. I didn’t speak of them. The voices are scary. You feel alone, afraid of your own mind. Like Boone, I also live with bipolar disorder, depression, and suicidal thoughts. I truly believe MORE people should discuss mental health because we need to end the stigma of mental illness. If we don’t, if we shame those with mental health problems, people who are suffering won’t seek help. A person who thinks there’s no help, no understanding, will end their life. I, personally, don’t want to see that happen. Everyone needs the opportunity to feel safe to discuss their issues, to get the help they need, and to live a long, happy life.
As for Boone’s experience with drugs and alcohol, it happens with most teenagers. IMHO, I don’t believe illegal drugs and liquor should be consumed if you’re battling a mental health problem. It can and will make you more self-destructive. Boone discussed this during one of his flashbacks. Boone, I applaud you for being so forthcoming with your struggles with mental illness, mental health hospitals, liquor and drugs.
Apparitions and UFOs
Many people have claimed to see sprits and UFOs. I’m not sure if spirits are real or just a play on eyes, a figment of our imagination. However, if you believe in life on other planets, then the possibility of UFOs is plausible. Maybe, just maybe, spirits are real. And maybe, those sightings of UFOs do hold some merit as well. Bravo Boone, you made me stop and evaluate their validity.
Vision quests are popular because many people seek enlightenment, a connection to all things. They want to find answers, peace, or a purpose in life. Boone went on several and he spoke of the physical, emotional, and mental toll it took on him. It changed his life; it was cathartic. After I read about his time on the mountain, I began to wonder if I could benefit from one. Maybe after reading his trials, you’ll consider participating in one as well.
You don’t have to be a religious person to read Wild Willful Heart. You only need to have an open mind and few hours to spare on this (under) 300-page story.
W. Boone Hedgepeth studied history at the University of South Florida for four years. He spent 35 years in business and copywriting, with 11 years as a lay minister in his free time. His favorite places are the mountains of North Carolina, and any good waterfront restaurant in South Carolina. His hobbies include classic cars and RVs, listening to swampy blues, and reading the Bible. W. Boone Hedgepeth lives with his wife on the coast of South Carolina.