Cover Image: Not in Vain, A Promise Kept

Not in Vain, A Promise Kept

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Member Reviews

Not in Vain, A promise kept is a medical memoir written by Melissa Mullamphy regarding her mother's diagnosis and subsequent medical treatment following a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. While I appreciated the conversational tone of the book, I didn't care for some of the language. It was an interesting read and I did take away some good points such as advocating for the care of your loved one. I am so sorry to this author the the journey that her family had to endure with her mother's illness. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance review copy in exchange for my honest review.
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"Be as supportive as you can, but remind your loved ones that they are in charge of their treatment decisions and life choices." p97

NOT IN VAIN is a medical memoir written by Melissa Mullamphy, whose mother was diagnosed with and ultimately succumbed to ovarian cancer. This book contains exorbitantly detailed descriptions of her terminal illness and the requisite medical procedures, as well as details about the family's handling of the illness and their accusations of mistakes by the medical community.

I do think the recaps at the end of each chapter are helpful for people dealing with terminal disease in themselves or their loved ones. Mullamphy says that's the goal of this text. I sort of wish she had taken these summaries and combined them to make a super useful pamphlet or booklet for people.

My issue is with the narrative voice, which is terribly unreliable. Mallumphy contradicts herself something ferocious. Skips information to bolster what appears to be her "take" on a matter. And is often barometrically emotive-- <i>And then this happened. Can you believe this crap happened? Of all the effing times for this to G-D happen, it happens right freaking now!</i> Yes, I'm sanitizing it. It's not just the cursing, it's that...I don't want my narrators to abuse me! That's how this kind of shift into explosive anger directed outward at the reader feels like to me.

Rating 2 star
Finished July 2022
Recommended to people who like medical memoirs, and readers dealing with terminal illness (as long as you promise to bring salt)
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Not in Vain, A Promise Kept is a real and raw collection of events that clearly display the need for a health care/medical system overhaul. As a cancer survivor myself, I could not help feeling every emotion and the ups and downs. It was like I was there! Melissa Mullamphy does an excellent job showing all of the work that goes into advocating for a loved one or even yourself. It is necessary! I like how Melissa summarizes what she and her family have learned. These summaries serve as a very helpful manual in themselves. This is a must-read for everyone whether you or a loved one are sick or not. It is bettered to be as prepared as possible! This book can help.
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Excellent short story on the unfortunate shortfalls of our healthcare system. I am so sorry for what this author and her family endured. She has brought the perils of dealing within our healthcare system to light. Very good information for those who are entering into our institutions. It holds very good advice for navigating within its borders.
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Powerful. 
A must read for anyone. 
Told in such a dynamic, conversational tone, that I felt at times I was actually the author's friend, and I could call her up and say, "Wow, that part was so sad, amazing, made me so angry..."
I generally dislike the F word being used in books and movies because it cheapens the "need" for it. However, author Melissa uses the F word and this book and these events are EXACTLY when/why the F word SHOULD be used. 
This is a story about a wonderful family; hard working, loving, loyal. Melissa's mother watches Dr. Oz and realizes her extended abdomen that she has been hiding from everyone is ovarian cancer. 
This is about the journey (quite short) from going to the ER to losing her mother. Horrible mistakes were made. The author is still having a hard time (after ten years) of dealing with the loss. This is a beautiful, sad, loving, tribute to her mother, Constance Burns. And it's also a sort of "how to navigate" and "how to advocate" for yourself or a loved one. 
What struck me most, was the tight family bond this family shared. Many people lack those bonds in todays society. I have long been an outspoken person like Melissa. I've had to advocate for myself and my family. I understand what it's like, so this book resonated with me. I feel it would be a wonderful helpful book to ANYONE (I think it should be required reading in highschool!) because there will always be sickness, there will always be human errors, and one needs to be prepared to advocate for oneself (especially today when hospitals are limiting visits  - a practice I'm afraid is here to stay because it's "less work" when there is a family member advocating for patients). 
Mrs. Burns sounds like a great woman, gone far too soon, and this book is a treasure, one I wish I didn't have to be written, but no doubt, will help countless people.
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