There’s more than one way to tell a sad story, but sharing a true story of love, hope, faith and the loss of a loved one to cancer can be painful, difficult and heart wrenching, as well as uplifting and encouraging. The personal narrative of “Don’t Stop Believing: Our Journey with Cancer,” by Kasey Crawford Kellem is a remarkable memoir that shares her personal struggle, unconditional love for her husband Craig, and their losing battle against prostate cancer.
“We loved, laughed and lived to the very end,” shared Kasey. “We didn’t give up on life just because of a grim outcome. Craig’s life touched many people from family, close friends and strangers who followed our journey through social media.”
In the memoir, “Don’t Stop Believing: Our Journey with Cancer” readers experience some of the uplifting events and ways Kasey and Craig celebrated, danced and enjoyed life. “You have a choice in this world and we chose to believe,” said Kasey, and believe they did. With a cancer diagnosis hanging over their heads, Kasey and Craig paid it forward by encouraging others also battling cancer and hardships to find the joy in life around them. Kasey and friend, Harry, even started a trend based off the concept of a Flash Mob to help uplift not only Craig, but family, friends, co-workers and complete strangers with what they dubbed a Love Mob.
Kasey is a big believer, teacher and role model of being resilient. Living with Multiple Sclerosis and having lost her mother eleven years ago, she knows how to overcome challenges.
“My mom used to say, ‘If this is the worst that can happen to you, then you’re lucky,'” said Kasey. “Craig also had a motto: ‘This too shall pass.’ Because we believed and celebrated life, laughed, dreamed and were surrounded by loving people, we were able to get through the hard times.”
In “Don’t Stop Believing: Our Journey with Cancer” readers will relate to the love and devotion Kasey and her husband Craig experienced as they believed and celebrated to the very end. Much of the memoir draws upon memories and social media posts Kasey shared on Facebook throughout their journey with cancer. “When I sat down to write after Craig passed, it was very raw and fresh to me the experiences we went through. I found going through my timeline and being able to reflect was very cathartic and therapeutic. I wasn’t able to process what was happening to us at the time. I was on autopilot. I couldn’t let myself get emotional. I had to be a rock for my husband. But now, I was able to see what happened and how we made it through to the end. Writing this memoir has helped me process everything. I’m not bitter. I don’t play the ‘What if’ game. We lived…we believed,” shared Kasey.
Kasey Crawford Kellem’s raw honesty reveals every emotion she faced and the various thoughts that raced through her mind after her husband Craig was given his death sentence. “Don’t Stop Believing: Our Journey with Cancer” is not exactly happy. It’s not that kind of book. However, it will linger long and hard in the minds of readers and show life is worth living no matter the outcome. But it’s not a cancer book either…because cancer books suck.
In the midst of a cancer diagnosis, most patients and family members find it difficult to retain the information they hear. Having a loved one live with a terminal diagnosis for an extended period of time is fast replacing sudden and unexpected death as a norm. In this emotional rendition of Kasey and Craig’s battle with cancer, Kasey encourages people fighting this dreaded disease to never lose hope, to keep believing and to celebrate life to the every end.
Kasey Crawford Kellem, a school counselor, has devoted her life to helping others facing adversity overcome their challenges and be resilient. She earned a bachelor and master’s degree in special education and an educational specialist degree in counseling. Kasey is the author of five Mind Over Matter children’s books: Believe; Love; Relax; Laugh; and Dream. She is a recent widow, stepmother, sister, daughter and friend to many.
Don’t Stop Believing: Our Journey with Cancer by Kasey Crawford Kellem, publisher Halo Publishing, Int.
ISBN: 978-1-61244-379-9; Price: $14.95