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The Dust Busting Chronicles: Cleaning My Way Through Ovarian Cancer details the horrific and life-altering battle against ovarian cancer during a harrowing 19-month period. The story relays the logistical challenges of a life-threatening disease, and explores poignant moments of hope, anger, frustration and defeat. The story begins with the author packing up her life in New Jersey, after the loss of her life partner, Lyse. The ensuing chapters disclose the cancer experience in compelling detail. Chemotherapy treatments begin, and the couple adjusts to a regimen of infusions, disabling side effects, and a mountain of pills. Cheryl's obsessive-compulsive disorder grows in scope as Lyse's medical challenges put a strangle hold on all areas of their life. The story gives the reader an intimate view of the dark side of the author's coping mechanism and the stress that accompanies her rituals. The first chemotherapy regimen results in a good report, but several months later, the couple receives discouraging news. Two more chemotherapy protocols follow and both yield disastrous results.The final three weeks of Lyse's life, spent at Holy Name Hospital, were dramatic, tender, and passionate.
The concluding chapter is a matter-of-fact but moving account of accepting things, even death, as they are, loving so deeply it's painful, and coming through on the other side. Those of us left on this side will move forward, alone, but having loved in such a way that that is all we truly remember in the end.