BOOK REVIEW: "THIS IS HOW I SAVE MY LIFE: FROM CALIFORNIA TO INDIA, A TRUE STORY OF FINDING EVERYTHING WHEN YOU ARE WILLING TO TRY ANYTHING", by Amy B. Scher
Amy B. Scher Chronicles Her Journey Of Going To India For Stem Cell Treatment For Lyme disease
Amy B. Scher's latest book THIS IS HOW I SAVE MY LIFE: FROM CALIFORNIA TO INDIA, A TRUE STORY OF FINDING EVERYTHING WHEN YOU ARE WILLING TO TRY ANYTHING chronicles her journey of battling, and eventually overcoming, a debilitating case of late stage Lyme Disease that was deemed incurable by doctors in the US, who had exhausted all treatment options they could think of and who more or less made it clear that there was nothing left they could do for her
Rather than take the easy route and throw in the towel, or fall into a dark state of hopelessness and despair, Scher rallied what energy she had left and packed her bags to embark on an arduous journey to India for a highly experimental and controversial stem cell treatment from a highly controversial doctor. Sure, the treatment had just as much of a chance of killing her as it did of healing her. However, propelled by unwavering inner strength, and an optimist at her core with a belief –no, a knowing—that she was meant for so much more than illness in this lifetime, Scher chose to risk it all and believe her outcome would be a cure rather than death.
Thus, began her journey to India, embarking to a land and culture every bit foreign to her in an attempt to save her life. In this foreign land where all was unknown and in which she was in many ways lost –both literally and metaphorically--, Scher comes to know herself on a deeper level than ever before and essentially departs India having found many parts of herself she had lost throughout her endless dark nights of the soul endured throughout the previous exhaustive years spent battling advanced, late stage Lyme disease.
I am both surprised and delighted to admit that THIS IS HOW I SAVE MY LIFE is officially on my list of top 10 favorite books now. This does not surprise me because I doubted Scher's work would be anything less than great after reading and reviewing her last book HOW TO HEAL YOURSELF WHEN NO ONE ELSE CAN, which was also nothing short of amazing and which I also highly recommend to anyone struggling to heal in any way. It surprises me because I never expected a book about Lyme disease to make the list of my top 10 favorite books after having already invaded so many parts of my life without invitation due to my own battle with it.
However, Scher's new book is far from a book just about Lyme disease. Although Lyme is at the core of her journey, I would easily consider the book to be far more of a book about life and what it means to be human as opposed to a book about, or even mostly about, Lyme disease. As a result, it is an applicable read to those with Lyme disease as well as those without. Those with Lyme will find invaluable nuggets of information regarding the disease, as well as a renewed sense of inspiration and hope. Those without Lyme will learn about the disease while reading the book, as Scher seamlessly interweaves educational information regarding the illness throughout the book in a way that is not at all annoying, invasive or overwhelming to anyone reading the book who is relatively uninterested in learning about the illness or who has no prior knowledge of it.
At times, the book had me laughing out loud and at other times it literally had me crying, as I could see myself reflected in so many of her thoughts and scenarios –as I suspect the majority of people who read it, especially anyone with Lyme disease or who has battled a chronic illness of any type, will undoubtedly do as well. I have personally dubbed this memoir "Eat Pray Love meets Lyme Disease" --and you will see why when you read it. While the end of the book is entirely unexpected, devastating and heartbreaking, it is at the same time inspiring, beautiful, and a reminder of the duality of all things in life –of the simultaneous existence of both light and darkness, of the ugly and the beautiful, of the painful and the pleasurable, of the fact that pain is never in vain when used as a tool for inner growth and newfound wisdom. This is made apparent when you go out into the world and share what pain has taught you by sharing your light, wisdom, and lessons learned with the world as Scher so vulnerably and bravely has. Ultimately the book itself is a testament of how suffering can be transmuted into something beautiful when one lets go and decides to trust in life as it unfolds; and Scher herself is a living, breathing testament of the incredible power of the human spirit and the astonishing resilience of the human body to bounce back against all odds. This is a must read for anyone with Lyme disease, as well as anyone without Lyme disease. I honestly cannot recommend it highly enough.
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