Elisabeth Sophia on her mother's powerful memoir and journey with cancer

April 22nd, 2021

By Elisabeth Sophia



Life Interrupted is a memoir, written by my mum, Karina Stell, who passed away from Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in September, 2018.

Karina was the strongest person I have ever known. She fought three different cancers over nine years, had multiple relapses, many surgeries, multiple, brutal chemotherapy regimes, a stem cell transplant and suffered a stroke and when she was told that after all of this, and less than eighteen months after going into ‘remission’, she was once again Stage 4 with only a few months to live, she held those around her as they crumbled in grief, opened her heart and her home to everyone who loved her so deeply, and walked the remainder of her journey with bravery, faith and with a peace and acceptance that I will never truly understand.
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Karina cared about others, and throughout these years of fighting for her life, she began her degree in Psychology and worked as a mindfulness therapist, to help others who were struggling.

In line with this, she began writing her memoir, ‘Life Interrupted’ whilst in her first remission in 2015. It is a story of Karina’s journey with cancer, but it is also one of her evolution from a cancer patient who felt like an invisible number at the mercy of other people’s choices to an empowered advocate for herself. 

She wrote this book for everyone who would find themselves on a similar journey, for their loved ones, and for those who work in the haematology/oncology field who must never forget the importance of compassion and humanity in their care. Her greatest desire was to help humanise cancer treatment for patients, so that they would always be treated and respected as the human beings they are rather than the disease and numbers that so often define them.

Karina passed away before she could finish her psychology degree, but through palliation at home, up until two weeks before she passed away, she persisted in completing her book so that she could share her journey with others in the hope that they might find comfort, compassion and courage in a journey only those who tread the path can ever truly know.


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Tags: indie author, memoir

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