Wednesday, April 11, 2007

My Sister's Keeper

So, at 1:00am this morning, I woke up to The Breadwinner puking praying to the shit bowl porcelain god. Then Jr. Peanut woke up, so I went to go nurse him...only to have him hurl chunks on my boob. After such trauma, I couldn't go back to sleep, so I decided to finish the best book I've read in a long time...My Sister's Keeper.

It's about a young girl, Anna, that was genetically engineered and conceived in order to save her older sister,Kate from the throes of APL Leukemia. For 13 years, Anna donated various parts of her body to her sister in order to keep her alive. Finally, when Kate's kidneys start to fail, Anna decides that enough is enough -- she doesn't want to donate any part of her body anymore. With the help of a lawyer, Anna sues her parents for medical emancipation from her parents.

The book is uniquely written and told through the eyes of each person in the family and those involved in the trial. The family struggled for 13 years to cope with the possibility Kate's death. It's a circumstance that severly affects the lives of each family member. Jesse, the brother, feels invisible and turns to truancy to cope and seek attention. Anna, is trapped by her sister's health--never allowed to leave or live her own life because she's had to give numerous blood, marrow, and other donations. Sara, the mother, is torn between saving one child and sacrificing another. Brian, the father, feels that what they are doing to Anna is wrong, but still wants Kate to live.

Throughout the story, I kept thinking that Sara should give up and let her daughter die because of the profound affect of Kate's looming death has had on her family. But then I thought-- wouldn't I do the same thing? Isn't it easy to get caught up in trying to take care of one person and somehow put other people second? I cried so hard and it made me think of what has happened in my own life...

After The Princess was born but before JR Peanut, I had 3 miscarriages. The first was the hardest for me. I had gone in for an ultrasound at 10 weeks and saw the heartbeat. The doctor told me that the baby looked a little small and scheduled me to come in two weeks later. When I went to the second appointment, the doctor found no heartbeat. He told me I could let the baby pass on its own or I could get a D and C. Then he patted my shoulder and said sorry. He left me alone in the room and it all sank in. I cried... a lot. I chose to let the baby pass on its own. Bad idea. My body didn't release it until three weeks later while my daughter and I were suffering from the flu. It was like a horrible period with HUGE clots. Anyway, I kind of lived through a fog for the next few months. The Princess could tell I was sad (kids pick up on these things quickly) and she would pat me when I was sad. I had two more miscarriages that didn't affect me as much but still saddened me. I was so caught up in it, I think that I didn't get to enjoy The Princess. I didn't pay as much attention and I was focused on having a second/coping with the realization that I may not be able to have more kids... kind of like how Sara (in the book) built her life around trying to keep Kate alive.

So, long story this book (keep a box of tissues handy)! I'm grateful that I don't have to face the kind of challenges posed in the book.


Jackie said...

Can not wait to read this book!
Hope you and your family are feeling better! :-(

Florinda said...

It's too bad you weren't able to read this back when we did in the book club - it generated some very good discussion. (Some books seem to drive that more than others, as you've probably noticed.)

So now I guess you know I found your blog :-).