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Rachel-K
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The Art of Racing in the Rain: Early Chapters, 1 - 19

[ Edited ]
Please use this thread to post your comments and responses to the first chapters of The Art of Racing. These chapters end at a frightening time for Denny's family, but also with a wonderful comic touch from Enzo, the dog who is alway learning how to be a better human!
 
Have you ever suspected your own dog capable of this sort of wisdom?


Message Edited by rkubie on 06-30-2008 12:38 AM
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GIMI
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Early Chapters, 1 - 19

Dogs and wisdom.  Hmmm - who is really the smarter species here?  Think about one day in YOUR life and compare it to one day in your DOGS life.  Who feeds who?  And who picks up the poop? lol
Beauty is before me and behind me.
Above me and below me hovers the beautiful.
I am surrounded by it, I am immersed in it.
In my youth I am aware of it, and, in old age,
I shall walk quietly the beautiful trail.
In beauty, it is begun,
In beauty, it is ended.
I walk in beauty.
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Wrighty
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Early Chapters, 1 - 19

I finished the book some time ago so I want to be very careful not to post any spoilers. I marked so many pages that I found interesting or wanted to make a comment about. There are some great quotes. One of them was from Enzo on page 43. He and Denny were watching a racing tape and talking. Enzo comments on what Denny had just taught him, a simple concept about destiny.
That which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves.
That's something that we've heard before but should probably be reminded of more often. I loved how Enzo picked up on the importance of it so easily. People could take lessons from him. :smileyhappy:
 
These early chapters set up the story for us and introduce most of the characters. I found I had strong feelings about all of them, one way or another. It was very frustrating as well to read about the hardships that have been brought to the family. There were times I wanted to smack somebody.
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Early Chapters, 1 - 19



Wrighty wrote:
I finished the book some time ago so I want to be very careful not to post any spoilers. I marked so many pages that I found interesting or wanted to make a comment about. There are some great quotes. One of them was from Enzo on page 43. He and Denny were watching a racing tape and talking. Enzo comments on what Denny had just taught him, a simple concept about destiny.
That which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves.
That's something that we've heard before but should probably be reminded of more often. I loved how Enzo picked up on the importance of it so easily. People could take lessons from him. :smileyhappy:
 
These early chapters set up the story for us and introduce most of the characters. I found I had strong feelings about all of them, one way or another. It was very frustrating as well to read about the hardships that have been brought to the family. There were times I wanted to smack somebody.



I love the first chapter of this book. Some people do not like books that start out at the end. But I do, it gives you the feel of the novel. It braces you for the inevible that will show its fury at the end. A good author makes this kind of first chapter so interesting, a reader has to follow the novel engrossing in every single word.And I did!  
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Early Chapters, 1 - 19

Ha!



GIMI wrote:
Dogs and wisdom.  Hmmm - who is really the smarter species here?  Think about one day in YOUR life and compare it to one day in your DOGS life.  Who feeds who?  And who picks up the poop? lol




Learn more about The Art of Racing in the Rain.

Discover all Garth Stein titles.


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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Early Chapters, 1 - 19


Wrighty wrote:
I finished the book some time ago so I want to be very careful not to post any spoilers. I marked so many pages that I found interesting or wanted to make a comment about. There are some great quotes. One of them was from Enzo on page 43. He and Denny were watching a racing tape and talking. Enzo comments on what Denny had just taught him, a simple concept about destiny.
That which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves.
That's something that we've heard before but should probably be reminded of more often. I loved how Enzo picked up on the importance of it so easily. People could take lessons from him. :smileyhappy:
 
These early chapters set up the story for us and introduce most of the characters. I found I had strong feelings about all of them, one way or another. It was very frustrating as well to read about the hardships that have been brought to the family. There were times I wanted to smack somebody.





I feel your pain! But this is a book of high stakes, just as racing is a sport with high stakes. Denny needed to be confronted with challenges and choices that would truly prove his determination.

As for the destiny thing, you know, it's really like that on the race track. In club racing, the rule is you "lick your own wounds," meaning if there's damage to your car, you pay for it no matter who caused it. Because you put yourself out there. You have to take full responsibility for your fate, and blaming someone else is pointless. Whether someone crashes you out of a race or you crash yourself out of a race, the only fact that matters is that you are out of the race. How it happened is for the TV commentators to worry about!

