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Hopping Roller Coasters Paperback – August 17, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
At sixteen, Marina was living in a residential treatment center, and in a therapy session, she screams at her mom through tears, "Why did you used to say that to me, Mom? Why? You used to tell me you probably had cancer!" A child's worst fear, the fear of losing her mother. And it was just one of many things Rachel had said or done that she realized made her child feel unsafe.
Four years after that teary therapy session, it happens. Rachel's diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. But Marina doesn't succumb to fear. Rachel is surprised to find her daughter possesses incredible strength after all she's been through. They are both on a path to wellness, not just through cancer, but in their very rocky relationship.
Hopping Roller Coasters is a brutally honest account of the lives of one family, one that likely resonates with so many more, whether they have experienced mental illness or not. I was truly moved by this honesty, and the strength and courage that allowed them to overcome.
This book was hard to put down....
What I admire is the honesty in which Rachel shares her story. She and her daughter fight fiercely though the love is clear. Their bond is tight, and there is no doubt Rachel will do anything for her beloved child. When Marina finally finds a special school that helped her and later graduates, Rachel claps so hard; her hands hurt. She has earned her well-deserved exhibit of motherly pride.
You can see how Rachel's fierce determination and ability to stand up for her daughter's rights, amid often failing education and psychiatric institutions, served her well as she later faces her own battles with breast cancer. At the same time, she learns her father's cancer had spread. Rather than becoming a victim, she surprises herself by being able to buoy a fellow "pink sister" as they sit in the chemo suite. "I hadn't even made a conscious effort to grope for the positive. It was just there," Rachel relates.
Turning full circle, it is Marina's turn to support her mother. Marina's growth and recovery are evident as she helps her mother and offers tokens of love, such as a book by the Dalai Lama . Their struggles have strengthened their relationship. Both had overcome very serious illnesses ... and their lives, as a result, have become richer.