Robbie’s Inspiration: Book Release Tour for The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival by Miriam Hurdle

Thank you for hosting my launch tour today, Robbie. I’m thrilled to be here to share my new book with your friends.

During the launch tour, I want to talk about memoir writing. Here is my topic for today.

How did I write my memoir?

Collecting data

During my fifty-three weeks of the cancer journey, especially the six months of full-time bio chemotherapy, I was so sick that all the days blended in together.

Emails – As soon as I found out about my cancer, I emailed the updates to my family and friends. They emailed back to show me their support. I saved all the emails.

Records – I kept all the medical records in a binder with tabs to organize the doctor’s referrals, doctor’s appointments, visit summaries, insurance authorizations, testing instructions, testing results, lab results, treatment schedules, and discharge summaries.

Journals – Whenever my head was a little clear, I wrote my journal. Sometimes I just wrote on scratch paper. I saved all the writing.

Mails or cards – Family and friends sent me the get-well cards periodically. I kept all the cards and I still have them.

Organizing Data

Starting in 2016, I attempted to write my story. I wrote tidbits to post on my blog. They were superficial information from my memory.

I got serious about writing my story in 2020. The first thing I did was copy and paste the emails in chronological order. I read them repeatedly to reacquaint myself with what had happened. I highlighted the details pertinent to my story.

I reread my journal and transcribed the parts relating to my treatment onto the computer.

Selecting Data

Life is not linear. There were many parallel events that happened during my cancer journey, especially during the time I was diagnosed. Some of the events played significant roles at this juncture of my life. Some were important, but they would need explanation and become a distraction from my focus. During my editing, I deleted the distractions. There is a difference between an important detail and a rabbit hole. I paid attention not to creating many rabbit holes hidden in the fields.

Writing Process

I took part in the NaNoWriMo Camp in July 2020. After I collected, organized, and selected my data, I wrote my first draft and posted it on NaNoWriMo. Then I submitted my first chapter to my writing group at the beginning of 2021. The group gave me some positive feedback about needing improvement on the presentation of my story.

In the following year, I read books and took classes on memoir writing. I continued to do writing and rewrite, edit, and re-edit the manuscript. I rearranged my chapters and began the memoir with my focus first, then brought in the backstory afterward. At the beginning of 2022, I submitted my first chapter to the writing group again. This time around, the members said my story was compelling and that I was honest in telling my story.

It is the members of this writing group who facilitated my final presentation on The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival.

The book information.

About The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival by Miriam Hurdle

Blurb

In the summer of 2008, Miriam Hurdle was diagnosed with melanoma-an aggressive and invasive cancer in her internal organs. The survival rate before 2008 was low. Besides risking harsh treatments for a slim chance of survival, Miriam had hoops to jump through. By the time she received treatment at the beginning of 2009, her cancer had progressed from stage II to stage IV. It was a rough and uphill winding road. But alongside her was support and encouragement. Accompanied by the love of her family and community, this is Miriam’s journey of faith and miracle. It is a heartwarming story of resilience, courage, and the will to live.

My review

In 2008, Miriam Hurdle was diagnosed with a life threatening and unusual melanoma. There were no signs of this tumour that was stealthily growing in her body and she discovered its presence quite by accident. This turned out to be the first step towards her successful fight against this disease. Finding the cancer early did not help spare her any of the trauma of the intense treatments that followed, but it did give her a bit of time to find the right doctor to treat her and decide on the best treatment plan.

My mother is a cancer survivor so this story was intensely personal for me. As Miriam’s shock at her diagnosis and search for the best way forward unfolded, I recalled my own experiences at my mother’s side as the news and subsequent decisions rocked our family.

Miriam’s descriptions of each step of her journey, from visiting an unsympathetic first doctor to finding the right doctor to administer her treatment, planning time off work for the treatment, planning the financial aspects of the treatment and the time off work, and planning day-to-day aspects like meals, and getting to appointments are all detailed and make this story highly relatable.

