Battling cancer is often a long, difficult journey. It throws those who have it into despair and can leave them feeling angry and their life in chaos. But Milton resident and first-time author Rebecca “Becky” Kordatzky sees cancer through a different lens.
Kordatzky, her mother, grandmother and most of her siblings have been stricken with cancer, and many of them have had it more than once. Kordatzky, along with most of her family, have Lynch Syndrome, an inherited condition which increases the risk of certain cancers.
Still, amidst the illness and heartache, Kordatzky said she’s found peace and joy, and reason to celebrate the good things in life.
Kordatzky has written a book, her first, about her family’s relationship with cancer. She will read from “Loving Him More Through Darkest Valleys: Sisters Challenge Cancer in Two-Part Harmony” from 2-3:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 10, at the Milton Public Library.
Kordatzky will also take questions and sign copies of the book. Her husband, John, will provide the music by playing Native American flutes, and light refreshments will be served.
As the title hints, the book is divided into two parts. Kordatzky said that in the first half of the book, she introduces readers to her sister Nancy, who had skin, pancreatic and ovarian cancers.
Initially, Kordatzky planned to only share Nancy’s experiences. But friends encouraged the writer to tell her story, too.
Kordatzky said her first reaction was, “But who would care about my story?”
Eventually, she agreed to include her unique perspective.
“I have earned a place on the podium with all of my experience with cancer,” she said. “I understand that depth of anguish, but I don’t hate (cancer).”
Society tells us we ought to hate cancer with a vengeance. But Kordatzky said she believes there are other things worse than cancer, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons and abuse.
The second half of the book is divided into four sections. In these sections, Kordatzky takes the reader on a walk, a paddle boat ride, a visit to her grandparents’ home and then the final stop.
“We’re in a coffee shop and just talking about the big questions of life,” Kordatzky said. “Can there be joy? What’s this all about?”
Kordatzky said she’s a bit uncomfortable focusing on herself. But she said Sunday’s book launch will be about family, which includes Milton, where she has lived for 48 years.
“We love Milton,” she said. “We love our community and anyone that comes (here) qualifies as my family.”
She said she is eager to introduce readers to her family, Nancy in particular.
She said she hopes people walk away with the message that we are not alone. “God gives us people so we are never alone,” she said.
Especially in this period of COVID-19, she hopes people will do one thing: “Stop and see who is with us on this journey.”
Copies of the book will be available for purchase with 25% of the proceeds going to the library.