Book Reviews: Three Inspirational Memoirs on Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease is difficult to diagnose, hard to treat, often misunderstood, and tragically impacting many lives around the globe.

In this post I am featuring three inspirational memoirs on the topic.

Cherie Kephart – A Few Minor Adjustments

cherie k

Synopsis

Cherie Kephart traveled the world from the remote villages of Central Africa to the majestic coastlines of New Zealand until a mysterious illness thrust her to the precipice of death. The persistent malady led to years of suffering, during which her symptoms time and again were undiagnosed by well-meaning healthcare professionals who were sometimes competent, sometimes careless, sometimes absurd, and always baffled. The anguish, the uncertainty, and the relentless pain would have caused many people to simply give up and end their lives—and Cherie came close. Told with brutal honesty, astonishing wit, and a haunting vulnerability, A Few Minor Adjustments is an unforgettable memoir that captures the horrors and triumphs of one woman’s harrowing quest to find life-saving answers. In the end, she finds much more than a diagnosis.

My Review

“A Few Minor Adjustments” is a compelling and powerful read, which I read it in one sitting!
Although the author has faced death on several occasions, she manages to maintain a positive outlook on life.
I really enjoyed her descriptions of her time spent in Zambia with the Peace Corp, which ended sooner than she would have wished due to a very nasty bout of malaria.
The symptoms she faces ebb and flow until she becomes very incapacitated. Despite enduring endless medical examinations and a myriad of tests, no real answers are forthcoming…
She skillfully weaves her story, leaving the reader wondering if she will ever find answers to her condition, and a possible cure. It is remarkable that she has survived, a testament to her courage, a long awaited diagnosis, and the support of her family and friends.

Yolanda Hadid – Believe Me

Yolanda

Synopsis

In this moving, behind-the-scenes memoir, Yolanda opens up in a way she has never been able to in the media. Struck by an illness more epidemic than people know and more debilitating than anyone realizes, Yolanda had to fight with everything she had to hold onto her life. While her struggle was lived publicly, it impacted her privately in every aspect of her existence: her family, friends, and professional prospects. Her perfect marriage became strained and led to divorce; but the strong bond with her children Gigi, Bella and Anwar was her motivation to fight through the darkest days of her life. Hers is an emotional narrative, and an all-important read for anyone unseated by an unexpected catastrophe. In those moments, we all have to find the courage to go on. With candor, authenticity and an unwavering inner strength, Yolanda shares intimate details of her journey to uncover the source of her many symptoms, as well has how her children, two of whom also suffer from Lyme, have been her shining light in her darkest moments.

My Review

Yolanda Hadid recounts her early life growing up in The Netherlands, and her love of nature and horse riding. Life changed dramatically when her beloved father died, and again when she began to travel the world as a top model…
After her first marriage ended, she remained a devoted mother to her three children. Sadly, her health began to deteriorate early in her second marriage to musician David Foster, and she began searching for answers to her wide array of symptoms.
“Believe Me” highlights the challenges faced by many people who have Lyme disease and other “invisible illnesses.” Yolanda travelled the world in search of answers and treatments to a condition which remains largely misunderstood. However, many of these treatments were incredibly expensive and produced varying results, which made for a roller coaster journey.
Happily, the layers of dis-ease gradually began to dissolve and she found her health slowly improving.
I found many of the treatments fascinating, especially the elimination of parasites!
Although Yolanda still faces many health challenges, she has become a high profile advocate for those who continue to suffer from Lyme disease. I applaud her courage and tenacity. 

Amy B. Scher – This Is How I Save My Life

Amy B Scher

Synopsis

The true story of a fiery young woman’s heartwarming and hilarious journey that takes her from near-death in California to a trip around the world in search of her ultimate salvation. Along the way, she discovers a world of cultural mayhem, radical medical treatment, an unexpected romance, and most importantly, a piece of her life she never even knew she was missing.

When Amy B. Scher was struck with undiagnosed late-stage, chronic Lyme disease, the best physicians in America labeled her condition incurable and potentially terminal. Deteriorating rapidly, she went on a search to save her own life–from the top experts in Los Angeles and the world-renowned Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis to a state-of-the-art hospital in Chicago. After exhausting all of her options in the US, she discovered a possible cure–but it was highly experimental, only available in India, and had as much of a probability of killing her as it did of curing her. Knowing the risks, Amy packed her bags anyway and flew across the world hoping to find the ultimate cure.

