by Catherine Ann Stone
Catherine Ann Stone had always lived an adventurous life. She thought she could brave anything, but right when her adventure was at its most blissful point, she was diagnosed with a wicked disease.
Catherine had two sons on their way to college. She and her husband were ensconced in their dream home, an old and charming Westport, Connecticut farmhouse. Both worked successfully at businesses they loved. She had already survived breast cancer. It was paradise. Well, almost.
Then, disaster struck. Catherine had non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Catherine's first reaction was to be mad as hell at the audacity of such an interruption. But, her emotions quickly changed to self-blame. She was sure that some how it was her own fault for being stupid enough to get sick in the first place. Eventually, mind-numbing fear took over as she found herself smack in the middle of the high tech world of modern medicine. Despite the fear and bewilderment, Catherine was committed to letting everyone she loved feel that there was nothing to worry about and that required that she find a way to get through this crisis with extraordinary strength.
Catherine found her inner strength by writing. Everywhere Catherine went, she wrote. Catherine wrote about everything that was happening in her wonderland of PET Scans and spleen biopsies, but that wasn't all. She also recalled and wrote about numerous mysterious encounters from her past. She knew that these just might contain hidden roadmaps to victory over her current dilemma.
Catherine also made it her job to remind all medical personnel that she was not some experiment. She was a flesh and blood woman from Connecticut with children and a life residing under a horrible hospital Johnny. This was her new adventure. This was her new battle. And, this is how she overcame her fear. In fact, Catherine came to realize that her biggest fear was not dying. Her biggest fear was that someone was going to screw up the medical procedure du jour.
In the end, Down to the Marrow is a celebration of life. With strength, humor and remembrance, Catherine Ann Stone picks up life's pieces to create a beautiful mosaic. Catherine shows us how everyone and anyone's life has purpose. She shows us that things happen for a reason. And, through both tears and laughter; Catherine shows us that the inner strength in all of us can get us through the most horrendous troubles.