The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: My Tale of Madness And Recovery by Barbara K. Lipska (5 out of 5)

Barbara K. Lipska works with brains, studying them to try to find causes for suicides, addictions, and the like. She highlights her impressive career as a neuroscientist with alacrity and no small amount of pride. Let’s face it- if you did what she outlines here in painstaking detail, you would wave your own flag righteously. And you would also hope to have a strong stomach. I recommend you not read this while eating. Trust me!

Lipska is a two-time cancer survivor when she begins exhibiting erratic behavior. Her tight-knit loving family, colleagues, and friends are horrified when their loving friend, wife, and mother begins to snap at people, argue incessantly, and insist things are fine. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Barbara begins to forget remedial things, like operating her phone, where she lives, where she works, etc. A mounting list of physical symptoms convince her to get a battery of tests done. The MRI reveals a brain now housing not one, not two, but three different tumors. The prognosis comes back-cancer and it may be fatal this time. Barbara fights with all she has, continuing with her daily exercise routine, and continuing to go to work like normal. They begin treating the tumors with a new clinical trial and immunotherapy, which seems to work for awhile, but her symptoms multiply and the next MRI reveals 18-EIGHTEEN- tumors now in her brain. Her family and friends …not to mention her team of doctors, specialists, and surgeons…are devastated, and her primary tells her she has months to live. There is one more risky procedure to try, and the determined neuroscientist goes with it. To read about everything that she went through? Inspiring doesn’t cover it. You have a bad week, then come home and read this book over two nights, and I daresay you will have your insignificant shit put into perspective. What happened to Barbara is nothing short of a miracle. Her memories, for the most part, miraculously remain intact, and she forges ahead and writes of them daily. While dying. From 18-EIGHTEEN!- tumors in her brain. A book that was compared on the flyleaf to “Brain On Fire”. I had a harder time reading that book; Barbara’s inspired me more. What a courageous lady, and what an excellent memoir! Highly recommended.

This is out April 3, 2018, and brought to us by the fine folks at Houghton Mifflin. I got my copy from Mark, the Fuji rep. Thanks for the advance!

~ by generationgbooks on March 25, 2018.

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