G


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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Early Chapters, 1 - 19



I love the first chapter of this book. Some people do not like books that start out at the end. But I do, it gives you the feel of the novel. It braces you for the inevible that will show its fury at the end. A good author makes this kind of first chapter so interesting, a reader has to follow the novel engrossing in every single word.And I did!  




Kiakar,

A writer teacher once told me that a good story must be surprising but inevitable. Since then, when I read a good book or see a good movie, I look for clues, and usually I can find strong indications in the first chapter of how the story will end. In other words, we usually know where a story is going (except mysteries and suspense and genre that try to keep us from knowing), and our fun is in seeing how the writer takes us there.

Another reason I started as I did was, I think, to reflect on the idea of our love for our pets. We all know we have longer life spans than our pets. We know how it's going to end. Yet we still get involved with them emotionally, and we do so willingly. Because the joy of unconditional love is worth the bittersweet, inevitable conclusion.

G


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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Early Chapters, 1 - 19

Addressing Enzo's wisdom, it is hard to believe that he learned all he has become from TV alone. I wish it were so that we would all be made so self aware by hours before the the blinking screen! I see his wisdom as the ability to examine his role in the world around him and to participate in the lives of his family without saying a word. He is devoted friend, protector, and a member of the family, all without a word. Perhaps this is why we accept the dog as narrator. To be able to speak is to insert oneself, into the drama and to be part of it. Perhaps the appeal of Enzo, a dog, is that we are amazed by the degree of participation a soul can have without the words we prize so much.
He feels that speech prevents his full engagement, but in return he has developed the ability to really listen. By that I mean, not just to words but to the emotional context that the words occur in. We spend much of our time in conversation in thinking of what we will say instead of listening. Enzo is a listener and this skill makes him the confidant of his family. To develop that level of trust, one must forgo  the ego of speech, and just listen. Words, although Enzo craves them, are the source of misunderstanding. It is something I wish he had appreciated as part of his dogness.
The tone of the first chapters that is carried forward is set by Enzo's discovery of Eve's tumor. It is his heavy burden to carry knowledge that he can not convey. His awareness of the tumor will affect all the characters in the story in some fashion. It is here where I see Enzo trapped by his body, but as a true hero, he does not withdrawal.
 
Michael

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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Early Chapters, 1 - 19

I do think dogs can sense emotions better than their human counterparts at times.  My dog knows when I need cheering up and he'll put his had on my lap and wait to be petted.  He does seem to prefer CMT when watching TV and a long ago taped Breed All About It which featured the English Mastiff.  We also from time to time watch The Secret Garden, Francis Coppola's production because of the, yes you guessed it, the mastiffs by the hearth scene.  He will pose at a drop of a hat when any camera is around.  He also always knows when I have a doggie bag from the top steakhouse in Philly and my price to re-enter my home is immediate surrender of the bag.   
 
 


rkubie wrote:
Please use this thread to post your comments and responses to the first chapters of The Art of Racing. These chapters end at a frightening time for Denny's family, but also with a wonderful comic touch from Enzo, the dog who is alway learning how to be a better human!
 
Have you ever suspected your own dog capable of this sort of wisdom?


Message Edited by rkubie on 06-30-2008 12:38 AM


bmbrennan
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Early Chapters, 1 - 19

[ Edited ]
One of the issues for me that the early chapters bring up is Eve's illness and her response to it. It is difficult for me to understand why she didn't seek help earlier, and I am interested in any insight other readers may offer.
Let me offer some theories.
First I picture Eve as a person who believes that her life comes from the "earth". By that I mean she is connected to the physical world as an native American is. Her comment that "the fields are fertile" before love making, suggests that she believes that she is part of the life force. This feeling of being part of the whole is her strength against that would do her harm. She believes, I think, she can control her health by her connection to the whole.
A second theory is that of the medical model, simply she is in denial. Her fear of the disease prevents her from action. While attractive I do not fully ascribe this to Eve. She seems to self aware to deny the truth her body feels.
My third theory, is that Eve represents a failure of the medical model in that, for whatever the reason, she does not believe in it, and has rejected it because it is not valid for her belief system. It is easy to assume that had she sought medical help, her tumor would have been discovered, treated and all would have been fine. I suspect that  Eve believes, that the doctor would not have not listened to her concerns,  attempted to get her out of the office with a prescription treating only the symptoms, or had the doctor  been listening, arrived at the wrong diagnosis and given the wrong treatment. It is this loss of faith in the medical model that I think explains why she delayed seeking help.
Your thoughts are welcome and I seek them.
 
