The Fault in Our Stars- Current and Former Professionally Sick People: What did you think?

CatherineCatherine Posts: 275 ✭✭✭
Hi all,
Assuming there are at least some NFs out there who have a special place for TFiOS because you have/had a serious illness.

I'm a survivor of a bone marrow transplant for aplastic anemia (my bone marrow, which makes all blood cells, decided to take a more or less permanent vacation on my when I was 4, so I had to get what was left of it killed off and replaced)

There were so many things in TFiOS that I connected to. From the list of good nurse qualities, to how much of an expert Hazel's mom was, some of the stuff felt like John had taken it out of my actual life.

I'm curious to hear what did/didn't resonate for others, and just what you thought in general!


  • niclemylerniclemyler Posts: 1
    Being a current professionally sick person I felt very much the same! John really did his research, every aspect hit home.
  • jellbelljellbell Posts: 3
    My brother is and will always be a professional sick person. (he has a rare disease that makes his rib cage not grow and he has to have surgury all the time..) and my mom, my brother and I all read the book. My brother loved how Hazel named her oxygen and her story about her BiPAP as a dragon sleeping by her. 
  • KinnyKinny Hula Paradise Posts: 233 ✭✭
    I have been battling anorexia & bulimia for 2 years and I felt identified with the way Hazel's parents feel and how Hazel thinks she's like a grenade... I also felt connected with the nurses. When I started recovering and gaining weight, they were so sweet and kind to me.
  • KatOxymoronicKatOxymoronic Calgary, AB, CanadaPosts: 23
    I know diabetes (type 1) is nothing compared to cancer or almost any other sicknesses listed here but I do feel that John has a firm grasp on both the thoughts of those with a debilitating disease and the hospital life. 

    When I was diagnosed 4 years ago I became much like Hazel at the beginning of the novel. I rarely left the house and spent most of my time in bed. Life seemed quite pointless to be honest. I mean, whats the point in living if you cant do it on your own terms. It took me years of therapy to genuinely smile again and though I personally never met someone through therapy I feel as if, like Hazel, I see a brighter future. 

    Though not all of my doctors and nurses were all sugar and sweetness they were honest and comforting. Being told that now and for the rest of your life you are going to have to use syringes multiple times a day was one of the scariest moments of my life. Having an extreme fear of needles prior to that didn't help either. But with help from all of the nurses, dieticians, endocrinologists, therapists, and even the hospital janitors I came to understand that my disease didn't define me nor was it the end of my life. Without sugar coating a single thing they made me braver and I think that they did that for Hazel too. 

    Sorry about the length,
  • cookiefiendcookiefiend Posts: 114 ✭✭✭
    I'm a sibling, not a Professional Sick Person myself, but I was struck with how much John seemed to capital G Get It. Reading the book was like hanging out for a few hours with people who really, deeply knew what it was like. I'll have to figure out if I make my bro read it or not. Are there any other nerdfighters out there doing the prognosis dance where it's so ambiguous that you agressively make long term plans, but simultaneously know exactly what you'll say at the funeral at the same time? And no one mentions it ever for fear of jynxing it? That's the stage we're in as a family right now. Gifting TFioS further might mess too much with our delicate balance, but at least for me, I drew a lot of comfort and insight from it.
    In masks outrageous and austere the years go by in single file; but none has merited my fear, and none has quite escaped my smile.
  • cookiefiendcookiefiend Posts: 114 ✭✭✭
    I want to un-bury this thread and see if any new Nerdfighters out there are looking for a place to discuss their careers as Professionally Sick People!

    PS awesome update on my brother he's on a waiting list for a service dog! We're so excited!
    In masks outrageous and austere the years go by in single file; but none has merited my fear, and none has quite escaped my smile.
  • heyitspaige1127heyitspaige1127 AlabamaPosts: 10
    I don't exactly know what you consider to be a Professional Sick Person, but I have both Bipolar Disorder and Gastropareisis which I will be living with the rest of my life if that counts.
    When it rains, look for rainbows; when it's dark, look for stars.
  • CatherineCatherine Posts: 275 ✭✭✭
    @heyitspaige1127 I mean I don't think I'm the arbiter of who is a "Professional Sick Person", it should be up to you, but I would count that. What'd you think of TFiOS?
  • nucglowormnucgloworm New Jersey, USAPosts: 8

    I don't consider myself professionally sick, but my life partner is. She has Trigeminal Neuralgia, which by itself would not put her in a 'professionally sick' status, but in the treatment of her disease, she had a procedure go bad which has now left her in a 'professionally sick' status.

    I had only an iota of an idea of what the book may be about. Knowing that John Green wrote it, I wanted to see the movie, but after watching a vlogbrothers episode in which John recommended reading the book first, I decided to attempt reading the book first.

    When I read ANY book, it takes me at minimum a week to get through it. I absorb a chapter or two and put it down to do something else. I also do not read for enjoyment very often, so it usually has to be a fairly decent book to keep my attention, for me to get through it in the week+ it takes me.

    I downloaded the book last night, read a couple chapters before bed, woke up and finished the book during the day, prying myself away from the book at necessary times to ensure that I maintained the minimum requirements for my life and the lives of those around me. I then watched the extended version of the movie.

    Needless to say, this story resonated with me as a care giver and personally witnessing the strengths and weaknesses of the person in which I love and care.

    Emergency rooms, ICUs, general distaste for being near a hospital, the varying qualities of hospital staff, the pain scale... all of this really hit home.

    This book definitely hit home for me and I greatly appreciate John's efforts in making this as accurate an experience as he possibly could. Great job!

  • mutantninjalapenomutantninjalapeno Posts: 110 ✭✭
    I have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which I think qualifies me as a "Professionally Sick Person," and I think John really nailed it. From Hazel's attitude about her disability to others' treatment of her, it all felt realistic. That's what I loved about this book. The only thing I really couldn't relate to was the romance aspect, which is why I don't consider this to be my favorite book of John's, but I really have to commend him for how much he "got" the whole disability thing. It was a relief that he didn't sugar coat anything and seemed to understand living with a disability.
  • turdl38turdl38 Posts: 976 ✭✭✭✭
    I loved the realism of it.  John's one of very, very few people who seems to have even 1/10 a clue what having cancer feels like without having had it himself and without romanticizing the illness aspect.  He made Hazel and Gus very real in their teenagerness (it's a word now) but also in their cancer.  It was like Gus said in not being totally defined by their illness, which, having been "broken" over half my life now, is easier said than done and I love how he pointed that out in Hazel in a way.
    Difficult does not mean impossible.  Very little is impossible if you want it badly enough.
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