Reaching for Normal

A Mother’s Memoir of Raising a Child with Brain Cancer, Strokes and Chronic Illness


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SKU: 9781476685359 Categories: , Tags: , ,
Imprint or Series:Toplight Books

About the Book

When Amy and Dave learned that their six-month-old daughter, Emily, was diagnosed with a slow-growing brain tumor, they were devastated. Throughout her childhood, they managed their daughter’s complex cancer, all the while striving just to be an ordinary, normal family. In doing so, Amy kept her emotions close and plastered on smiles, some genuine, as she worked in between cancer clinic appointments, had another baby, and attended cul-de-sac potluck dinners. The smiles were harder to put on when Emily suffered from a massive stroke just before her 8th birthday. Amy suddenly found herself a parent to an active toddler and an almost eight-year-old who could no longer talk, walk, or feed herself. Emily’s spirit remained shockingly unscathed. In the end, it was she who reminded the family to laugh, smile, and finally accept that they were anything but ordinary. This memoir of motherhood at its hardest reveals what went on behind closed doors and beneath the smiles, as Amy writes in raw, honest detail about her relationship with her spouse, juggling work demands, raising her typically developing son, and finding lasting friendships throughout each of Emily’s setbacks.

About the Author(s)

Amy Daniels has a masters in social science and has had a career working on social and clinical research projects in the academic, government, and private sectors. She also contributes to various parenting publications and lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.




Bibliographic Details

Amy Daniels
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 260
Bibliographic Info: 17 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8535-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4284-0
Imprint: Toplight

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
1. The Diagnosis 3
2. The Aftermath 17
3. Our New Normal 27
4. Another Surgery 44
5. Summer from Hell 50
6. And Another Surgery 66
7. Another New Normal 73
8. Grown Up Friends 79
9. Baby Time 93
10. Goodbye Epilepsy 105
11. Home Away from Home 115
12. Home Sweet Home 126
13. School 136
14. Memory 141
15. Summertime Blues 146
16. Sky High Hope 159
17. Chaos 167
18. Welcome to NC 172
19. Aides 179
20. Working 183
21. The Tumor. Again 191
22. Decisions 202
23. Little Brothers 205
24. Blood Pressure 211
25. Iceland 221
26. The Beach 233
27. Answers 243
Epilogue 249
Index 251