 


Message Edited by brontyman on 07-05-2008 05:11 PM
Michael

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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Early Chapters, 1 - 19


brontyman wrote:
One of the issues for me that the early chapters bring up is Eve's illness and her response to it. It is difficult for me to understand why she didn't seek help earlier, and I am interested in any insight other readers may offer.
Let me offer some theories.
First I picture Eve as a person who believes that her life comes from the "earth". By that I mean she is connected to the physical world as an native American is. Her comment that "the fields are fertile" before love making, suggests that she believes that she is part of the life force. This feeling of being part of the whole is her strength against that would do her harm. She believes, I think, she can control her health by her connection to the whole.
A second theory is that of the medical model, simply she is in denial. Her fear of the disease prevents her from action. While attractive I do not fully ascribe this to Eve. She seems to self aware to deny the truth her body feels.
My third theory, is that Eve represents a failure of the medical model in that, for whatever the reason, she does not believe in it, and has rejected it because it is not valid for her belief system. It is easy to assume that had she sought medical help, her tumor would have been discovered, treated and all would have been fine. I suspect that Eve believes, that the doctor would not have not listened to her concerns, attempted to get her out of the office with a prescription treating only the symptoms, or had the doctor been listening, arrived at the wrong diagnosis and given the wrong treatment. It is this loss of faith in the medical model that I think explains why she delayed seeking help.
Your thoughts are welcome and I seek them.


Message Edited by brontyman on 07-05-2008 05:11 PM


I can't say I particularly agree with any of these. I really don't think its a native american think about being connected to the earth at all. I don't see her this way at all. The second one, well she may be a self aware person, but to take the stance she has doesn't mean she is denying what she feels, quite the contrary, I think she knows something bad is wrong and is not denying it at all to herself, or for that matter to Enzo. She talks to him about it and about her fears. I also dont think she is rejecting the medical profession out of a belief system of her own.

This is what I think is going on with Eve. She knows something is wrong, terribly wrong and she is afraid. See, sometimes when you know something is very wrong inside you, you want to stay away from those, like doctors, who will confirm it, who will say it out loud. You can be so afraid of what is happening that you feel as long as you don't say it out loud, it isn't happening. I think this is why she only feels safe telling Enzo. Whether something happened to her in the past that scares her off doctors or hospitals, I don't know but I don't think it matters too much either at this point. I think she is just a frightened woman who doesn't want whatever is happening to become "real" and feels that if she goes to the doctor's, they will "manifest" her future for her. And unfortunately, everyone automatically "manifests" her future for her eventually and maybe she is not a strong enough person, at least about herself, to disagree or fight it. Maybe she knew that about herself all along. That once someone made this scary, obviously bad thing "real" for her, she would no longer have control because just maybe Eve has not learned the art of racing in the rain quite as well as Denny. Her folks certainly haven't. They want to overpower the spin out and manhandle the situation. Talk about a wreck waiting to happen!
Vivian
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Early Chapters, 1 - 19

Thanks for the reply...
I to don't think she has the "grounded in the earth" theory, but don't you think it interesting her comment, "the fields are fertile" before making love? It appears twice, and even Denny is supposed to give a response, so it made me think that it is some how meaningful to her.
As for the being aware and afraid, I agree with you totally, but to do nothing for screaming pain is to be self destructive. Your point is seen when she declines care for her injured hand, but to adopt that mode of non action  the severity of her symptoms, makes me think there is a deeper reason then simply fear. Why isn't there hope that she can be helped? Why is the fear so great as to deprive her of hope?
 Also do you feel that if it is fear that is the cause of her inability to deal with the truth of her condition, is she ultimately responsible for the outcome? That may be true, but that is the reason why I'm having a hard time understanding the motivation.
Thanks for your comments!
Michael

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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Early Chapters, 1 - 19

