THE COCOON OF CANCER: An Invitation to Love Deeply
Abbe Rolnick with Jim Wiggins
So many of us have been or are now caregivers for family members and friends diagnosed with cancer or a debilitating illness. And as caregivers we, ourselves, often need and appreciate support or a boost. You’ll find a big dose of support as well as practical tips for caregiving in Abbe Rolnick’s just-released memoir, The Cocoon of Cancer: An Invitation to Love Deeply. Griffin Bay Bookstore is proud to host Abbe Rolnick on Saturday evening, March 26, 7:00 pm.
Caregivers, members of our medical community, patients, and any member of our community will have the opportunity to hear firsthand how Abbe and her husband, Jim Wiggins, dealt with the changes in their lives after he was diagnosed with an uncommon form of blood cancer. Their collaboration—The Cocoon of Cancer—is a collection of essays and poems, written in “real time,” offering an insider’s look at how there was an attitude of wonder, defiance, acceptance, and beauty in the midst of their painful journey.
Sometimes raw, letters to friends voice the unspeakable. The scientific voice of Jim comes through when he has the energy to speak about his illness. His wife and caregiver, Abbe, witnesses and documents the signs of distress, gains, losses, and the new equilibrium that forges deep love. In addition, there are tips to help caregivers every day.
Abbe will offer her thoughts, share her experiences as a “double” caregiver. During Jim’s year of cancer treatment, her mother was diagnosed with stage-four pancreatic cancer. She’ll talk about how she handled anger, dealt with her fears, and why they allowed others into the “cocoon” of cancer. She has valuable insights about the role of an advocate and can offer many commonsensical tips for caregivers.
About the Authors
Abbe Rolnick is the author of two novels: River of Angels and Color of Lives. As CEO of a manufacturing company that made custom bracing for those with cerebral palsy, Abbe learned firsthand the importance of physical therapy as well as the complications of the medical industry. She is the owner of Robeks Fruit Smoothies & Healthy Eats in Bellingham. She was the children’s book buyer for Village Books in Fairhaven.
Jim Wiggins, MS PWS, is a systems ecologist and President of Aqua-Terr Systems Inc, a biological consulting corporation in the Pacific Northwest.