Perry Muse’s memoir Morbid Thoughts and the Domino Effect shares the details of his challenging battle with cancer.
Veteran and executive Muse was enjoying his empty-nest life with his current wife Nila when he received a devastating diagnosis of prostate cancer. His memoir follows his ups and downs while seeking a nearly unending battery of treatments, interspersed with stories of his earlier life, in which he left the army to (unsuccessfully) save his marriage with his first wife, briefly became homeless, and suffered near-catastrophic car and motorcycle crashes.
The story is interspersed with personal and family photos, including those of his body following surgery, medical diagrams, his tattoos, and so on.
Muse’s fervent love of his wife and animals comes through clearly, and readers will be touched by his gratitude for his family and by his determination to live his life to the fullest in recovery, including skydiving.
The book’s execution, however, is somewhat less successful, as it includes such a high level of detail regarding his condition and treatment, as well as repetitive language (“I was born in 1960, in a decade many commonly refer to as ‘the sixties’”) that readers will sometimes feel buried. Some pruning of less important material would make the memoir more readable.
Additionally, the story is framed with most chapters offering insight into the author through his Sagittarian star sign (“Sagittarians are very kind and generous. They never expect favors in return”), without much explanation as to why, and the narrative itself is a bit jerky; Muse discovers he has cancer and then immediately goes into a detailed description of all his pets.
Even with the imperfect narrative, the author’s emotion is raw and clear. While sometimes getting bogged down in the details, readers will appreciate his courage and good humor, and those facing similar circumstances can learn from Muse’s depth of experience.
Also available as an ebook.