We can make ourselves believe anything we wish, if the alternative is our worse fear(s) confirmed.  What can be worse for Eve than dying young and leaving behind a husband and daughter she loves more than anything.  Eve knows what she is experiencing isn't normal ( the mood swings, the fatigue, the bad breath, the excruciating headaches) but she has convinced herself that it too shall pass.  I have taken care of patients (I'm an RN) where they have suffered massive coronaries with lab values and EKG's verifying the truth, but because of their respective ages one was 17 and one was 36, they themselves(both were males)  couldn't accept the diagnosis.  The 17 year old had a football scholarship to Penn State and thought he had overlifted weights not that he had a heart attack.  The 36 year old didn't think his chest pain was chest pain because there was no elephant on his chest (can be a common misconception) and he didn't wake up on a ventilator,  he thought is chest pain was heartburn. 
 
I at one time worked for a boss who when walking down the street would hug a tree claiming she got her strength from the earth.  We used to flip coins to see who would go on the daily stroll.  Many people feel that they can change physical conditions with diet changes.  At present diet is being closely looked at as a possible cure for autism.  John Nash mathematically brought himself back from the brink with
math formulas.  So you can see where Eve may think that a few changes here and there may change her affect.  Remember these symptoms do not occur with any pattern to them, they are random and she hid them not wanting to worry anyone.  I fear that Eve didn't want to let anybody down by being less than perfect and a serious illness would be a fatal flaw which she could not recover from. Her family were overbearing individuals who knew what was best and what argument could she present to them being sick meant she not only failed to live up to their expectations but would have  had to relinquish what little independence she may have gained from her marriage to Denny.  Let me just say here that brain tumors are not normal and rarely are curable in adults, children yes adults no.  Look to the recent diagnosis of Ted Kennedy who until the seizure lived with an undetected tumor. 

brontyman wrote:
One of the issues for me that the early chapters bring up is Eve's illness and her response to it. It is difficult for me to understand why she didn't seek help earlier, and I am interested in any insight other readers may offer.
Let me offer some theories.
First I picture Eve as a person who believes that her life comes from the "earth". By that I mean she is connected to the physical world as an native American is. Her comment that "the fields are fertile" before love making, suggests that she believes that she is part of the life force. This feeling of being part of the whole is her strength against that would do her harm. She believes, I think, she can control her health by her connection to the whole.
A second theory is that of the medical model, simply she is in denial. Her fear of the disease prevents her from action. While attractive I do not fully ascribe this to Eve. She seems to self aware to deny the truth her body feels.
My third theory, is that Eve represents a failure of the medical model in that, for whatever the reason, she does not believe in it, and has rejected it because it is not valid for her belief system. It is easy to assume that had she sought medical help, her tumor would have been discovered, treated and all would have been fine. I suspect that  Eve believes, that the doctor would not have not listened to her concerns,  attempted to get her out of the office with a prescription treating only the symptoms, or had the doctor  been listening, arrived at the wrong diagnosis and given the wrong treatment. It is this loss of faith in the medical model that I think explains why she delayed seeking help.
Your thoughts are welcome and I seek them.
 
 


Message Edited by brontyman on 07-05-2008 05:11 PM


bmbrennan
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Early Chapters, 1 - 19


brontyman wrote:
Thanks for the reply...
I to don't think she has the "grounded in the earth" theory, but don't you think it interesting her comment, "the fields are fertile" before making love? It appears twice, and even Denny is supposed to give a response, so it made me think that it is some how meaningful to her.
As for the being aware and afraid, I agree with you totally, but to do nothing for screaming pain is to be self destructive. Your point is seen when she declines care for her injured hand, but to adopt that mode of non action the severity of her symptoms, makes me think there is a deeper reason then simply fear. Why isn't there hope that she can be helped? Why is the fear so great as to deprive her of hope?
Also do you feel that if it is fear that is the cause of her inability to deal with the truth of her condition, is she ultimately responsible for the outcome? That may be true, but that is the reason why I'm having a hard time understanding the motivation.
Thanks for your comments!



