New book tells story of couple's last year together
Cover for Jennifer Fazakerley's book 'Just Stay' which launches Tuesday, September 25 at the Parkwood Hospital in London. The Norwich resident wrote the story from a year's worth of emails she had from friends, family and medical support staff before her husband Rob died of cancer in 2010. SUBMITTED
A series of emails and correspondence during the last year she shared with her husband is the basis for a new book written by Norwich resident Jennifer Fazakerley being released at the end of September.
“Rob was a wonderful guy, well respected and well liked,” she said. “And I wanted to ensure that he wasn't forgotten.”
The father of four children was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the summer of 2009 and was initially given a few weeks to three months to live. He was healthy, 46-year-old physiotherapist with no risks who liked to run for fun, Fazakerley said. He survived for 14 months.
“Rob approached dying in a unique way,” she said. “He was sad to leave the people he loved but he wasn't upset or angry. He was going to live every day as well as he could before he didn't have any days left.”
During that time, Fazakerley sent regular emails to friends and family updating them about Rob's status and also corresponded with Helen Butlin-Battler, a spiritual care specialist at the London Regional Cancer Program, and Grace Bradish, a nurse practitioner at the South West Community Care Access Centre, for advice on how to manage his illness and personal support. The story chronicles the one-year period of Rob's sickness from two weeks after diagnosed until the day he died through the emails and is co-authored by Butlin-Battler and Bradish.
“I hope that this might give someone the hope they need to get through a difficult time,” said Fazakerley about the book, titled 'Just Stay: A Couple's Last Journey Together.' “It's a tragedy but (...) it doesn't have to be a bitter thing.”
The book will be launched at the Parkwood Hospital auditorium in London on Tuesday, September 25 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with author introductions and a book reading at 5:30 p.m. Books will be available for purchase at $25 each, cash or cheque, with a portion of the proceeds going to cancer research. The event is open to everyone and guests can RSVP to the event by emailing Fazakerley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Copies of the books will be available for purchase through the website www.juststay.ca following the book launch.