I’m Still Here: A Memoir
Martina Reaves has lived an extraordinary life. She has been present and involved in some of America’s most profound changes—moving to San Francisco in 1969, becoming a lawyer when few women did, coming out of the closet and marrying her wife, finding a sperm donor so that they could create a family, and then, years later, supporting her son as he openly and publicly sought out his biological father. She also has survived cancer three times. The first incident was a tumor in her chest discovered when her baby was six months old. Then, two decades later, she finds a sore on her tongue that requires more surgery and chemotherapy. A few years later, the cancer returns, this time on her neck, and she is given a terminal diagnosis.
But, as her memoir’s title declares, she is “still here” to tell her story with unflinching honesty. Throughout her ordeals, she has support from her spouse, her son, and a community of friendships built up over years. She needs every ounce of their strength as she wrestles with questions of whether to endure yet another round of chemotherapy or to experiment with less traditional healing techniques. When she finally beats the odds and receives a clean bill of health, she needs to learn again how to live with a long, unknown horizon ahead of her, as we all have.
Readers who enjoy memoir will like this very much, and readers with serious diagnoses will find comfort here. As Martina says, “I believe you can have hope until the very end and at the same time accept that you’re dying. It can be both.”
Read our interview with author Martina Reaves.
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