Review: When my World was Very Small – Ruth Rakoff

Ruth Rakoff has written a memoir about her experience with breast cancer named “When my World was Very Small“. We start the memoir with Ruth on her couch, when her spirits are low and she has the mentality that cancer has robbed her of her independence. Even though the light may have been dim in the early days of her diagnoses, she had a huge support system, especially when it came to her kind and loving husband Tommy. When Ruth writes about Tommy, you can sense the love and affection she has for her beloved husband. She also shares with us the story of Tommy versus the rat that entered their home, which was funny while reading it, but ultimately was a way for Tommy to have control over conquering a problem, since his inability to help his wife had to have left him feeling somewhat useless.

Ruth and Tommy have three sons, who are all aware about what cancer is, the fact that Ruth was diagnosed around the Terry Fox run was also helpful while explaining that she had cancer. Each boy was described as being strong and supportive which made me love the Rakoff family a little more.

Many of us have been affected by the “C” word, I lost my grandmother to lung cancer and it is a scary and dismal time. Ruth Rakoff is hesitant to join “healing circles” and suggests that maybe she should create a “swearing circle” to let go of all her anger. Ruth goes on to explain that she didn’t ask to join this “club” but got enrolled by choice and instead of spending all her time on her couch, she would battle this disease and fight for her right to live and for her amazing family and friends. In the beginning, it was gaining control over something as simple as buying a pair of plumb boots, but Ruth’s story is about gaining back control of her life and beating an awful disease that unfortunately has taken many of our friends and family.

Her story is an empowering and heartfelt one. In her acknowledgements, she explains that her memoir is a thank you to all the support she received during her dismal days and each page was filled with sincerity and love. It’s an empowering and rich story that should be read by all of you.

Happy Reading

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