This Is How I Save My Life is a powerful and uplifting story of sheer determination for anyone who believes in–or doubts–the existence of miracles and the infinite power of self-healing when it seems like all hope is lost.

My Review

“This is How I Save My Life” is Amy B. Scher’s account of her self healing journey both before and after a diagnosis of stage four Lyme disease.
Amy sought treatment from the best medical clinics in the US, yet her health continued to deteriorate.
However, “Fate” intervened and Amy learns of a clinic in Delhi, using ground breaking stem cell treatments on patients with spinal injuries, and she is successful in being accepted for treatment.
Although costly, her parents support her decision, and travel with her to India.
I enjoyed her honesty, which includes both the highs and the lows of her transformation, as the stem cells invite change not only on her physical body, but on her emotions, mind and spirit.
The Indian doctors provide many pearls of wisdom, including:
“The Universe is shifting to bring you what you need to heal yourself, so then you will be able to move on and do bigger things.”
Amy’s transformation continues and indeed never ends, as I too have found on my own journey with chronic illness.

Brigid P. Gallagher is a retired natural medicines therapist, passionate organic gardener and author of “Watching the Daisies- Life lessons on the Importance of Slow,” a holistic memoir dedicated to the art of mindfulness and healing from debilitating illness.

35 Comments »

  1. All three of these memoirs sound incredibly powerful and uplifting. Such courageous women, each a testament to the strength and resilience of the human body and spirit. Wonderful! Thanks for sharing your reviews Brigid. 🙏

    Liked by 5 people

    • I am glad I read all three as they were all different. They had such a terrible time getting diagnosed and it was shocking the amount of money they had to spend along the way. Anyone who does not have funds must be struggling…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for these reviews, Bridgit. My entire family had Lyme Disease. Few know of its devastating impact, or its long-term and often lifelong threat. I was impacted neurologically and had to resort to wearing a lanyard with my name and address because I often could not remember either. After six weeks of IV treatment with Rocephin, I needed help badly. I searched for a complementary physician – someone who treated both naturally and traditionally. This doctor took me on a healing journey for which I remain deeply grateful. She gave me IV treatments of high vitamin doses (i.e., Vitamin C 36,000mg, etc). I began to improve, and finally, I had life again. ♥

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Gwen. My heart breaks for all those who are on the Lyme journey. I cannot understand the lack of resources and the huge costs of treatment. I am so glad you found a great physician. There seems to be a Lyme epidemic.

      Like

  3. My family has all had Lyme disease, Brigid, and recovered well. Then my cousin got it (years ago) and the road to recovery was long and bumpy. I think it took him almost 2 years to feel well again. It’s interesting how differently it affects people. It’s good that people are chronicling their challenges and how they healed. It’s a huge help, I’m sure, to those who are struggling. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I didn’t know what Lyme disease was, Brigid. I looked it up and it says a bacterial infection caused by a bite from a tick. Is that correct and what these women suffered from? Very compelling sounding books. Thanks for sharing your reviews.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. This seems like a terrifying disease, Brigid! Thank you for sharing. I admire these authors’ courage to go through their journeys to seek solution. I have chronic low back pain and there’s an increase of number of both men and women suffer from low back pain.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. These are some fantastic-sounding memoirs to share. It’s amazing (and not in a good way) how drastically life can change with illness, like with Yolanda; she has what sounds like an active, interesting life, heck she was even travelling the world as a model. Lyme is another one of those really difficult invisible illnesses that can go undiagnosed and untreated for so long. Wouldn’t mind giving any of these a read, they all sound like eye-opening and worthwhile reads. Very nicely covered & reviewed, Wendi!
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great reviews Brigid. These books ,memoirs feel extremely profound, heart breaking and full of life lessons.

    I get quite annoyed when health services through blunder after fail to diagnose.

    My niece who is 20 is in hospital right now and none of us can visit her. She has a rare tummy issue. She had a food pipe up in on friday. In jan she had a tummy ucler in her tummy, but they didnt find this this. She got better. But then all of a sudden. She has been in hospital two weeks, now week 3

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s