Reviews and Comments

[As in other sections of this website, I’ll be adding reviews and comments regularly. Please re-visit occasionally to stay current with the additional information in “Reviews and Comments.”  Many of the comments/reviews below are from friends and relatives who knew either Irene, me, or both of us. Some are also from readers who did not know either of us. I gained much value from reading the following reviews and comments. I hope you do, too: –Thanks.]

To also see a professional review of my book, however, visit Paula Hrbacek’s article at Examiner.com: http://www.examiner.com/article/cancer-a-nine-year-struggle-by-tom-cooney-jr-tells-the-story-of-care-giving

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(New) “A story of Love between two, Irene and Tom, Souls, (Soul Mates) that boundaries of time and space can not keep apart. Interweaved with a battle of the Demon Cancer of the physical body and the Love that met those challenges.” –G.W.

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(New) I want to let you know that I finished your book (CANCER: A Nine Year Struggle). I know you gave it to me to give to the Family of someone that is dear to me that just found out he has cancer. Well, I started flipping thru it and decided that I had to read it first. It took me on an unimaginable journey of the journey of two people very much in love and who cared deeply for each other and your belief and fight for Quantity and Quality out of life. It brought tears to my eyes and happiness to my heart at the same time. I am so glad your path crossed mine and you gave me the opportunity to understand so much more about this disease. This book holds a mountain of information and on hand experience that could help so many people going thru this. Thank you Tom Cooney Jr., you are an Officer and a Gentleman.” –S.S.

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(New) “So I finished this book…cried my eyes out – not only is it a story about a woman struggling to survive – it is the “Greatest Love Story” I ever encountered. Irene was so lucky to have Tom by her side…..I have it on Nook if anyone wants to borrow – or better yet – support Tom (Irene’s husband and author of book) and purchase it – well worth it!” –H.V.P.

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(New) Once I opened the book, I didn’t want to close it. Your marriage is a testament of true love. I fell in love with both of you. It is a great book to pick up when I need a lift. It makes me appreciate my quantity of life. It is a present day love story. Tom, you need a halo.” –L.McF.

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Note: Normally, the latest comments appear first, however, the first two comments below have been reversed in order of arrival to depict the comments before and after her father’s passing.

(New) Note to author’s son from a daughter whose father is gravely ill: “I just wanted to share that today I have opened ur Dad’s book to chapter 11 finding myself in a very similar situation as his own back in June 2012. Please let him know for me that sharing his story, as painful as it is to read again, it helps me feel not so alone. I’m going to Florida Friday and will share his book w my family.” –D.Z.

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(New) The follow up note to author’s son from the daughter (above) whose father passed: “Ur dad’s book has def helped me and guides me thru my days.. Kinda weird but so real and true. I miss my Dad desperately but know he is no longer in pain. My heart is so heavy at times its hard to breathe. Hug ur mom and dad extra tight next time u see them. Thanks for reaching out and please thank ur Dad again for his sharing of not only a beautiful love story but for truly helping me thru the toughest time in my life. Strange how things come around… XoXo.” –D.Z.

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“At times an emotionally difficult read but so beautiful as a love story. The ending of the book was just so beautifully done and left me sad yet hopeful. I am a friend of the author and had heard so much about Irene through him so this was a wonderful way for me to see what really transpired between the two of them and to get to know Irene. She had such courage and was a beautiful person whom I wish I could have met in real life. They endured so much yet had such beautiful moments together which shine throughout the story. I was sure I was going to skip over the medical parts but the author made it easy to read through all the details.” –T.B.B.

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“A beautiful story about love, devotion, courage and strength. I felt the frustration, the agony and the devastation of the disease but their love for each other made it bearable to follow their journey to attain “quality” and “quantity” in their lives. Very well written. Thank you, Tom, for sharing these very special moments.” –E.K.

