From Pulitzer Prize winner Amanda Bennett comes a moving, eye-opening, and beautifully written memoir—a love story of two unusual people, their complex marriage and deep devotion, and finally, Bennett’s quest to save her husband’s life.
When Wall Street Journal reporter Amanda Bennett meets the eccentric, infuriating, yet somehow irresistible Terence Bryan Foley while on assignment in China, the last thing she expects is to marry him. They are so different—classic and bohemian, bow ties and batik, quirky and sensible. But Terence is persistent. “You are going to be somebody,” he tells her. “You’re going to need somebody to take care of you.” Though initially as combative as their courtship, their marriage brings with it stormy passion, deep love and respect, two beloved children, and a life together over two decades. Then comes illness, and the fight to win a longer life for Terence.
The Cost of Hope chronicles the extraordinary measures Amanda and Terence take to preserve not only Terence’s life but also the life of their family. After his death, Bennett uses her skills as a veteran investigative reporter to determine the cost of their mission of hope. What she discovers raises important questions many people face, and vital issues about the intricacies of America’s healthcare system.
Rich in humor, insight, and candor, The Cost of Hope is an unforgettable memoir, an inspiring personal story that sheds light on one of the most important turning points in life.
In this affecting memoir, Bennett, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, narrates a history of marriage and its end, when her husband of 20 years, Terrence Foley, dies at 67 of kidney cancer. They met in post Cultural Revolution China in 1983, where she was on assignment and he was bringing soybeans to the Chinese masses. Foley announced almost immediately that they were going to marry and have kids. Bennett, 12 years his junior, intended to never see him again. And yet, feeling the overpowering loneliness of being a foreigner in a very strange land, the next day, she went on a walk with him, followed by movies and dinners. They infuriated each other, but when he traveled she realized she was even more miserable. Three years later they're stateside and happily married despite the fighting. Their lives are ordinary they have a son, adopt a daughter, change jobs, move multiple times until his cancer in late 2000. Foley has surgery to remove his colon and one of his kidneys, and cheats death twice more over the next seven years as they decide to get on with doing what they love. Foley earns the Ph.D. he started in 1957 and learns Arabic while Bennett becomes the editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, and they watch their children grow up. Although their love affair ends sadly, their story of how to fight for any hope you can get when there seems to be none, provides touching and instructive wisdom for the millions affected by cancer.
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As a kidney cancer patient and a stalker of the listserv group mentioned within this book, I found it to be a wonderful read. Her devotion to her children and the battle to keep Terence alive is admirable. As a member of the medical field for 30 years, I was intrigued by the costs of procedures and medications, and the authors dedication and investigation of her husbands end-of-life care. Hospice is a truly wonderful service and it is unfortunate that families fail to recognize the need and benefits of it until it is almost too late. I had a tough time putting this book down, but it gave me some insight into how to prepare for the future if my cancer recurs. Thank you Amanda, for sharing your story!
Excellent narrative of the struggles of Healthcare
Good story into the trials and tribulations of navigating through the healthcare system.
Are we ever sure we've done enough?
This was a thoughtful and provocative read. No one likes to talk about death or dying. I don't think anyone wants to live through a loved one's demise. But the questions posed in this book by Ms. Bennett are worth thinking and discussing PRIOR to death. Perhaps even worth a discussion with family and friends weighing in.