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Hopping Roller Coasters Paperback – August 17, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rachel Pappas lives with her husband in Frederick, Maryland. They are empty nesters now, though their daughter is not far away. Rachel writes for lifestyle magazines, health publications, and has a website: www.1UpOnCancer.com. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1477680888
  • ISBN-13: 978-1477680889
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,901,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Elyn Jacobs on March 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
When Marina was little, her mother, Rachel, was a smoker, and worried about her habit; she must have spoken her fears aloud. Marina was only five or six, hearing her mother say she may be dying....leaving her alone and unprotected.
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....
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Format: Kindle Edition
Hopping Roller Coasters explores Rachel's tumultuous relationship with her daughter Marina who faces this diagnosis. Rachel, who also has bipolar disease, relates in vivid detail her struggles to help her child, whose mood swings and self-destructive behaviors threaten to turn their family upside down. Suicide attempts, self mutilation, hospital stays and special schools that make only matters worse ... these circumstances go far beyond the "growing pains" of a typical family.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an inspiring personal recount of the relationship between a mother and her daughter with mental illness, a wife with mental illness and her husband, and an inspiring story of a woman and her fight with Cancer. The story is told with the utmost of honesty and tackles some of life's most difficult situations. A must read for anyone who is a Mother, Daughter, Psychiatric consumer, Cancer Survivor......actually, it is a must read for anyone that is human!!
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Format: Paperback
Hopping Roller Coasters is a gritty book. Rachel Pappas shares her struggles with bipolar disorder as she did her best to raise her daughter who struggles with her own mental illness. Rachel and Marina's stories are gut wrenching and difficult to read at times. Just as things seem to be getting better Rachel is diagnosed with breast cancer. The title is apt as it seems that Rachel, her husband and Marina do little but jump from one roller coaster to another. Ultimately though, this is a positive book. It shows that love and family are powerful.
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Format: Hardcover
Hopping Roller Coasters is a brutally honest account of one woman's experience in dealing with a daughter's mental illness and her own fight with cancer. Ms. Pappas shares her life with the reader in a way that is helpful to others going through similar experiences. After reading the book, I felt like I knew the family personally and I was left wanting to know more.
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