July 21, 2011
Congratulations for your well-deserved award and accomplishments!
It's difficult to capture the essence of this memoir in just a few words or sentences. Almost A Princess is a reflection on life, it's struggles, stages, and joys. The language is beautiful and descriptive, reminding us that life is journey and we all write our own stories, and we all have the opportunity to look back, and forward, and "enjoy the view" (to use Jane's words). We have to thank Jane for sharing her story, about life, about cancer, and for showing by example that a person is not defined by disease, any disease, but by so many other details and experiences that, ultimately, shape a person. And, all of this is worth remembering.
Michelle Papka, Ph.D
The Atlantic Neuroscience Institute
July 6, 2011
"I just wanted to let you know that I just finished your book and found it so heartwarming and encouraging. I am going to share it with a friend who is in the midst of a nasty divorce with the hope that it will speak to her better than I am able to do.
Also, as a 2 year renal cell carcinoma survivor I found your reflections of your health experiences helpful as well. Your voice came through loud and clear and your message of hope and encouragement should be useful to many.
Thanks so much for sharing your story..."
Susan Cloninger, President Corporate Sales
G. J. CLONINGER and CO.
June 12, 2011
Jane...I read your book while touring Paris and Rome! It was only a week-long trip and a short book, so it worked out well! I found it so interesting because I could relate to so many things in your childhood. i think I was in your 4th g...rade class with Miss Sweeney. Is she the one that made you stand up in front? Also, when you mentioned sneaking away to NY in high school and seeing the Doors in concernt....I did the same thing, however I never saw the Doors. I would have loved to, though. It was interesting to read about your life after high school. You have had a very full life. I was sorry to read about your health issues, but found your words inspiring. I hope things are going well for you now.
Betty Vogel Ginty
June 6, 2011
You dedicated your book, "to those who have struggled with serious health challenges and are determined to live each day to the fullest." I don't fall into that category, but I experienced my own life altering catastrophe six and a half years ago, when my cardiologist husband died suddenly. I had led a charmed existence, until my world was instantly turned upside down. I could never have survived without the support of my family and dear friends; however, the struggle never ends. I eagerly read your book hoping to learn from you, as I continue to fine tune my own coping strategies. I read and re-read the essay, "Lessons from a Triathlete," where I found your survival bullets. I especially liked, "Internally, I became the mother superior of my own self-discipline, no downer thought and no downer conversations!" As a Catholic, that image resonated with me. I would not dare ignore direction from the mother superior!
Your honesty, positive attitude, humor and wise insights helped me and will help so many others struggling with life challenges. Thank you so much for writing this book. It has had an impact greater than you could ever have anticipated.
With thanks and admiration,
Diane Fischl, MBA, BSN, RN
Manager- Physician Relations
Overlook Medical Center
June 2, 2011
"... I just finished reading the book, and I'm so moved by your courage. What truly shines through in your writing is that, because of your kindness and nurturing of others over the years you earned great affection and respect, prompting your family and friends to lovingly surround and support you during the vast challenges you've faced. In the book, your intimate reflections on family and personal life make me feel like I've known you forever, like we've shared conversations and laughter and the most privately-held secrets. In fact, I've scoured the photos wondering if our paths might have ever crossed somewhere-- maybe in a rowboat on Swartswood Lake or on the sand at the Lake Hopatcong beach where I used to vacation as a child, too-- and considered whether you look familiar in this or that photo .
So Jane, to the poem/question, yes..... you have been a good girl! You've created a book that will inspire cancer patients to be hopeful, maintain dignity and humour, resist dark thoughts and make joyous adventures. Overlook patients are very lucky to have not only the benefit of your insights and roadmap to navigating this illness, but also your empathetic eye reviewing the way the hospital serves them. And of course your book is an extraordinary gift for your family— I'm sure each one feels special to be part of your embrace. Congratulations on this accomplishment and on establishing the Mathilda fund, to which I am happy to learn has benefited from my purchase of your book.
My wishes for remaining cancer-free, for always finding your blessings, and for great times ahead in the lake house."
Donna M. Kaye, Esq.
New Jersey School Boards Association
May 30, 2011
Wow! What a fantastic book. I went home and read it straight through. I always knew you were talented, bright and brave, but I was truly impressed. You should be so proud. I remember your Dad coming to my office once and telling me about "those damn patent leather shoes!"...
May 23, 2011
Just had to write this note to tell you that I loved your book! I had the perfect opportunity to read it this weekend as I tended to my 96 and 97-year old parents who live in a cottage in my backyard. I frequently have to "babysit" when the caregiver takes off...and this was my weekend. It is exhausting, and I often dread it....but it does give me free time in the early morning hours before they get up...which I spent glued to your book.
First, let me say, you are one courageous and inspirational woman! I applaud your spunk...your strength...your zest for life each day and your willingness to share with the world your experiences. We are all in the same "boat of life"...it is just some of us don't know our diagnosis....yet...and all probably, if honest, live in fear of every test we have done.
I was so moved by your overall philosophy of life and you made me deeply re-think my own. My beloved husband (second marriage...with blended 5 children also)...of 27 years has really bad genetic heart disease and despite living a healthy life style has already had quadruple bypass, pacemaker and AICD implanted. He remains vital and active, but I "know" that any day our lives could change drastically...or he could be taken from me. So, your words have inspired me to stop waiting for my parent-obligations to be done...and to plan more trips...more get-a-ways....and to live life to the fullest while we have it. We have dreams of trips across the country to visit our 3 kids who live in the West...but we keep waiting for mom and dad to be gone. In reading your book, I realize that one day at a time is certainly the message that we all should live by....and never to let the days pass in waiting for a more opportune time. Because of your book, I also concentrated on enjoying the ants on the counters that I battled all weekend at the cottage...enjoyed the trips to the bathroom with my beloved mom who can no longer toilet herself along with the hugs she gives so freely like a child...and totally enjoyed the moments I had on the deck with my 97 year old dad as he yearned for some red wine and a good cigar. I encouraged him have two glasses of fine Elderberry wine and he smoked half of a good Cuban cigar from my son! We barely wobbled him back into the cottage and to bed...but he was one happy dude!
Life is truly today...this moment. And you are living more richly than so many who focus on the irritating minutiae of life.
I hope your summer at your wonderful-sounding lake house is fabulous...I can smell the water...the warming sun on the dock..and the warmth of family fun and games all around.
Thanks, Jane, for your words, your spirit and for letting me get to know you!!
Jeanne Kerwin, DMH, CT
Ethics & Palliative Care Program Coordinator
"I read your powerful and inspiring book yesterday! I could not put it down. You are so correct about similarities of life experiences as children of tough and loving parents, major events, challenges, etc...The ways in which you weave your past stories into today and as beacons to guide you through the past few years shows that you are truly a gifted writer and storyteller."
Renie R. Carniol, MBA
Manager, Funder Services; Director, Grotta Fund for Senior Care
Jewish Community Foundation of MetroWest NJ