Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Light Within

Brazos Bookstore, Houston, Texas

Nuri A. Nuri listening to the reading, after having introduced the Author (his wife).

Dr. Ramondetta, reading a selection

Author: Lois M. Ramondetta, M.D.

At the Brazos Bookstore last night, Lois Ramondetta, M.D. presented the riveting book, The Light Within, which she and Deborah Rose Sills, PhD, completed prior to Dr. Sills’ death. The Light Within is the poignant story of the remarkable friendship of these two remarkable women, one a gynecologic oncologist and the other a patient with ovarian cancer.

On display some years ago at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston was a wall-sized figurative painting of a man in physician’s garb and a middle aged woman wearing hat and gloves. Large, black words on the painting declared, “I am the real person, you are the patient.” That stereotype of the doctor/patient relationship is blown away by these two women who refused to abide by stereotypes and had, what Dr. Sills would call, the grit and the courage to conduct work, life and death on their own terms.

Their friendship grew out of words; not about dying, but about living the Big Life as they referred to a life driven by intellectual curiosity and adventure. Throughout their odyssey, these two friends teach us that honest, thoughtful, stimulating conversations build good relationships.

Ramondetta and Sills write in their own distinctive voices but the visual clue to the reader is the use of a different font for each writer. This technique is effective and carries the story smoothly along.

This morning I began reading the copy of The Light Within which I purchased last night at the Brazos Bookstore. I couldn't put the book down until I had finished it this evening. I knew that Deb (Dr. Sills) would die at the conclusion but I had to know how her remarkable friend, Dr. Lois (to her patients); her wonderful husband, Giles; her son, Adam; and her daughter, Abby would cope with her illness and her death. I’ll leave you to find that out on your own.


  1. Dear Bunny, Thanks for the tip on the book, sounds very humane. I'm interested in Texana; are the doctors set in Texas?

  2. Hello Will,
    Thanks so much for your comment. Yes, the doctors are in Texas; in fact, at M.D. Anderson in the Houston Medical Center.