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The Power of Two
Author: Brian Clegg

Publisher: Workman Publishing
ISBN: 978-0761152590
Pages: 259
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This much-needed book is for anyone facing cancer, or any other serious medical challenge. And it is a much-needed book for that person's partner or loved one. It is a book that combines an inspiring story of hope, courage, and survival with a compelling practical blueprint for how to be an advocate and make a potentially life-or-death difference in a patient's life. It is a book that has the power to change everything.

When Brian and Gerri Monaghan stepped into the doctor's office and heard Brian's diagnosis—two brain tumors resulting from Stage IV melanoma, with a 15 percent chance of survival—they knew it wasn't the beginning of his journey, but their journey: Brian the patient, Gerri the advocate, traveling side by side. And they knew they had just two options, fight or flight, with flight no option at all.

That night Gerri started a folder and labeled it “To the War,” a phrase Brian had long used in his law firm when preparing for trial. The ammunition would be love, information, humor, intuition, faith. The battles themselves ranged from inconceivably grueling (eight and a half hours of brain surgery while awake) to the futuristic (Gamma Knife radiosurgery and an experimental dentritic-cell vaccine). Along the way they dealt with the uncertainty of contradictory advice from some of the finest doctors in the country, as well as more tumors, blood clots, and Brian's most enduring day-to-day challenge, aphasia. Yet their attitude, and Gerri's advocacy—symbolized by her dimestore spiral notebook with the flowers on the cover, in which she recorded every treatment, every question, every breakthrough—kept them always moving in the right direction.

Any patient, and any loved one of a patient, will benefit deeply from this story. From Brian's utterly riveting memoir of his illness and remission to Gerri's fifty essential tips, The Power of Two is an uncommon gift.