Read 22 nonfiction books in 2022.
1/22 — Flying on the Inside: A Memoir of Trauma and Recovery by Rachel Gotto
The remarkable true story of one woman’s journey back from the brink. Newly widowed and faced with a deadly brain tumor, she was given two years to live. She wanted more…
When her six-year-old daughter found her collapsed on the kitchen floor, Rachel had no idea how much her life was about to change.
A brain scan revealed a dark shadowy mass, a huge abnormal growth of tissue that, whilst benign, was still growing and would surely kill her. It was too big to operate on. It needed to be ‘managed’, and Rachel had, at best, two years to live.
Refusing to accept the bleak prognosis, Rachel was determined to stay alive. She had already lost far too much. She had already watched her brother succumb, at only twenty-eight, to cancer. She had already lost her beloved husband in a terrible scuba diving accident when she was six months pregnant. So she did the only thing she knew how to do. She fought for her life.
This gripping and inspiring memoir about overcoming tragedy and trauma charts one tenacious woman’s incredible fight to find light in the darkest of journeys. It is a life-affirming tale of positivity and hope in the face of the most difficult of human experiences.
This was the first memoir I read this year and I’m in awe of this author and her insights and journey.
The series of events that she endured would make most people just give up. When I read books about traumatic events I honestly don’t know how they find the strength to go on. And in this case, her recovery took YEARS!
The story goes back and forth between Rachel’s youth and her relationships with her brother and her late husband – and those stories alone would have been hard enough to endure – then it alternates with the massive brain surgery that left her unrecognizable to herself.
I loved the descriptive writing and language the author used and I loved the Irish and European setting. I loved the background of the ocean as a constant theme.
It’s hard to imagine the pain and horror of what she went through- the disassociation, her radical personality changes, the onslaught of emotions, and what the cocktail of drugs she was on did to her. The seizures, not being able to care for her daughter properly, making poor decisions, and the 24/7 negative voices in her head.
Now, Rachel is a therapist and helps others who have dealt with major trauma and mental health issues – very different from how she thought her life was headed before she took control of her own medical journey.
About The Author:
Rachel Gotto was born and grew up in Glandore in West Cork, a few short steps from the Atlantic Ocean. An adept boat person from an early age, and most at home on the waves, it was there she developed the tenacious spirit that later proved invaluable when faced with a litany of personal traumas and tragedies.
Having lost her closest brother as a young man to cancer, Rachel was six months pregnant with her daughter when her husband died in a tragic diving accident. Diagnosed a few years later with a life-threatening brain tumor, she underwent life-saving surgery that resulted in her becoming paralyzed. What followed was a slow and painful recovery marred by a growing dependence on her prescribed medication.
Now a celebrated keynote speaker, life coach, and clinical hypnotherapist, Rachel lives on the west coast of Ireland, in County Galway, where she enjoys being in nature. She loves to swim, fish, read, walk, keep pet hens, and spend time with family and friends. https://www.rachelgotto.com/
- “Will I ever be able to sail again?” – Afloat’s Wavelengths Podcast with Lorna Siggins
What do you think about this book? What is the most interesting medical memoir you’ve read?
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