Miriam had support for amazing family and friends and this in itself is a testament to her excellent character and kind nature.

Miriam reveals in vivid detail the particulars of her treatments and the effects they had on her body, both mentally and physically and the reader walks in her shoes with her.

An incredibly powerful book about a strong woman’s fight for survival against high odds. I recommend it highly.

Purchase links Amazon

Amazon US

Book trailer

About Miriam

Miriam Hurdle is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Her publications include Songs of Heartstrings, and the children’s book, Tina Lost in a Crowd. Her poetry collection received the Solo “Medalist Winner” for the New Apple Summer eBook Award and achieved bestseller status on Amazon.

Miriam writes poetry, short stories, memoir, and children’s books. She earned a Doctor of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public-school teaching, and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California, and the visits to her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters in Oregon. When not writing, she engages in blogging, gardening, photography, and traveling.

Contact Miriam Hurdle

Website/Blog: https://theshowersofblessings.com

Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/Miriam-Hurdle/e/B07K2MCSVW

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17252131.Miriam_Hurdle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mhurdle112

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/miriam.hurdle.1

237 thoughts on “Robbie’s Inspiration: Book Release Tour for The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival by Miriam Hurdle

  1. Truly an excellent memoir with explicit details on Miriam’s process. Now I know how she remembered every detail. I finished the book a few days ago. Miriam’s experiences provide a wake-up call to anyone who senses a health issue and perhaps hesitates to consult a physician. Great to see her book promoted here, Robbie!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, Terri! I emailed my family and friends because they wanted to know the updates. I relied on the records to write my story as accurately as possible.
      You’re right, we must pay attention to our bodies. Someone had a headache for a long time. She thought it was related to her car accident. It turned out to be brain cancer. She died a year later.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Robbie did an excellent review, Balroop. Thank you for reading my memoir. I tried to include just enough info. It was hard for me to dwell on it for too long. I’m thankful to be here to tell my story. Have a wonderful weekend. I have four more days to pack up my house. I look forward to move closer to my daughter and my grandkids.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting–the backstory. Did it help you, writing everything down, feeling that there was a book at the end of it all? As sick as you were, it’s pretty amazing to remain level-headed enough to collect the notes.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m not sure if I had a book in mind. When I emailed the updates, some friends were surprised I could give them do much details as sick as I was. During the first two cycles, I didn’t write my journals, only emails. I wrote journals and emails during the second half of treatments. Of course, I kept all the medical records in a big binder with tabs. The moving is good for me. I threw away the physical records. I’ll delete the files and emails soon.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My motivation to write my story is to pass it on as a family legacy, Michael. As hard as it was to read my journals and notes and organized it into a story, I kept in mind I was telling it to my grandkids and the great grandkids I may not see. In the process of working it, I was encouraged to share it with a larger audience. Thank you for following along my launch tour.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Robbie, an excellent review of Miriam’s book. I bought the paperback. Miriam, my best friend had cancer. She had all the treatments, was cancer free, and died after a general repair operation. I went through it with her. My sister, the same, cancer free for now. I’m including my best friend’s death in the book sequel in progress. I wasn’t with her when she died. In the book, I will be. But, changed her diagnosis to the T-cell lymphoma that my ex-husband died from. Aggressive and within 6 months spreads to all organs. As a nurse practitioner, I was a consult and an empathetic support. I had to stay focused for them. Life is a gift. I’ll remember your courage to live. I’m in my 80s and thank God every morning for this one more day. 📚🎶 Christine

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Christine, I am pleased you appreciated my review of this book. It was personal for me too as I relived some of my mom’s experiences over again. I did know you were in your 80s and I think it is wonderful that you are writing and publishing. My mom is 84 in October and she is still very active.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Robbie. There’s good news about age. People are living longer and in fairly good health. Good for your Mom. An early Happy Birthday. A positive attitude helps, and following a healthy lifestyle. Of course, I’ll add passion for anything that you do. Writing is mine, as well as yours and many followers. It keeps us going in the right direction, no matter what. Live on. Write on. 📚🎶 Christine

