Love and Laughter In the Time of Chemotherapy by Manjusha Pawagi


Manjusa Pawagi was in the prime of life: 47 years old, mother to 11-year old twins, with a rewarding career as a judge in the Court of Justice in Ontario, Canada. Then, in 2014 she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia, and this book is her memoir of the two years following that diagnosis.

I have two a good friend who is battling multiple myeloma and recently had a stem cell transplant. Like Pawagi, she has written about her battle with humor and honesty – and, also like Pawagi, she can be very funny.

I l0ve stories celebrating survival, and appreciate the forthright way this book faces difficult truths. Unlike some other “survival stories,” this is not at all faith based. In fact, she tells us in Chapter 7, “ I’m an atheist too, but I’m firmly convinced that if I turn out to be wrong and there is a God, and all the accompanying heaven/hell thing, I am definitely going to heaven. I have no theological basis for this, but I know it would be ridiculously unfair if I were barred because of what I consider to be a mere technicality, which I equate to the minor procedural irregularities I see in court all the time, and which I either ignore or patch up after the fact in some way. Because, while I do not believe in God, I do believe in justice’

Thanks to NetGalley and Second Story Press for the opportunity to read this in return for my honest review. Four enthusiastic stars.