Lisa Reisman

5 Months 10 Years 2 hours

2015 Santa Fe Writers Project Award Winner

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"Those in search of another treacly cancer memoir need not even glance at this... Reisman's unflinching and moving tale puts to rest the image of patient as warrior. By linking her own ordeal to the triathlon she took on to mark her 10 year anniversaryshe reveals the true nature of cancer survival — not as a triumph of epic valor, but as a feat of endurance, forbearance and true grit."

—Lisa Sanders, MD, New York Times columnist and fellow cancer survivor

News

5 Months 10 Years 2 Hours seeking to provide hope for McCain family 8/17

Murray-Calloway County Endowment for Health Care 4/17

Santa Fe Writers Project Awards Winner profile 2/16

2015 Santa Fe Writers Project Awards Program Winner announcement 1/16

Reviews

"Despite knowing the finale, you keep reading because to read Reisman’s story is to read how one woman copes when the statistics didn’t seem to be in her favor at all. Her prose is not tinged with clichés or self-pity, but an honest portrayal of coping when life doesn’t go the way you planned."
-Huffington Post 

"Reisman’s 5 Months, 10 Years, 2 Hours moves beyond a cancer narrative and showcases relationships and complex characterization in vibrant prose. The dread and fear of a life wasted bursts off the page: 'I wanted to try ice fishing. I wanted to worry about the stock market. I wanted to wonder whether I should feel guilty about the things I had. I wanted the time to do all that. I wanted more time.' This book is like a ticking clock. It is an excellent memoir that uses the narrator’s battle with cancer, even in its trim form, as a springboard into so much more."
-Sante Fe Writers Project


"Throughout the book, [Reisman] weaves in her family history, and the reactions and help of family members. Cancer, as too many people know, affects not just the patient, but the whole family. 'No one goes through the crisis of a serious illness alone,' writes Reisman. 'There's collateral damage, and it doesn't end with the treatments."
-Psychology Today 
 

"The book goes from 'Swim,' to 'Bike,' to 'Run,' ending at 'Finish Line,' and even knowing the outcome in advance did not slow this reader's momentum. The writing is spare, without frills, and it keeps up a steady pace, with just enough description, and vivid language to enthrall."
-Kentucky Forward

"Reisman's first book...explores how a person moves on in life after surviving a cancer that was sure to kill her."
-Charleston Gazette-Mail
 

"The author transformed what could have been the typical yawn worthy poor me story into a truly interesting story about what really matters in life. I might even call it inspiring.
-Beth's Book Reviews 
 

"... as honest and witty as it is raw and brave..."
New Haven Register 

"
[Reisman's book] does not include a do-it-yourself guide to surviving glioblastoma multiforme, but in telling her story, it does reveal what worked for her."
The Sound

"Reisman... artfully frames the story of [a] grueling physical and emotional experience with her experience in the triathlon--another kind of endurance test that reminds her that "there are few things more exhilarating than experiencing the body's capacity to regenerate."
-Haverford Magazine

"There are no platitudes or pink ribbons in the book, no easy aphorisms. Best-selling author Rosellen Brown says of “5 Months 10 Years 2 Hours,” “This is as up close and honest as any testimony I’ve read, about the humbling that comes with terrible illness and the ways in which family – as always – plays its complicated role in a young woman’s life.”
-Kentucky Forward

 

Interviews

NYBERG (7/8/15)

The Vinnie Penn Project (5/8/2015)
audio file download (11.42MB)

The Tom Barnard Podcast (3/23/2015)
(starts at 19:55)

WOGL 98.1 Philadelphia Agenda with Brad Segall (9/15/2015)

 

Advance Praise

"Those in search of another treacly cancer memoir need not even glance at Lisa Reisman's 5 Months 10 Years 2 Hours. Reisman's unflinching and moving tale puts to rest the image of patient as heroic warrior. By linking her own ordeal to the triathlon she took on to mark her 10 year anniversary, she reveals the true nature of cancer survival — not as a triumph of epic valor, but as a feat of endurance, forbearance and true grit."
– Lisa Sanders, MD, New York Times columnist and fellow cancer survivor
 

"A meticulously written book that tells a remarkable story of not simply survival but of hard-won, bone-deep change. Lisa Reisman writes with unflinching clarity about what it means to have your life taken to the edge where, along with its possible end, you see your own flawed self.  It's a testament to her tenacity, skill, intelligence and courage that she took that pivotal moment  a moment many of us would just as soon forget  and turned it into this extraordinary read. I recommend it to anyone who wants to understand what life is really about."
– Joan Leegant, Wherever You Go
 

"Lisa Reisman's account of her ordeal reads like a noir thriller  swift, merciless, unsparing. High-strung and brilliant, she navigates her terrifying passage with swagger and wit, never mind courage. I couldn't put it down.
– Honor Moore, The Bishop's Daughter and The White Blackbird

 

"A gripping memoir of a horrendous diagnosis. . . Reisman personifies courage in the face of overwhelming odds."
– John Henning Schumann, MD, GlassHospital.com and frequent contributor to NPR's Health Blog "Shots"
 

"Lisa Reisman must have made a pact with herself to hide nothing in this triumphant story of an ordeal that few survive. This is as up close and honest as any testimony I've read, about the humbling that comes with terrible illness and the ways in which family  as always  plays its complicated role in a young woman's life."
– Rosellen Brown, Half A Heart and Tender Mercies