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“This book describes a journey a loving couple took from the time of diagnosis to the very end. There are many things you’ll learn about the process and it’s a must have for any couple going through something similar.” –S.R.

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“Mr. Cooney … This is R, your son Tom’s friend. I purchased and read your book. I wanted to send a quick note to say that I thought the book was wonderful and I believe there are a lot of lessons that can be learned from it, also, quite a bit of detailed information about cancer and the treatment of the disease. I was very impressed with your knowledge of it. … Your book actually gave me some insight into some of the things my Dad went through; for that, and for sharing your and Irene’s story, I thank you. … I definitely got a lot out of the book and I believe there are more than quite a few life lessons in there. A couple I took away from it: 

– You never know what is going on in someone’s life; keep that in mind when you are dealing with people

– Actions are much stronger and more meaningful than any words

– Time is the most precious thing we all have in this life; use it wisely. 

There are a lot more but those stood out to me.” –R.

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“Thank you so much for the book you wrote. It is truly a beautiful tribute to Irene and will be especially helpful for others that may be going through the same experiences. It is so tragic that such terrific people as you folks should have to endure such pain.” –G&S.

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“From the very beginning you are taken by the strong love that 2 people have for one another. When Tom and Irene were married, they vowed to each other that through good times and bad, sickness and health that they would always be there for one another. How so very true for this special couple. When times seem to get tough and Irene’s illness seemed to worsen, Tom was right by Irene’s side day and night.

“Their journey was filled with happy times mixed with emotional times. This book is a wonderful story for a caregiver or anyone faced with a family member or friend with a life threatening illness. It makes you realize how quickly your life can change overnight. It seemed Irene wanted to send a message through this book. Listen to your body, and if you feel as though something is not right, go to have it checked out. It could make a world of difference.

“Thank you Tom Cooney for being a wonderful caregiver to Irene for 9 years, and especially for letting us know about your incredible journey.” –M.H.

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“I posted the following comment on Amazon as I couldn’t make it work on B&N. If you need help with the title of your new book, ‘Cancer: A 9 Year Struggle,’ I have some alternate titles for it:

        ‘Cancer: And A 9 Year Love Story!’

        ‘Love: A Nine Year Journey … And Cancer!’

        ‘If You Don’t Want To Know What Love Is … Don’t Read This Book!’

        ‘An Irishman And A Ukrainian Walk Into A Cop Class … And Cancer!’

        ‘What Not To Say To Someone’s Husband!’ 

“I got more! Call on me if you need help with that. Loved it.” –P.S.

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“We finished reading ‘Cancer: A 9 Year Struggle.’ What a wonderful tribute to your life with Irene. The book was interesting reading and emotionally stirring. Thank you for sharing the journey with us. Your description of the many procedures was informative and your medical knowledge was impressive. Again, so sorry for the loss of ‘The love of your life.’ She was blessed to have you and you were blessed to have had her. We miss her, too. Take care and God bless! Love.” –T&J.G.

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“The new website is great Tom. I would just like to say, for those who haven’t yet read it, that your book is a great guide for anyone who is facing a similar diagnosis and is afraid and not sure what to expect or how to handle it. I am sure there are others who have faced terminal illness differently but they should know what worked best for you and Irene. Your story is a tribute to your love for each other and your determination to keep her illness from impacting on your lives together any more than was absolutely necessary. And you were able to maintain that for 9 years…nearly twice the average survival time.” –B.E.

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“ … I really don’t know what to say about Mr. Cooney’s book. I really enjoyed reading a book about two normal people dealing with the daily ups and downs of one of life’s greatest adversities. I found it to be equally sad as inspirational. The author wrote in a way that made me feel I was right there with he and Irene every step of the way. It was wonderful to witness the love they truly shared with every turn of the page. A love that grew with each disappointment fortifying their unbreakable bond. I will say the one negative aspect I found was that at times the author went into a little too much detail regarding Irene’s medical management and regimen. With that being said I feel that society as a whole would greatly benefit from Mr. Cooney’s wonderful book being brought to life on the silver screen. …” –S.R.

