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Goodbye, Walter: The Inspiring Story of a Terminal Cancer Patient 1st Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0972807128
ISBN-10: 0972807128
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Editorial Reviews


"Hogue's book struck a deep chord. Her work celebrates the end of life instead of having us fear it." -- Bob Stump, R-District 9, Arizona House of Representatives; Health Committee Co-Chair.

"This is an important story, beautifully and sensitively told." -- Bev Harvey, writer, Write Visions

Hogue was forever changed by the experience, and so was I. -- Paul M. Howey, author Shoah: Journey from the Ashes, and Freckles: The Mystery of the Little White Dog in the Desert

I love your book. Very touching. -- Kerry Lynn Blair, author of The Heart only Knows, and The Heart has Forever

In this intimate and personal journey, Hogue reminds us of love and faith and how they are eternally entwined.  -- Phil Alvidrez, noted television producer, MagicDust Television

RuthAnn Hogue's secret is her commanding use of specific, concrete detail. She is a master at her craft. -- Linda Shelley Whiting, historian/author of David W. Patten: Apostle and Martyr

This book is a necessary read. The story is a reaffirmation of life. -- Mark Potter, Director of Suddenly Unexpected, an MPotter Production

About the Author

RuthAnn Hogue graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Telecommunication and Journalism in 1997. She has won numerous awards as a journalist, including the Arizona Newspapers Association first-place award for Journalistic Achievement. She currently serves as the news editor for the [i]West Valley View[/i] (Avondale, AZ).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Mapletree Publishing Co.; 1st edition (September 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972807128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972807128
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,195,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David A. Hall on June 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
As the publisher, it's interesting to see the reaction of different people to Goodbye, Walter. Some seem to get it and are deeply touched by it. There may be others who can't understand why the focus in the book is on RuthAnn, the author.
We, the publishers, asked RuthAnn to focus on herself--it wasn't her idea, and the original manuscript she submitted didn't do that. The reason is that the beauty of Walter's story is the change he wrought in her. Here is Walter Schifter, who felt so worthless as he was approaching the end of his life that he wanted to commit suicide. However, once he is properly cared for, the richness of his personality and his value as an individual come out. He comes to realize that, even though doctors have told him he has only two weeks to live, every day still matters because he now has a purpose for living. His focus changes from his pain and misery to what he can do for others during those last days.
RuthAnn, as she comes to know Walter, is profoundly affected by his sense of purpose, and she is touched in such a way that she decides to put her own life back together.
I love her honesty and her openness. She is struggling with a life that has, in its most important aspects, come unglued, and she freely shares that with us. Walter doesn't preach--he's not that kind of person. But, with his example and his deep desire to be useful to others, he helps her see what is truly important in life. As she builds her life on those important things, it falls into place. And that is the point of this story. It's a profound, beautiful lesson.
We are seeing tendencies in society to devalue the lives of those with terminal illnesses, people who are totally dependent on others. Some even encourage them to end their lives early. With this book, Walter and RuthAnn show us that life has eminent value, even in its final, potentially miserable days.
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Format: Paperback
I am in agreement with Mr. Hall. (The reviewer from Sierra Vista obviously has issues.) The thing that strikes me so much about this book is the sense it gives you of how important life is--not just the importance of being alive, but of living life with a purpose. Death can come to any one of us at any time. Live life earnestly, love earnestly, and rejoice that you have a place in the universe. This point is made with great PERSONAL power.
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Format: Kindle Edition
An unusual project for a newspaper to take on -- to assign a journalist to cover a cancer patient's last days.
However, while the patient, Walter Schifter, wasn't religious, the journalist, RuthAnn Hogue, certainly is.

This book is more about the effect of a stranger's death on her, than about hospice care itself. I would have preferred the original articles as they were published in the Daily News-Sun, in Sun City, Arizona - i.e. with less religious commentary.

For a non-religious account of hospice care I'd recommend instead Victor and Rosemay Zorza's "A Way to Die", Knopf, 1980
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Format: Paperback
At first I was a little confused about who this book was about, Walter or RuthAnn. But as I finished the first chapter, I realized that it is about both of them and how Walter's terminal illness enlightened him about his life's purpose and the difference that he made and touched RuthAnn's life in profound ways as well. Isn't that the meaning of enlightenment? I think that it is showing another, by example, something that makes a difference in their own life and transforms them. Through her relationship with Walter, his wife and his friends, RuthAnn began to see life through a different, more empowering avenue and she made more positive choices. I appreciated the opportunity to get close to people that I would not have otherwise gotten to know and realize again, how precious and wonderful it is to be alive....it's not about me....all the time!
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