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Woman dying of cancer reflects on life in a new book

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Posted on January 24, 2013 |
By Addison Independent



Midge Rylander2.jpg
ONETIME LAKE DUNMORE resident Midge Rylander recorded her thoughts in a journal after being diagnosed with cancer. Her daughter published the journal in the new book “Eighteen Months To Live.”

LEICESTER — The newly published book “Eighteen Months To Live” is the poignant real life story of Midge Rylander in her own words.

Rylander moved to Vermont from California in 1963. The mother of three was employed for many years as a legal secretary and then worked for the trust department of a local bank. Rylander lived on Lake Dunmore from 1977 until she died in 1992.

She succumbed after being diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, which is a form of lung cancer from prior exposure to asbestos.

After Rylander was told that she had less than 18 months to live, she decided to keep a journal of her thoughts, feelings and experiences. When Midge’s daughter Rachele recently re-read her mother’s journal, Rachele realized that her mother wanted her journal published so that it could help others.

“Eighteen Months To Live” is the transcription of Rylander’s handwritten journal as well as letters that Midge wrote to her daughter Rachele during that time. Rachele Baker wrote the prologue, epilogue and narration of the book, which is available on Amazon.com.

The story takes readers through Midge’s last days in which she experienced pain and fear but also found peace within herself and joy in life.

After reading “Eighteen Months To Live,” one reader wrote on the website Goodreads.com: “For such a sad book, it is a happy book too. Although you know that Midge is terminally ill, and this made reading it weigh heavily on my chest at times, she is so full of life, hope and love, fighting the cancer that is trying to defeat her from the inside. It is an account of slowing down, of taking life each day at a time and appreciating the truly wondrous things around oneself in a way that we often don’t get time to. It is a lesson to us all, to take that time, to enjoy it, to live in the moment and love those around us.”

Baker is a small animal veterinarian and writer living in southern California. “Eighteen Months To Live” is her first book; and she is preparing to write a series of books about medical problems in dogs and cats.

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