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“The title may suggest otherwise but this is a story of life and love. The mechanics of a life with cancer are detailed, treatments, side effects, pain and the emotions attached to it all. This book wouldn’t exist without the cancer, leaving just an unfinished love story. Because of it you see a story of living and loving while facing a too soon end. Follow along and see how they do big things and cherish the small ones. I could put Tom’s shoes on as I read and feel the longing for more time. Feel the love. Thanks Aunt Irene for bringing uncle Tommy into my family!” –P&K.S.

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“I just read the book Tom. It is absolutely WONDERFUL! I sent you a personal message on your personal page because that was the first page I discovered. …. This book is truly the most beautiful true love story that I have ever read. Your writing style is perfect and the parts taken from Irene’s journal entries make it very personal and heartfelt. I shed tears and I laughed too! Thank you again for sharing “your” Irene with all of us! ” –C.K.

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“Tom Cooney, Jr.’s book is a love story. Tom and Irene met at the Philadelphia Police Department. She was a student, he the instructor. They fell in love. Their journey has monumental challenges when Irene is diagnosed with colon cancer. Irene kept a journal which Tom used to write this book. They decided to fight the disease, against all odds, and were able to enjoy 9 quality years together. They made the best use of their time by vacationing when treatments were suspended for a week or two. Tom and Irene will inspire anyone who ever had to make life changing decisions. The honesty in this book covers the decision making process, insurance problems, family, moving to another State, and what to say or not to say to someone who is battling a serious illness. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and finished it in less than a week. It was easy to read and understand. You will learn much about life and love. You will be better educated about the course of action to take should you or a loved one ever be diagnosed with this horrific disease.” –L.F.

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“Do you think “true love” or “soul mates” don’t exist? Tom Cooney, Jr. will quash that notion from the very beginning. Irene and Tom have a connection that transcends time. This book is truly the most beautiful true love story that I have ever read. …  A MUST-READ for everyone whether or not you share any experience with Cancer.” –C.M.

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“I just finished reading the book while at my place at the Jersey Shore. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Even with the seriousness of the subject matter I could relate to this husband and wife’s struggles and successes during a time in their lives that involved difficult decisions, even insurance dilemmas and coping skills. Great reading. I learned a lot! Kudos, Tom!” –L.F.

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“A moving true-love story of loyalty, commitment and hope.” –Anonymous

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“… I just finished it a few days ago. I thought I would just read the first chapter about when you and Irene first met. I wasn’t sure if I could read the rest but I knew I would enjoy the beginning. Which I did. Once I started reading it I knew I had to finish it. You did a very nice job on the book. I think you really captured how much you and Irene loved each other. I also didn’t know how much Irene went thru. She was so brave. I think until you actually experience it you can never know what someone goes thru when they have cancer. I cried thru all of that part of the book. My favorite part was the part where you had Irene talking to you after she passed. It was very touching. You really let everyone in on your private life and I know that must have been hard. You did a great job on the book. I didn’t get to know Irene that well but from the few times I talked to her I know that I really liked her. Such a nice person. I wish that we had a magic wand and we could wipe out cancer for everyone that has it. I hate it. It is so unfair that such a lovely lady like Irene was taken from you too soon …” –F.D.

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“I just finished reading Tom’s book, I laughed, I cried and I remember the good times and how much Tom and Irene loved each other. For anyone who believes in love you must read this book. Irene was the sweetest person and Tom is great person who loved Irene. Their struggle was hard but love and family got them through the tough times. Irene we all miss you but you will stay alive in all of hearts and in all who read this wonderful tribute to Irene through Tom’s words.”   –MB.C.

