The distinguished novelist offers an account of his own battle with cancer of the spine, describing his struggle to come to terms with the disease, its treatment, and his determination to get on with his life.
In 1984 a large cancer was discovered in Reynolds Price's spinal cord. Here he recounts without self-pity what became a long struggle to withstand and recover from this appalling, if all too common, affliction. He charts the first puzzling symptoms; the urgent surgery that fails to remove the growth and radiation that temporarily arrests it; the trials of rehab; the steady rise of severe pain and reliance on drugs; the sustaining force of a certain religious vision; the discovery of help from biofeedback and hypnosis; and the miraculous return of his powers as a writer in a new, active life. Beyond the particulars of pain and illness, Price tells of his determination to get on with human interaction, the gratitude he feels toward kin and friends and some (though by no means all) doctors, and the return to his prolific work. More than the portrait of one brave person in tribulation, A Whole New Life offers honest insight, realistic encouragement, and inspiration to others who suffer the bafflement of catastrophic illness or know someone who does or will.