In this inspirational memoir of healing and forgiveness, Lorena Junco Margain shares lessons learned from surviving a medical nightmare with the help of family and her cherished Mexican cultural roots.
Struggling with a mysterious post-partum illness, Junco Margain senses something is wrong. Doctors prescribe anti-depressants, to no avail, as the loss of her abuela and her sister’s thyroid cancer take their toll. A CT scan for familial thyroid disease reveals an adrenal tumor. While her highly regarded surgeon promises a simple, laparoscopic adrenalectomy, the recovery goes poorly, leaving her with debilitating migraines and severe weakness.
Left fighting for answers, Junco Margain’s recovery seems insurmountable despite the “facade of normalcy” she attempts to project. She blames herself, losing faith in finding a cure and her ability to care for her children. When a fainting spell leads to the emergency room, she learns her surgeon removed the wrong adrenal lobe. “The moment I learned the truth, everything shifted into reverse,” she writes. “… Instead of groping around in the dark, I could pick myself up and move in a healing direction.”
Junco Margain is determined to face her fears, anger, and sense of violation, and the story recounts her steps to physical and emotional recovery.
Occasionally, the memoir’s chronology is confusing as the family commutes between Texas and Mexico around Junco Margain’s numerous medical events. Still, the narrative is full of compassion, optimism and self-realization. “Why was it so easy for me to hate myself,” she writes, “and so impossible for me to hate the surgeon who’d robbed my children of their mother?”
Junco Margain’s engaging story never loses momentum, and the prose is poetic and powerful: “We must be gentle with our traveling selves,” the author writes. “We must forgive the wind and rain that assail us as we go…the harshest forces of nature carve beauty into everything, including ourselves.”
The author’s journey of overcoming grief and trauma will resonate with anyone interested in women’s health, medical ethics, and spiritual growth.
Also available as an ebook.