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I agree with you that passion keeps people happy and live longer, Christine.
        My grandkids keep us young. We’re in the middle of moving 1,000 miles away to be with them. They’ll have 13 or 14 years before going to college. The move is hectic but it’s worth it.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Miriam, that will be so nice for you, living close to family. Grandkids, and great grandkids do keep us young. I have 5 granddaughters & 5 great grandkids. There are a lot of FaceTime and phone calls. I’m in Southern CA and they are in WA & MT. It will be time to move closer, someday. Happy, stress-free move for you. 📚🎶 Christine

        Liked by 1 person

    2. It was a lot that you went through, Christine. Your best friend, your sister, and your ex. It’s wonderful to hear your sister is cancer free. You’re right, positive attitude helps. I’m positive and optimistic. As you’ll notice in the book, as soon as I had an ounce of energy, I dragged my feet to walk in the street.

      I think I followed you yesterday. I bookmarked your site. I’ll check out your book and look out for your sequel. I’m overwhelmed with moving right now. Once I get settled in a new home, I’ll come back to your blog.
      Take care and have a wonderful weekend.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Miriam, thank you for your comment and thoughts. And thanks for checking out my website and book. The sequel is progressing nicely. Good luck with the moving. It’s always a stressful time. 📚🎶Christine

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’ll check it out soon. I may take a few hours of from packing.

        It’s raining here in the middle of replacing the roof for our house. It’ll delay our moving schedule but it’s good because both my husband and I have been stressful to meet the timeline.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Robbie, thanks for featuring Miriam and her new memoir and your excellent review. It was interesting to read how she compiled her data and how her book was born. My husband is a melanoma survivor, so I look forward to reading about Miriam’s journey as well. Congrats to Miriam and thanks to her for sharing her experience with us. Lovely trailer too. 💞

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Lauren, I am so happy your husband recovered. My mother is also in remission. My husband had an early stage melanoma on his arm and the doctor removed it and a huge amount of skin around it. It was not in the lymph’s so he didn’t have chemo, but he had to have a skin graft from his leg to his arm.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m glad your mom is in remission too, Robbie. My husband’s experience sounds pretty parallel to your husband’s. And since then, he has to wear a hat and long-sleeve sun shirt and get checked every six months. I’m glad you husband is okay too. Cancer is awful, to say the least. Take care. 💞

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I wear a hat and long sleeve most of the time, Lauren. I had followup every six months for six years, and have annual checkup after that. I had fear of cancer coming back during the first 10 years.
        Yes, cancer is awful.
        We have “Excessive heat alert” the last few days. How your area is okay, Lauren. 😍

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I even do the same for preventive reasons. We’ve had the same this week and we don’t have ac. So our house inside has been 95 every night this week. It’s been insanely miserable. I think we’re at the point of making a change if this is going to be the new normal because we’re too old to not have relief. Stay as cool as you can, Miriam. 💗

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Your husband was fortunate to have an early stage of melanoma, Robbie. I hope he continues to have good health. Cancel affects more people than we think because it’s not a social conversation topic.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Thank you for sharing that your husband survived from melanoma, Lauren. A couple of my friends had melanoma. When they heard about me, they showed me their scars. I told my doctor about it, he said you wouldn’t be able to show yours because they’re hidden in your organ. 😃

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Fantastic review, Robbie. Huge congratulations to Miriam! I’ve added this book on my KU and will read it as soon as I can. Cancer is something that touches most of us at least once in our lives, sadly. And I can only admire and thank Miriam for sharing her journey. I know the horror of unsympathetic doctors all too well. Fortunately, I’ve also met some wonderful medics, who’ve helped me immensely. Hugs to you both. Have a wonderful weekend 💕🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Harmony, I am glad to know you have had caring and supportive medical practitioners to help you. I have experienced both with my sons and their chronic illnesses, my mother, my father, and my husband. My mom had breast cancer and Terence an early stage melanoma. Michael also had a tumour wrapped around the artery in his stomach. It was not malignant, and I am so grateful for that. He was only 4 at the time.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I can’t imagine what you’d gone through when your mom and Terence had cancer. What Michael went through must be scary, Robbie! Are you the only healthy one? You have a host or guardian Angels watching over your family. I hope no more drama happens to your family, Robbie!

