Carry Me Gently: My Life with Cystic Fibrosis by Debra Mattson

Carry Me Gently explores life with a chronic illness--the dread, anger, denial and ultimately, the joy of being alive.

Carry Me Gently: My Life with Cystic Fibrosis is a work of creative non-fiction that is not sappy or sentimental but explores the topics of disease, death and dying with brutal honesty. It is filled with humour and wit, joy and the epiphanies that come with realizing life is worth living, despite chronic illness. Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a chronic disease that affects the lungs and pancreas. The average age of survival is 35.

The first section is told in the third person as “the girl” is diagnosed with a chronic illness at the age of five. Her memories are of a frightening hospital, absent parents and adjustment to a “looming” diagnosis. The second section is told in the first person and examines life growing up with the knowledge that I have a chronic illness, acutely aware of my mortality. The third section is a dream-like examination of what it might be like to die and coming to terms with the fact that there is still much life to live. This is not a book about disease, but rather, a book about a life worth living.

  • Classification: Moderate
  • Work is: Fully available on Authonomy
  • First submitted June 1, 2010
  • Last updated June 1, 2010
Carry Me Gently: My Life with Cystic Fibrosis
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  • Seringapatam's avatar
    Seringapatam wrote 2 years, 4 months ago
    Debra. This has not only educated me but it demonstrates the work you have put into it. It grabbed me in the early stages and no matter how much I knew I had other things to do, I couldnt put it down. It has a nice feel to the delivery and your narrative stands out a mile. So well done with this. Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or watch list wont ...
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  • Jane Mauret's avatar
    Jane Mauret wrote 3 years, 2 months ago
    Hello, Debra Mattson – Carry me Gently I am always fascinated by true stories and I think the ways you have chosen to relate yours make for something out of the ordinary. In many places it is what I think is meant by lyrical, like poetry. Having said, that, I sometimes felt the writing was perhaps a little self-indulgent but this is where writing memoir is so tricky. We have so many memories, impressions, etc, - there seems to be ...
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  • Retired user
    Jane Shannahan wrote 3 years, 2 months ago
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  • Retired user
    Vanessa Mayfly wrote 3 years, 5 months ago

    Amazing, its like reading about myself as I too have Cystic Fibrosis, its a cruel disease and you are getting a lot of people knowing what its about .. Your writing is honest like it should be. You are a very talented writer and totally back your book . Will be talking about your book

  • the morning after's avatar
    the morning after wrote 3 years, 5 months ago

    This is exceptionally good writing. I especially enjoyed the depiction of detail. How much poignant meaning you get into the details. The objects you describe having a speaking part like characters in a play.

  • Retired user
    cancerboy wrote 4 years, 10 months ago
    Hello Debra thoroughly loved the book...I am 18 and I have CF...have had it since I was 4 mnths old...the way you speak candidly about even the not-so-pretty realities in the life of a CFer is truly praise-worthy....It was a pleasure reading every single chapter...anyone who has read this book would already know that CF people cant hang out with each other because of the risks of cross infection etc and even if they do meet up its never without ...
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  • Retired user
    lavery51 [Retired] wrote 4 years, 11 months ago

    Hi Debra, what n uplifting book. I myself have Parkinsons disease . I was diagnosed in my 40s. Disease can bring out the nobility om people as it puts life in perspective.backed , God bless, if you get a chance , take a look at YOu Turn. best wishes. lynne

  • Retired user
    Hypo99 [Retired] wrote 5 years, 1 month ago

    This is a well written book with skill and intelligence. well worht a backing.


    Hope you get the chance to peek inside The Russian Hat.

    warm wishes

  • marywood18's avatar
    marywood18 wrote 5 years, 2 months ago
    I don't know what to say and I guess I am among friends there as I see you have very few long comments on your work. For me it is because I am left in awe and with a guilt. Awe at how you cope and manage to write about it - not with - Oh pity me - but with real courage and feeling and a desire to help others to cope, too. Guilt, because I ask myself, how ...
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  • Telegraph's avatar
    Telegraph wrote 5 years, 2 months ago

    This decribes the brutal diease with dimilnating factors that patients have to live with the rest of there lives. To those within the medical field realize honesty is a line to a patient. C W

  • Retired user
    Mal Muirhead wrote 5 years, 2 months ago

    Moving and engrossing in equal measure. The world is a better place now that this book has been written. It will be even better when it's published.
    Mal Muirhead - Marvellous Mavis and the Devolve-o-Meter

  • Retired user
    gotiko [Retired] wrote 5 years, 2 months ago

    This is a book that will surely educated us all. Backed.

    Gabriel (It Goes On Forever)

  • She's avatar
    She wrote 5 years, 2 months ago

    I'm backing your book Debra. Good luck with it.
    The Mainstay
    Annie of Empire Street

  • Ransom Heart's avatar
    Ransom Heart wrote 5 years, 3 months ago

    I nearly fainted just thinking about the rectal prolapse condition. Love thyself, love thyself . . . Beautifully rendered. Backed. Marianne (Saint Paddy and the Sundial)

  • Vanessa Darnleigh's avatar
    Vanessa Darnleigh wrote 5 years, 3 months ago

    The honesty and courage it must take to record such memories makes the work of fiction look trite and irrelevant...good on you...the rest of us have more to learn from you than anything we may have to offer! Very best of luck with this

  • Elizabeth Wolfe's avatar
    Elizabeth Wolfe wrote 5 years, 3 months ago

    I'm glad you are able to stay positive through this personal disaster. To allow us all a view into your thoughts and feelings is an honor, Debra. The very best of luck to you. BACKED -Elizabeth Wolfe (Memories of Glory)

  • stoatsnest's avatar
    stoatsnest wrote 5 years, 3 months ago

    What an extraordinary book. I shall read more,but it's too harrowing to take other than in small doses. Backed.

  • stoatsnest's avatar
    stoatsnest wrote 5 years, 3 months ago

    What an extraordinary book. I shall read more,but's too harrowing to take other than in small doses. Backed.

  • Retired user
    lizjrnm [Retired] wrote 5 years, 3 months ago

    Backed with pleasure! This is an awesone undertaking and you have done this with such passion and grit. A very important read and as a nurse I can see this helping many people! I am sure you will find a publishing home for this soon and bless you that it is all uploaded so I can return later to finish.
    The Cheech Room

  • Retired user
    sjbal [Retired] wrote 5 years, 3 months ago

    Hi Debra,
    I hate commenting on books like this, I never know what to say without sounding patronising - So... Well done and shelved???
    Good luck,
    James (The Lycetta Legacy).