Why isn't there hope that she can be helped? Why is the fear so great as to deprive her of hope?
Like I said, I don't think Eve, or her parents know how to race in the rain,they don't know how to "manifest" any outcome but the worst and she is not ready to face that. For example, my older sister was not well, she went in for her yearly woman's exam and they found tumors in her the size of oranges! She was so afraid they would be cancerous, she would not go back to have them removed and find out. She waited 2 years until she couldnt stand the pain. Then when she had surgery, by this time it was cancerous,and had spread into her uterous, not just cervix. She had to have a total hysterectomy and chemo and radiation. She has never been the same since. And they said, had she have had the surgery when they first told her,they absolutely believe it would have been precancerous, they could have got them all in the cervix and been ok. Her fear create a self-fulfilling prophecy, so I guess you could say, in that way, she did manifest her own future. Years later, I started having some problems, I went and was checked out and altho I had no tumors the tests were not completely clean, so we started checking me every couple of months, checking it, then they tried a cryo, then another procedure, all the time the numbers getting worse, then after it reached a point in the second year and they did a "cone" to take out what seemed to be the affected tissue, when they biopsied it, it was cancer. The doctor called me with the results. I said what do we need to do? She said we need to get up back in here for surgery and catch it now. I said, give me one week, to work of the anesthesia from this surgery and then have it scheduled. She said yes, I was going to suggest to do it in a week. We did, I was very frightened but I reacted differently because this to me was being in control of the situation, not letting the situation control me. We did the surgery and because I had stayed on it for those two years, we caught it so early, they were able to get all the cancer while it was in my cervix. I had a hysterectomy, had to, but I was well in a week with no chemo or radiation. Same situation, two people from same family background, two totally different approaches and outcome.

Fear isnt something we can always just make go away, just as Denny said about racing and seeing that you are going to go off the track and can't stop it. It's not about how you stop it, its about manifesting ,visualizing what you need to do a step ahead, or after that. Some things you have to go through, will you yank the wheel to try to avoid it, like Eve, will you overcompensate and make it worse, crashing and maybe taking others with you as I think her parents did, or will you go with it,and think about what to do when the wheel is yours again to control if you can or chose to?
********possible later book spoiler warning********
Does doing nothing make her responsible for the outcome? Hard to say, somethings we can not change the outcome of at all, but that is part of life. We may not be able to chose when or how we die or how long we live by what we do BUT, we can decide how we are going to live each day of our life. We are on a daily journey, its an adventure, its also a kind of school for the next life. Its about being in the here and now, tomorrow will have its own time. That is not to say don't do things to protect your future but only, do not set your mind on its end. Even tho Eve feared greatly what was happening to her and making it real by talking about it, or going to a doctor, did she cause the outcome? Who can say, but she was trying to hang on to her present as best she could, it just wasnt probably the wisest way to do it. I think Denny knew how hard she was trying to hang on to the present, to live in the present too, and so even tho he knew she needed help, thats why he didnt force her to go. The sadder part is that once knowing what she was facing, could things have been different then? I think so, her parent did nothing but manifest her future and convince her that it was soon that this is how it was to be that this is what she should do and she gave into that manifested end and how it would be, in their house, away from who she loved, away from home, tearing the family apart. Denny gave in for too long. Enzo even knew she needed to be home and so did their daughter. The time they had, who knows, it could have been lengthened and maybe by a lot, it would have been as a family, it would have been so very different for them all, but they turned the car over to her parents. By the time Denny figured out how to correct it, it was too late.

If you need motivation, to me, her motivation was to just hang on to what she had as long as she could, maybe even with the hope that if they didnt name it, it would go away. Fear is a great motivator, trust me I know. I probably said way too much about this on this first thread, so I hope I put a spoiler warning in the right place for anyone reading this who hasnt gotten to the whole thing yet. I do not want to spoil anything for anyone, its a great book. But it was hard to explain all that I was thinking on this idea without going further into the book. Michael, if we talk more about the final outcome of all this, we should probably put it on one of the later threads from here on out, like the end of book thread or something, because I think we are talking about more than was in chapters 1-19 and we really have to be careful of writing spoilers for those who are posting as they read along. I dont even know how far you are into it really but sounds like you read it all.

OH and by the way,you don't have to be native american to use a phrase like "the fields are fertile" LOL. everyone has their own little phrase for "plowing the fields" hehe :smileywink:. Where did it say she was Native American anyway??? Did I miss that?
Vivian
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brontyman
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Early Chapters, 1 - 19

Thanks for the comments. I am new to this format so I will try to be careful about spoilers in the future.
I think you're right about motivation, there really does not have to be any, but it is been my experience that pain will usually move a person from fear of disease, to fear of the pain and she seemed to suffer greatly.
Oh and I did not mean to imply that she was native American, I was just reaching for something I could understand her with.
 