        Liked by 2 people

    2. I’m glad to hear you’ve met some caring and competent medical professionals, Harmony. Aside from my cancer, I had a horrible experience with an allergic reaction that caused inflammation all over my body. All the doctors I saw just played safe to give me something for my itching while whatever allergy I had continued to spread. Eventually, I demanded to be admitted.
      How have you been doing? I hope you continue to have good doctors to take care of you.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Hi Miriam, my mother had a reaction like you’ve described post one of her hip replacement operations. She had a trial blood thinner and it reacted with another of her medications. She came out in horrible itching hives. It was most unpleasant and scary.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I usually don’t read the descriptions about the drugs. I do now just to be cautious.
        I wasn’t allergic to dye for the first 7 years of doing CT scanning. Then by the 8th year, I was itchy literally from her to toes. I wonder if it was when I started a new medication.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I’m sorry you went though that, Miriam. It really seems to be random luck as to how good or ineffective/dangerous a doctor is, sad to say. I started new meds on Tuesday night, and they’re affecting my body in just about every way. I’m still waiting to see if they help with the muscle spasms. Thanks for asking! Sending hugs 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I have neuropathy after chemo. I’ve tried many meds. The one I’m talking has dude effects but less than the others.
        Sorry to hear your new meds cause discomfort, Harmony! It seems your body doesn’t like it or it takes a while to adjust. I hope your doctor will find a solution for you soon. Have a restful weekend! 😍🙏

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Enjoyed the review Robbie and also like what Miriam shared to open the post – sounds like she really put thought and cate into this book (which I look forward to reading as soon as things quiet down for me with my schedule)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. So glad to see you, my long time friend! I didn’t have the book in mind until 2016, Yvette. My husband has ten of thousands of emails and never delete them. I have at least 50 folders for MSN and 30 for Gmail. I organize my emails and delete some every day. When I thought of writing about my experience, some records are in the folders.

      I appreciate very much your support and interest in reading my memoir. I found out during this your that many people or their family members have or had cancer. Cancer is awful and I wish it doesn’t happen to anyone.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh Miriam – I also found out through your memoir book shares that many people have indeed been impacted by cancer (and Robbie’s son’s story was one I read today)
        – and the BIG C shows no respect for person –
        Have a nice day and I’ll be in touch again when I get the memoir and read ….

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Even though life is not linear and Miriam’s cancer journey is chaotic, I like the intentional way she organized her thoughts to write this wonderful book. I’ve seen this book showcased on other blogs, and I appreciate your highlighting it here too, Robbie!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Reblogged this on The Showers of Blessings and commented:
    I’m over at Robbie Cheadle’s blog for Day 5 of The Winding Road launch tour. I talk about how I wrote my memoir. Please head over to join me for the discussion.
    Robbie has a new children’s book Haunted Halloween Holidays releasing soon. You can find out more about this delicious book while you’re there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Chelsea! I think there wasn’t an effective way to treat melanoma in the internal organ when I had it. The experimental treatment was dreadful but saved me. Fourteen years later, I could find medical websites supporting such a disease.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s a good point, Pete! I went to writing conferences and took classes about writing memoirs. What I learned was to step back from the situation for a while before writing about it. Some people went through abusive relationships and wanted to write about the turmoil they went through. They may express too much anger.

