When your daughter was just two weeks old, she was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. You rejected all suggestions of any treatment, of which the most common was chemotherapy, and instead made the decision to wait and see. Was this approach consistent with your personality up until that point or did you surprise yourself?
I did surprise myself, especially because I was so certain about what to do. There was no doubt in my mind, no negotiating, no second thoughts. I just knew I had to have her home with me. I had learned to trust my intuition when I became a mother, though. Like all new mothers, I was bombarded with rules: when to wean your child, where and how to sleep, when to introduce food, etc. I had decided to follow my instincts regarding my kids. But then I often discussed those decisions and doubts with friends. This was different.
Saving Charlotte, by Pia de Jong, translated from the Dutch by Pia de Jong and Landon Y. Jones (Norton). This compelling memoir by a Dutch novelist begins in 2000, when her daughter is born with congenital myeloid leukemia, a rare disease with a low rate of survival. De Jong and her husband decide against chemotherapy, which is likely to be both devastating and ineffective. “Parents always want to do everything for their children,” an incredulous oncologist protests. “We do nothing,” de Jong responds. “That can be a lot.” De Jong movingly describes the work of nursing her daughter to health, and sketches the Amsterdam neighborhood—the brothel next door, the local crank, the kind old man who lives across the canal—that seems to cocoon the struggling family.
"SAVING CHARLOTTE" (A MOTHER AND THE POWER OF INTUITION)(A MEMOIR) Pia de Jong / A Journalist, A Regular Contributor To “The Washington Post”, The Mother Of Charlotte, And A Best-Selling Author on-the-air on "AM Ocala Live!" on September 25, 2017 on WOCA "The Source" speaking about her new Book: “Saving Charlotte” (A Mother And The Power Of Intuition)(A Memoir) www.piadejong.com https://youtu.be
As I walk into the new Amazon bookstore that just opened on Columbus Circle in Manhattan, I have a disorienting feeling that I have not entered a bookstore but rather fallen into the world of my computer screen. Like a cyber version of Alice tumbling into her rabbit hole, I have fallen into a worm hole that takes me into a bricks-and-mortar version of Amazon’s website.
I was a romantic girl, who loved to read… but my father’s idea of raising me was to build my confidence by taking me on real-life adventures to faraway places that were not even on the map. When I was fourteen, I walked six weeks in Lapland, encountering only gold prospectors and reindeer. We got lost and our food supply ran out. I wrote a book about this vacation that, miraculously, had a happy ending.
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