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"March Forth" by Marci A. Schmitt

A Personal Story of Surviving Breast Cancer

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


Updated October 06, 2011

March Forth by Marci A. Schmitt

March Forth by Marci A. Schmitt

Art © Outskirts Press
Marci Schmitt's book March Forth opens with the death of her mother from breast cancer. Although her mother's passing was peaceful, Marci makes it clear that any diagnosis of cancer is potentially life-threatening. Add to that the responsibility of raising young children, fighting with her health insurance company and dealing with side effects of chemotherapy, and she's got trouble! But Marci makes up her mind to march forth, and fortified by faith, friends and family, she survives.

Quick Look

  • Very honest and personal survivor story
  • Emotional but upbeat in tone
  • Good examples of a supportive community
  • Gives detailed account of treatment and recovery
  • Repetition of phrases "comfy couch" and "march forth" wore thin

Guide Review - March Forth - Survivor Story Book Review

Marci Schmitt, author of March Forth

Marci Schmitt, author of March Forth

Photo © Outskirts Press
Before she was diagnosed with breast cancer, Marci Schmitt was already well-acquainted with its devastation. Her mother succumbed to breast cancer, and two years later, her father-in-law died of cancer as well. During a breast self exam, Marci finds a lump and her intuition leads her to the mammogram appointment that starts her journey into treatment.

"No life should be reduced to a piece of paper and a few dollar bills."

One of the first battles that Marci faced was with her health insurance company. She learns to wrestle with the intricacies of paperwork and terminology before she can have surgery and genetic testing. Marci works through her frustration and impatience to rid herself of the cancer - something most patients will empathize with - as she deals with the healthcare run-around, nurses, doctors and hospital staff. She serves as a good example of how to persist until things are done right.

"Chemo takes you to Hell's door."

Marci is a woman of faith living in a community of believers. She does not use the term "Hell's door" lightly. Determined to survive, she endures heavy side effects from combination chemotherapy - adriamycin and cytoxan. Her husband, Steve, came to infusions with her, providing support and making sure she always had a shoulder to lean on and a driver with a clear head. Doggedly positive, Marci always told her cancer clinic receptionist that she was doing "terrific!" before each appointment. While it is always "terrific" to survive cancer, it isn't honest to mask how you feel just before getting stuck for more chemo, especially when you know how bad the side effects are going to be. I would have encouraged her to arrive with a list of side effects and complaints!

Getting to the Nitty Gritty Details

After recounting her treatments, Marci produces an even more valuable chapter. "Advice and Help for Loved Ones and Patients" is a very rich and practical collection of tips for caregivers and cancer patients. Although the author gives us several good ideas all through her book, this is where she puts all her experience on the line for others. Having thoroughly prepared the reader with the background of her own experience, she makes use of it to help others. From here, this chapter and the rest of the book accomplish her overall goal: to help others who are affected by breast cancer.


  • Author: Marci A. Schmitt Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
  • ISBN: 9781432776008
  • Copyright: August 22, 2011
  • List Price: $19.95 for paperback
  • E-Book: $10.00 for Instant e-Book Download
  • Book Details: Paperback, 282 pages, 6 x 9 inches

About the Author

Marci Schmitt lives in Chandler, IN, where she and her husband, Steve, are raising their children. Her background is in education and coaching, but she is now a full-time mom. When she isn't writing, Marci likes to do volunteer work with her church and local community. She is a two-time breast cancer survivor.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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