      Even though I took the readers through my immediate happenings and my emotions, I tried to balance the positive and negative experiences. I couldn’t read a book with only negative experiences. Taking a break and looking back helped me keep this balance.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi Robbie. We have sold house but not entirely as still haven’t got residency. Lots to do and think about. Seems endless at the moment… Currently visiting family in Edinburgh, then off to Portugal soon. Yes it must be a great book. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to see you, Marje! We’re moving also, to be close to my daughter and the grandkids. We withdrew an offer from a house and now look for another one. There is so much to do to pack and get our house ready to sell.
      Good luck with your moving and enjoy your vacation!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Wonderful post, Robbie. Cancer has touched my life many times and unfortunately, all ended in death. I definitely want to read this book, I know there is hope in it. I also enjoyed reading about Miriam’s process to write the story. It always interests me to see an author’s process and hers was very different from any others I have read. Great share.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. HI Carla, this is a very emotional and powerful read. Cancer has impacted my family too. Mom and Terence are both survivors and Michael’s tumour was benign. My aunt died of breast cancer and my father’s uncle died of stomach cancer.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you, Carla! I’m grateful to have survived cancer. My brother-in-law died of liver cancer at age 51. My son-in-law’s mom died of brain cancer very young. My ex died of brain cancer two years ago.
      I don’t take life for granted. As hectic as it is, we want to move close to the grandkids. Thank you for reading my memoir, Carla!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I know exactly how it feels, Robbie. I read one cancer memoir but couldn’t finish it for the same reason. My journey was full of positive happenings that kept me going. I wanted to make sure felt the encouragement I experienced along the way and my joy at the happy ending.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Nice to see you as part of Miriam’s book tour Robbie. You’ve written a lovely review for Miriam’s important book. I will be reading it soon. Congrats again to Miriam for being able to write this book. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I learned a lot by reading your memoir, Debby. I felt like sitting with you at a coffee table to listen to your story. I wanted the readers to feel I tell them my personal story without holding back. Thank you for your support in reading my memoir, Debby. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m pleased your Mum is okay now, and Miriam too. I lost one sister to breast cancer when she was 36. Another sister had it a few years ago when she was 70. She’s still recovering. There’s nothing fun about it.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I relied a lot on my records to write this memoir, Norah! I tried not to think about that and move on. I read and reviewed the records, again and again, to relive those moments and took the readers through what happened. I’m glad you were curious about the details.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am pleased to hear that you kept all those records and emails, Miriam. Of course you would have a record of all the appointments and treatments, but I’m impressed by your detail. People often speak of ‘chemo’ brain, and I thought it might be difficult to recall and write with such certainty through that. I’m pleased you had the courage to go with the experimental treatment. I often think I’d try whatever is offered, but who knows how easy that decision would be when the time comes.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I had chemo brain, Norah. My brain didn’t work for the first few days of each cycle of treatment. Toward the end of the three weeks rest, I felt better to email and answered emails. When I read those emails there were many typos. At least I could make some sense out of them. My family in Hong Kong and Mercy in Oregon wanted to know how I was doing. That motivated me to keep up with the emails.
        Yes, little chance of survival was better than none.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. Your review is so powerful, Robbie. There aren’t many people who haven’t been touched by cancer in one way or another, and Miriam’s book is highly relatable. Her chronicle of her journey is both devastating and inspiring. And I enjoy learning about what goes into writing a memoir, not something I could do. Thanks for hosting and huge congrats to Miriam. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t hear too much about cancer 10 or 20 years ago. Perhaps they died before getting the public’s attention. Lynton has two family members who had cancer and survived. Three in my extended family didn’t survive. I’m grateful to be here. ❤
      Not everyone writes memoirs the way I did, Diana. But I remember Debby Gies said she wrote her journals and includes many details in her memoirs. Your expertise is in fantasy, Diana.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I recycled the binder when I finished the final draft of my memoir, Teri. I have access to all the medical records on my portal, but it only goes back to the year when the computerized records started. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. A compelling review, Robbie, for a book that sounds incredibly moving and honest. Thanks to Miriam for writing this memoir about her experience with cancer. We all know somebody who has suffered the illness and most of us are bound to be in direct contact with it or live with somebody who is struck by it, so this book will be a great resource to many people. Sharing their process as well tells us a lot about how determined and driven she is to tell her story and help others who are facing a similar situation.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s