Welcome to the comments and discussion of the Young Adult Cancer Book Club! We are reading Brave Enough by Kati Gardner! Catch up on Chapter 1, Chapters 2-5, Chapters 6-8, Chapters 9-11, Chapters 12-15, and Chapters 16-20, Chapters 21-26, and Chapters 27-32.
Week 9: Chapters 33-38
Commentary by Xenia R.:
The chapter begins with Cason learning that she is being discharged and the foundation of her and Davis’ friendship is being laid out. He learns that her mom is attending the support group and is more open to Cason having cancer friends and attending camp. The chapter ended with some of the friends from camp entering her room.
Cason meets Noah, who also is an amputee but she couldn’t figure which leg. I found this chapter and the ensuing conversation to be very authentic – while they were playing cards different topics were discussed, friendly rivalries were made aware to the reader, and they talked about different doctors. Noah did share about his leg and why he chose to have a prosthetic while Mari did not. It was a conversation that to an outsider would seem so “brave” for YA’s having these conversations is the most normal part of this journey. The only way we know what to expect from our cancer journey is by talking to others.
Everyone left when Cason needed to get more antibiotics. Davis is still struggling with addictive thoughts and trying to find a way to deal with them, when the group decides to move the party to a coffee shop.
The parking spot scene and the group being called out for not being handicapped was so on point. Just because a person or people don’t look sick/act sick or are behaving in the manner that you feel there diagnosis tells you they should does not mean they are fakers. I would not have handled it as well as Jase did.
There was a line that struck me in this chapter – Jase spoke it – “Easy would be nice sometimes. Ever feel like our lives are never easy? Like somehow having cancer has put a black mark over us and we never get to have easy?” When I read that I was blown away because I have felt that many times and when I have shared that feeling with “non cancer” people their response was “But your alive,” to which I curse them off in my head. It was really reassuring to read my sentiment written down.
Cason is being prepped for her prosthetic. In the room are her mom and Mari, who decides to share how many different prosthetics she tried before finally deciding not to have one. Bless Mari’s heart she knew she had upset Cason’s mom so she added that Cason had a residual limb and would have an easier time.
While the plaster was being applied to her leg, she again had the realization of all the dreams and everything that she had worked hard for would not come to fruition.
The chapter ends with Cason’s PT, Kelsey, thinking about a different way for her to build back her abdominal muscles. Her thought process was triggered by looking at the different ways Cason was hoisted in the air, but she did share with Cason and her mom that she might be able to dance again.
Davis was at the coffee shop when the detective in charge of his case called and shared that Ethan was arrested but also released on bail. The conversation ended right before Alexis Foster’s parents entered.
The conversation that followed was one of Davis asking forgiveness and sharing that he was struggling but also stating that he can’t live his life for Alexis but only for himself. This sentiment and commitment is an important one and a mature distinction for a teenager to make. We cannot live for other people we can only live for ourselves.
Cason began her first session at the aerial studio. Through this modality Cason would be able to build her core strength while recreating the sensation of dancing.
While reading this I had a visual of this experience in my mind. How suddenly Cason was filled with hope and felt that she regaining some sense or pieces of her old self but in a different form.
Join in next Monday for the comments and discussion on chapters 39-43!
We will talk about a few chapters each Monday until the book is done. If Monday happens to be a holiday, then the post will publish on Tuesday. Once we finish the book, we’ll use one more Monday to talk about general feelings from the book and anything else you’d like to discuss. We’ll also have a video chat book club discussion at the end! Join in, in the comments every week! Also, there will probably be spoilers so read along with us! Excited about the young adult cancer book club? Have any suggestions for future reads? Let us know!