CANCER CENTER NEWS

Book Club at Ridley-Tree Cancer Center

Feb 21, 2020, 12:06 PM by Nicole Young

 

Our Resource Library partners with the Santa Barbara Public Library to bring a monthly Book Club to the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center. The Club is open to cancer patients, cancer survivors, their caregivers and family members. Meetings are on the 2nd Thursday of the month from 5:30 - 6:30 pm in the library. Attendees can set their challenges aside, immerse themselves in the story and discuss the book with readers who have a similar lens. Maureen Maliszewski has attended Book Club since March 2018. She shared with OnCenter why the experience is meaningful for her.

HOW DID YOU FIRST CONNECT WITH RIDLEY-TREE CANCER CENTER?

My daughter was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer two years ago. Our world was shaken. We made a couple short trips back to our home in Colorado to settle things there and basically have made Santa Barbara our home since then.

DESCRIBE YOUR ROLE AS A CARETAKER FOR YOUR DAUGHTER.

Walking with my daughter through this journey has involved lots of research, helping to arrange consultations, attending medical appointments with her as well as helping with my two granddaughters and household work. All of this has been a gift because of the closeness that has grown between me, my husband, my daughter and my grandchildren.

WHY IS THE RIDLEY-TREE CANCER CENTER’S BOOK CLUB SO IMPORTANT IN YOUR LIFE?

Once a month, I go to a place where I have always felt cared for and valued. I look forward to being with people who have also experienced the challenges that cancer brings. It is a time for myself, to be with friends and talk about interesting books and whatever else comes up. Today I ran into a new member of the Book Club and we chatted in the grocery store for nearly an hour. It was the highlight of my day.

HOW IS THE BOOK CLUB A FORM OF SELF-CARE FOR YOU?

Being new to Santa Barbara, the Book Club provides a time for me to be in a comfortable and relaxed place with wonderful people. Those in the group can share as much or little as they like. Sometimes I haven’t gotten around to finishing the book and that’s fine. There is no pressure. In fact, we might end up talking about something totally unrelated. We sip tea, have some snacks and can just be together.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE BOOK SO FAR?

My favorite book so far was Lab Girl by Hope Jahren, which I found uplifting and inspiring. Jace Turner, Community Relations Librarian at the Santa Barbara Public Library and Youngmi An, Ridley-Tree’s Resource Library Manager do a wonderful job facilitating our meetings. Book Club members give them feedback about what we are interested in reading. Jace’s access to and knowledge of literature results in great book selections.

For more information on Ridley-Tree Cancer Center’s Book Club and on upcoming titles, visit our Resource Library, call (805) 879-5648 or email library@ridleytreecc.org