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Until I Say Goodbye - Book Review

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by Mila Wood (subscribe)
I work in the Finance department of a media company, and someone who dabbles in writing of any genre.
Published July 13th 2013
A life of living, a life of joy, a life of love
You are very successful. A happily married woman, a doting mother to adorable children. Financially secure, university educated, and have an abode that is enviable. One sunny morning, you woke up feeling unwell, something is wrong, but you ignore it anyway and go about the rest of your day.

Fast forward a few months, you could not ignore the feeling of sickness any longer. A visit to the doctor has become paramount. You had been diagnosed with a debilitating disease and only have one year to live. Instantly your world has fallen apart. So what is the next step? What are you going to do? Sink into depression, become recluse and wait for your time to die. Or accept the reality of life, move on and make the rest of your remaining life count.

Until I Say Goodbye is a book based on the true story of Susan Spencer-Wendel. The author of this book. A mother to three children, a wife to a wonderful husband, a graduate at the University of North Carolina, who holds a masters degree in journalism from the University of Florida. She was an award winning Journalist at the Palm Beach Post for almost twenty years and received a lifetime achievement award for court reporting at Florida Bar. She is loved and respected by her family and friends. In June 2011 she was diagnosed with Amyothropic Lateral Sclerosis (ASL). An irreversible condition that destroys the nerves that power the muscles. She has only 12 months of her healthy life remaining.

Susan Spencer - Wendel

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as motor neurone disease and as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a debilitating disease which causes the muscles to weakens and atrophy – (wasting away of the body or nerve damage) throughout the body. Affected individuals may eventually lose the ability to initiate and lose control of all body movements. The bladder and bowel muscles and also the muscles responsible for eye movement are usually, but not always, spared until the terminal stages of the disease. (

This book is written by Susan and collaborated with Brett Witter. A remarkable woman, who instead of wallowing in self pity, embarked on a journey of joy with the support of her loving husband, with whom she shared some undignified moments. It is a journey of life shared with everyone she loved the most; her family, friends and a beloved pet named Gracie.

Susan and her husband John

This book is not a story of what should she have been done and why it didn't happen. Instead, it is an acceptance of an adversity, with the remaining time of her life spent showing others that life is precious, family comes first and love is eternal.

It reminded me of a friend who I dearly love, who endured years of suffering. She was involved in an accident that caused head injuries, suffered the loss of a beloved son and sadly separated from her partner. She selfishly tried to take her own life but after bouts of professional help and upon acceptance of oneself, she is now on the amends and moving forward.

One day at a time, one step at a time.

On that note…

Say 'I love you' to your love one as often as you can…as time goes on, you may never have a chance to say it again.

Don't try to overcome adversities, but instead learn from it.

Life is for living, live it..

I encourage you to read this book. An inspirational book that will entice oneself to look beyond life and more.
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