Michael

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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Early Chapters, 1 - 19



brontyman wrote:
.
My third theory, is that Eve represents a failure of the medical model in that, for whatever the reason, she does not believe in it, and has rejected it because it is not valid for her belief system. It is easy to assume that had she sought medical help, her tumor would have been discovered, treated and all would have been fine. I suspect that  Eve believes, that the doctor would not have not listened to her concerns,  attempted to get her out of the office with a prescription treating only the symptoms, or had the doctor  been listening, arrived at the wrong diagnosis and given the wrong treatment. It is this loss of faith in the medical model that I think explains why she delayed seeking help.
Your thoughts are welcome and I seek them.
 
Many times when women seek medical help the are written off and given Xanax(an anti-anxiety drug) and sent on their way.  Many doctors are condescending to women and many women are not assertive enought to persist and persue.  Many health studies until recently were not done on women.  Other individuals want to diagnose themselves either by friends or WebMD and do not ask the right questions because they think they know what is wrong with them.  Still others think that medicine can cure anything regardless of how serious their illness may be.  Eve also seems to think an organic diet and healthy practices, she took Yoga probably thinking that the symptoms were stress related and that she needed to relax.
 
 
 
 


Message Edited by brontyman on 07-05-2008 05:11 PM


bmbrennan
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brontyman
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Registered: ‎07-02-2008
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Early Chapters, 1 - 19

Thanks for the comments,
I think you got my point. Doctors often without knowing, turn patients away from the help they seek. Sometimes it is a careless word, some times giving a perfunctory visit, or sometimes simply not caring. Conversely by not participating in the medical model she may have deprived herself of a great,caring competent physician who may have made a difference. In any case, I just wanted to introduce the thought that this barrier, perceived or true, may have been any issue with Eve. No one will ever know, and perhaps Garth can offer insight.
Michael

"I don't need to fight to prove I'm right. I don't need to be forgiven..."
Baba O'Reilly-The Who
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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Early Chapters, 1 - 19



bmbrennan wrote:


brontyman wrote:
.
My third theory, is that Eve represents a failure of the medical model in that, for whatever the reason, she does not believe in it, and has rejected it because it is not valid for her belief system. It is easy to assume that had she sought medical help, her tumor would have been discovered, treated and all would have been fine. I suspect that  Eve believes, that the doctor would not have not listened to her concerns,  attempted to get her out of the office with a prescription treating only the symptoms, or had the doctor  been listening, arrived at the wrong diagnosis and given the wrong treatment. It is this loss of faith in the medical model that I think explains why she delayed seeking help.
Your thoughts are welcome and I seek them.
 
Many times when women seek medical help the are written off and given Xanax(an anti-anxiety drug) and sent on their way.  Many doctors are condescending to women and many women are not assertive enought to persist and persue.  Many health studies until recently were not done on women.  Other individuals want to diagnose themselves either by friends or WebMD and do not ask the right questions because they think they know what is wrong with them.  Still others think that medicine can cure anything regardless of how serious their illness may be.  Eve also seems to think an organic diet and healthy practices, she took Yoga probably thinking that the symptoms were stress related and that she needed to relax.
 
 
 
 


Message Edited by brontyman on 07-05-2008 05:11 PM




I have heard horror stories all my grown up years about doctors telling their patients they were A OK and its all in their head and all that. But I never knew it would all come back to haunt me. My sister went to the dr. a year and a half before she was diagnoised with liver and lung cancer. Her family physician said she had a dislocated disc in her back , and that was what was causing the pain. She did no blood work which would have shown the liver cancer if nothing else. About 9 months later, Late one night, she was in so much pain her husband drove her to the hospital and they did ex rays and blood tests and found both cancers.  So the horror stories continue. I am glad  Garth wrote this story, maybe people will see that it is not myth, cancer is the most scary thing since dinosairs or whatever.   But I am sure Eve, even if Garth didnt realize he was writing it this way, had heard all the horror stories also, but believe me sometimes you think Hey, if I have it, its gone to far.  I have had those thoughts since my sister passed so I do know how the human mind works. It is the most scary event to me that happens to people. Heart Disease is bad but not as horrible to think of as cancer. And I want to say Garth , you described Eve so perfect expecially at the end. I stayed with my sister a month before she died and up to the day she died. It is a most horrible death to watch. If someway we could convince the public, you do not know, some doctors do not know, but have faith and go have tests done to see if anything can be done.
Inspired Correspondent
Wrighty
Posts: 1,762
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Early Chapters, 1 - 19

