US Review of Books

The US Review of Books

My Wonderful Nightmare

by Erin Higgins & Alma Lightbody

Trafford Publishing

reviewed by Carol Davala

“Life is very short, too short to let a single moment pass that is not meaningful.”

Over twenty years ago, the beloved Saturday Night Live cast member, Gilda Radner, penned It’s Always Something, a best-selling memoir that revealed the popular comedienne’s courageous battle with ovarian cancer. Here, in the same vein, under the auspices of co-author Alma Lightbody, a certified Holistic Health and Wellness practitioner, Erin Higgins shares a very personal collection of journal entries in My Wonderful Nightmare, an inspiring work that speaks to Higgins’ own heroic fight against the same devastating disease.

Soon after her initial diagnosis, Higgins wrote the following “I believe that my purpose in this life is to have this cancer, beat this cancer and teach those around me about life, struggle, strength, and insight.” Speaking directly to the reader, the author’s journaling becomes a medium for venting, celebrating, and grieving all the new day-to-day occurrences she faced. And while Higgins felt this expressive forum paramount and therapeutic to the healing process, clearly she felt an even greater desire to share her journey with readers. This work is filled with powerful insights, often highlighted in bold print to stress their significance, such as the importance of laughter, taking control when dealing with doctors and treatments, and using survival instincts. In an attempt to find relief from her “dis-ease,” the author chose both conventional and alternative therapies throughout her ordeal. In candid detail Higgins describes surgeries, chemotherapy treatments, nutritional and metabolic programs, and Lightbody’s “Healing Touch” practice that helped to balance the body’s energy centers.

Though Radner and Higgins both ultimately succumbed to their illness, in a gracious gesture they each left behind a beautiful gift. While their stories are truly individual, they are not meant solely for friends or family members. Filled with honesty and emotion, these works are intended for anyone dealing with, or touched by a serious illness. In particular, Higgins’ writing offers up a brave revelation of life’s unpredictability. Surely her open heart and eternal spirit will help bring clarity to our own final journeys.

RECOMMENDED by the USR

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