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Q&A with Will Schwalbe

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Will SchwalbeThere’s a corny old saying ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ and equally, when life throws a terminal disease at someone you love, there’s a lot to be gained by turning the experience into a very personal and heart-felt book about the power and positivity that can be found in the last years and months of life. When Will Schwalbe’s mother drew the evil ‘joker’ in life’s pack of cards and was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer, he and his mother took solace in reading and used books to help them express feelings that were sometimes too raw to approach head on. That book is The End of Your Life Book Club – a club that none of us will want to join but from which all of us can learn a lot about the power of the human spirit. Curiousbookfans spoke to Will to find out more.

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The End of Your Life Book Club

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The End of Your Life Book Club,  Will Schwalbe, book reviewSitting at the hospital waiting for his mother to complete her chemotherapy session, Will Schwalbe asked her what she was reading. Hours and hours of poison dripping into her arm could be made bearable by reading books and talking about them. Will and his mother, Mary Anne, formed their own two person ‘book club’ and Will called it The End of Your Life Book Club. With a diagnosis of Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer (there is no stage 5) both knew that Mary Anne’s days were numbered but there were still so many great books to be read for the first time or old favourites to be read again. Metastasised pancreatic cancer comes with a short shelf life – typically as little as 3 to 6 months, optimistically, no more than a couple of years.


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