Support for all members of special needs families

The Cell War Notebooks

It’s not a good statistic. 41% of us will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in our lives. Of course, it’s necessary to be familiar with risk factors to know where you really stand. But that’s a sobering thought for anyone, and especially those of us who’ve lost a close relative that way.

As many of you know, my father lost his battle with colon cancer in April, 2011.  I was with him in his final days and weeks (and even minutes), and the experience profoundly affected my life. Going through it, I felt robbed of future time that I could have spent with my father – traveling, wine tasting, and doing all the other things we enjoyed together. But I also realized that even though my dad died pretty young (67), there are many others taken by cancer who are far younger. For many years I’ve contributed to Children’s Cancer Research Fund; I just couldn’t fathom that children should have to suffer through this. It’s something that’s always weighed on me.

Then, after my dad died, I started thinking about the younger parents with cancer, the ones whose kids are still kids. And when I heard about Julie Forward DeMay, who died at 37 of cervical cancer, and the blog-a-thon in her honor, I had to get involved. Not only did Julie have a daughter, she worked with special needs children. And that, of course, means the world to me.

Today, January 31, is IndiesForward day – a special blogging event dedicated to spreading the legacy of Julie Forward DeMay and her touching memoir, The Cell War Notebooks.

What would you do when faced with a battle for your life? Author, photographer and creative spirit Julie Forward DeMay took on her fight with cervical cancer like she was playing for the new high score in her favorite video game, Asteroids. Inspiring, witty, beautiful and brutally honest, The Cell War Notebooks is a compilation of the blog Julie kept during the last seven months of her life. It’s a powerful read for anyone, whether your life has been touched by cancer or not. Check out the paperback on Amazon. All proceeds from book sales go to Julie’s nine- year-old daughter.

7 thoughts on “The Cell War Notebooks”

  • What a great cause — thank you for bringing it to our attention. I will check out her book and hope to post something about it and her and the cause on my own blog.

  • That is a very scary statistic, doesn’t bear thinking about. It always hit me when I hear of younger people with kids getting cancer. I just cannot contemplate the possibility of negative outcome.

    I hope this book is successful and, in time, a source of comfort to her daughter Julie.

    Thanks for sharing.

    xx Jazzy

  • Excellent point – as much as I also feel “robbed” wishing I could have had another 20 years to enjoy with Dad, how much worse it is for those whose kids are still kids! Thanks for informing me of what sounds like a great book.

  • thank you for sharing this. Within the past few months 2 classmates from my graduate program died of cancer and a sorority sister from undergrad is fighting a very aggressive form of cancer… these guys are young (bt 4- – 55) with young children. It’s so sad and scary…

  • Thanks Tanya for bringing this book and cause to our attention. In April of 2011, I too lost a close friend to cancer who was only 31. She too had a young daughter who was just shy of her 2nd birthday. It was such a sad journey and I think about her and her daughter often.


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