[ Edited ]


brontyman wrote:
Thanks for the comments,
I think you got my point. Doctors often without knowing, turn patients away from the help they seek. Sometimes it is a careless word, some times giving a perfunctory visit, or sometimes simply not caring. Conversely by not participating in the medical model she may have deprived herself of a great,caring competent physician who may have made a difference. In any case, I just wanted to introduce the thought that this barrier, perceived or true, may have been any issue with Eve. No one will ever know, and perhaps Garth can offer insight.


I have been away because of family issues, my son graduated and a young family member became unexpectedly ill, but I've been trying to catch up on the conversations here. I've been anxious to chat with everyone!
 
brontyman,
 
You have some very interesting and insightful comments. I also wanted to know more about Eve and her choices. I felt that the biggest factor that contributed to her decision not to seek medical care was fear. She knew there was something terribly wrong but she was scared to have it confirmed. I've had many people in my family, especially the older generations, who refused to go to their doctors when they suspected something wrong. The "C" word was horrible and if you "caught" it, you weren't going to recover. My aunt died from ovarian cancer because she waited many months to have it checked and it cost her her life.
 
There were some important comments made in chapter 12 on pages 62 & 63 about Eve's condition being unpredictable. Her symptoms varied and the days she was ill were never linked together consecutively. She often had much time in between where she felt well. Denny was anxious for her to seek help but she was sure that she would be given medication that would mask the pain not cure it. She felt her doctor would simply invent a condition that would explain away her symptoms. I thought some particular comments Enzo made were extremely telling:
"And there was so much time between episodes. There was so much hope."
That hope and time made it easy for Eve to deny her illness.
 
 

bmbrennan wrote:
Remember these symptoms do not occur with any pattern to them, they are random and she hid them not wanting to worry anyone.  I fear that Eve didn't want to let anybody down by being less than perfect and a serious illness would be a fatal flaw which she could not recover from. Her family were overbearing individuals who knew what was best and what argument could she present to them being sick meant she not only failed to live up to their expectations but would have  had to relinquish what little independence she may have gained from her marriage to Denny.  Let me just say here that brain tumors are not normal and rarely are curable in adults, children yes adults no.  Look to the recent diagnosis of Ted Kennedy who until the seizure lived with an undetected tumor. 


bmbrennan,
 
I can't even imagine what you must see in your line of work. Not only the physical condition of the patients but the emotional responses of them and their families must get overwhelming at times. Do you ever get used to it? You must have to protect yourself to maintain your professionalism but for criticial and terminal patients...it must be very hard.
 
Unfortunately, I know several people that have had or do have brain cancer. A young woman had her tumor successfully treated and removed in her teens several years ago. Another man  in his 40's did not survive his cancer and a young lady may not. Two other people in their 30's who are very close to me are winning thier battle with brain tumors and have had theirs removed and are still undergoing treatment now. Each of these people had different kinds of tumors. I had no idea that there were so many forms of brain cancer. We have received quite an education over the last few years whether we want it or not, but knowing what you're up against and what your options are has made all of the difference.


Message Edited by Wrighty on 07-06-2008 05:30 PM
Author
Garth_Stein
Posts: 139
Registered: ‎06-19-2008
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Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Early Chapters, 1 - 19

First of all, I love you all. This is a wonderful and spirited discussion.

Second, I've been away for a couple of days over the weekend. After traveling so much to promote the book, my family and I went on a quick little vacation.

Third, I'm going to go cook dinner and then re-read, digest, and respond to all that you've said.

Honestly, just sparking a discussion as deep as this is a huge thing for me. I'll give you my thoughts, as well, but my thoughts aren't the definitive word, believe it or not. Writing, like all of the arts, is a dialogue. The reader brings to the work as much as the writer puts into it. So in a sense all of you are right.

But if you want further insight into my intention, I'll be happy to offer it....once the kids are fed and in bed and I have some time....

G


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