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“… How strong is your will to live, and why? Are you prepared to die?
Is yours – was it – or, of yourself, is it – an unrequited love?
Soul Mates – a mystery, or makes you smile and kiss your partner?  … Surely, cancer has touched your Life in one form or another. If you, your significant other, a family member, neighbor, friend – or if you want to learn the depths of what the battle can be – you must read this book.” –J.C.

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“Just finished reading Tom Cooney’s new book. I recommend it to any one who has been truly in love (soulmate), or has had a battle with cancer. It would be very helpful to caregivers. Tom sharing the experience, the good and bad, till the end is priceless information.” –M.C.

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“I wish for my beloved Country that every Law Enforcement Officer possess such bravery and ceaseless courage while facing one of the fiercest enemies to the lives of every living being. A stunning book introducing Irene Cooney through the eyes of her adoring husband; he was hooked by her winning smile and fell into a love for all time! A must read for all who love a true love story. A “should read” for anyone wanting a roadmap to the courage and selflessness it takes to do what Tom Cooney has done!” –P.L.

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“I have just finished Chapter 1. I have laughed out-loud (Irene’s stories are hilarious), have an inside view to genuine compassion, and know what fulfillment in one’s life truly looks like. I know this book is going to take me on an emotional journey, as it’s a journey Irene let few in on, because that was Irene. Time to read on. :)” –M.McG. (My loving G-niece).

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“Tom: Just finished reading your book and it has taken me a few days to “share” with you and everyone what thoughts were running thru my mind. Three things I discovered as I read thru the pages: Friendship, Love, and Loyalty: the meanings behind the Irish Claddagh ring. Friendship: Not by coincidence, you and Irene shared the same values of life. To prove this, it was shown by your love of family, appreciation of little things like a blue sky, white fluffy clouds, green grass and beautiful sunsets. Also, and most of all, a sense of humor. Irene provided all of us with many “one liners.” Love: It was obvious, like the words from the old song, “Don’t laugh at my jokes too much, don’t sit and stare at me, people will say we are in love.” Johnny Mathis said it all: “If I wear a silly grin when you come into  view, chances are I am in love with you.” That is how it was. You both found the love of your life. Loyalty: Very evident as Caregiver and Patient. You both were willing to endure whatever it took to be together: Irene thru countless hospital visits and stays, many operations, 175 chemo treatments, thousands of pills and in constant pain; you, Tom, doing everything possible to help alleviate her suffering by being there by her side and holding hands thru that long journey on that road of 9 years.” –P.McG. (My loving sister).

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“Love shows no boundaries in this beautiful story of a 4th stage cancer patient who would endure years of hospital stays, countless operations, over 175 chemo treatments, swallowed thousands of pills and always had the attitude “I want quantity of life no matter what it takes.” Hats off to you, Irene and your adoring caregiver, Tom. You did just that for 9 long years. With all her struggles she still appreciated the value of living.” –D, & P.McG.

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“Tom, your book is the best book I ever read. I hadn’t seen you in almost 60 years before we grammar school classmates decided to get together. I  never met your wife. But now, I feel as though I know her very well. The two of you had something very precious. At times my wife asked if I was ok because she could see I was being affected. But, I laughed, too. At times the humor came through–at the right times. Thank you, Tom. Your book is a great gift.” –L.L.

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“Tom, the book was great. I enjoyed it all. You and Irene really had something special. I was so moved by it. My wife wants to read it too.” –J.F.

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“Tom, Irene and you were a beautiful couple. I know she’s a good listener and has a lot of influence now … so I’m talking!!!!” –Love ya, Moe.

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“Hi Tom. I finished the book!!!! I loved it as much as I love Irene! I am sorry. I had no clue all of that went on in your lives. I will begin to look at things differently. I cried most of the time, as I am now. I will reread it soon just to make sure I didn’t miss anything & to feel closer to her. Already, her being here is felt. I talked to her before Frank went to a Dr. for a problem and the outcome was just great. Thank her for me.” –Love Nancy.

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[There will be more to follow … ]