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Karina Stell

Life Interrupted - A Memoir by Karina Stell

  • $24.95

Life Interrupted - A Memoir by Karina Stell

'‘I’ve decided to write this book, as painful as it is for me, because I know there are others, like me, who have faced the unimaginable, and wondered how to begin living their lives again... When I hear of any cancer story now, I don’t think of anatomy. I think about what it must have been like the day their life changed. The fear, the denial, the lack of hope that would come and go. I always want to internally say hello to them. To say via my own wounded heart to theirs, ‘I know’.’

Karina Stell’s moving memoir details the journey from her first to her fourth and final cancer diagnosis through to her ultimate palliation. She wrote this book for everyone who would find themselves on a similar journey, for their loved ones, and for those who work in the haematology/oncology field who must never forget the importance of compassion and humanity in their care.

Karina passed away on 27th September 2018. Her story is her legacy.

 

The Road to Life Interrupted

Karina began writing her story, Life Interrupted during her first remission from Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2014. She continued to write for the next four years, through aggressive treatments, surgeries, hospital admissions, a further diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a stem cell transplant and her eventual palliation. She knew that her story could help others and worked tirelessly up until a few weeks before she passed in September, 2018, to complete it.

Throughout these years of treatment and relapse, Karina began her degree in Psychology and worked as a mindfulness therapist to help others who were struggling. Karina passed away before she could finish her Psychology degree but through palliation at home, she persisted in completing her book so that she could share her journey with others in the hope that they might find comfort, compassion and courage in a journey only those who tread the path can ever truly know. 


Karina's Journey

Life Interrupted is a story of Karina’s journey with cancer - from her first gynaecological cancer through to both lymphomas. Her memoir chronicles her evolution from a cancer patient who felt like an invisible number at the mercy of other people’s choices to an empowered advocate for herself who learnt the difference between blind compliance and trusting herself.

In 2016, when Karina was faced with a diagnosed relapse of Hodgkin lymphoma, her newfound courage to speak up for herself when she felt unheard, led her to seek a second opinion. This decision brought her to Dr. David Joske, whose whole person approach to cancer treatment changed the course of Karina's entire journey and led to a realisation of a misdiagnosis. Karina did not in fact have a relapse of Hodgkin Lymphoma as diagnosed by her original team, but rather a much rarer form of lymphoma called T-Cell Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. So, it was here, in the hands of Dr. Joske, that Karina realised the importance of sharing her story - of how finding a team that listens and connects with you, walks beside, not in front of you, that respects this illness as yours and not theirs, can change the way one travels this difficult road - no matter the outcome.

Who is it for?

Karina wrote her memoir, Life Interrupted for everyone. Everyone has or will be touched by cancer in some way, in their lifetime. It is so important for those who might find themselves on a similar journey to feel seen and understood, for those of us who are loved ones to understand so we can be the best support we can, and for those who work in the haematology or oncology field to remember the privilege of caring for cancer patients on this fight for their lives; to never forget the importance of compassion and humanity in their care. 

 Her greatest desire was to help humanise cancer treatment for patients, so that they would always be treated and respected as the human beings they are rather than the disease and numbers that too often define them.

 

Your Purchase Will Help Raise Much Needed Funds

Due to a lack of progress in the development of new, breakthrough drugs and treatments, when Karina relapsed from Non-Hodgkin lymphoma following her stem cell transplant in 2018, she had no further treatment options. It was therefore her wish that all money raised from sales of Life Interrupted go towards blood cancer research so that patients like herself, who would otherwise have reached the end of their treatment options, might have access to new, groundbreaking and life-saving treatments that were not yet available to her. 

All funds raised from sales of Life Interrupted go to Blood Cancer Research. If you purchase the Life Interrupted + If You Were Here book bundle, you will receive 10% off and $30 from your purchase will be donated to Blood Cancer Research (per bundle purchased). For more information on Karina's chosen blood cancer foundations, click here. 

Customer Reviews

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D
Deanne
What an amazing woman Karina Snell is!

I had to write this review right now, I have literally just put the book down. Tears are streaming down my face. I lost my daughter (20 years old) in September 2021. People would probably think that reading a book like 'Life Interrupted' is strange after the loss of my daughter, but it has touched me profoundly. Karina words are spoken with such heartfelt truth, and reading her story was like reliving my own journey with my precious daughter. Cancer sucks and it takes so much away from the people it touches. My own daughter fought the beast that is cancer at the age of 4 and again at 14. She too endured stem cell transplants. Her body, just like Karina's was beaten by the horrific drugs that cancer patients are given. Karina's final two paragraphs in the Chapter 'Holding my hand out of the maze' have given me more than I could ever express. It is like my own daughter is telling me to let go of cancer, hospitals and all the sadness we have endured.
Thank you Karina for taking the time to write such a meaningful book. I truly believe that it should be read by all cancer doctors, so that they may truly understand the journey from a cancer patients point of view.