The Smooth River: Finding Inspiration and Exquisite Beauty during Terminal Illness. Lessons from the Front Line.


Product Details

$14.99  $13.94
Smooth River, Inc.
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.5 X 0.65 inches | 0.81 pounds

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About the Author

Richard S. Cohen was by his wife Marcia's side when she was diagnosed on September 3, 2019, with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and woke up in her hospital room after she had exhaled her last breath 160 days later on February 10, 2020. Carrying out Marcia's wishes, he coordinated every step of her care, navigating medical resources at four different hospitals while also conferring with leading pancreatic oncologists elsewhere. Trained as a corporate lawyer, Richard is president of a merger and acquisition advisory firm specializing in the healthcare industry. He is an expert in navigating complex transactions, developing grounded creative solutions, and managing many professionals and personalities during stressful conditions. All of these skills were put to work in finding sanctuary, beauty, humor, and spirituality within cancer's decay. Unencumbered by medical convention but having a deep respect for it and the clinicians who cared for her, Richard translated Marcia's ethos into a creative, personalized, and inspiring approach for dealing with terminal illness.


Kirkus Reviews: "This tender and startlingly lucid work offers patients and their loved ones a wealth of knowledge, and it may also show physicians a new way to help people learn to cope with the prospect of dying ... A heart-rending but informative end-of-life guide."

BookLife Reviews / Publishers Weekly: "Bursting with life, The Smooth River leads by example ... An inspiring, beautifully written account of living a life of purpose when faced with a terminal illness."

Dr. Jordan Berlin, Associate Director for Clinical Research, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, and Professor of Medicine,

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center: "While we work on more effective means to diagnose and treat pancreatic and other cancer, Smooth River demonstrates how to elevate one's being over the turmoil. This wonderful book gives voice to those who don't want to define themselves by the ravages of serious illness."

Eugene H. Hirsh, MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Retired, Emory University School of Medicine: "It is difficult for anyone, even those who have experienced the death of a spouse, to empathize fully with another widow/widower. Yet, Richard Cohen brings us as close as one might get to that experience through his remarkable book. The Smooth River guides the couple through shock and confusion, through grief and to resolution in the all too brief time before an anticipated end. This is an important book for care receivers and care givers - families and physicians/medical personnel alike."

Laura Hanlon, M Ed, LCSW, Bereavement Coordinator: "The Smooth River is a great guide for people who have to navigate through serious illness or for those who want to better understand the experience and derive inspiration from it."

Foreword Reviews: 5 out of 5 Rating. "The narrative is the most engaging and transformative element of the book, and the story is told with excellence-compelling scenes, precise diction, well-crafted characterizations ... a self-help book that shows how to live a full life, even in the face of death.".

IndieReader: "In addition to the wealth of knowledge relayed in THE SMOOTH RIVER it is also a book which includes passages of great beauty. Cohen is a writer capable of moving from the practical to the poetic with ease... For all its focus on death and dying THE SMOOTH RIVER is a testament to a life lived to its fullest right until the very end...THE SMOOTH RIVER is a clearly written guide to end-of-life care and contains a wealth of relatable, practical advice. It is also an astute contemplation on life and living containing passages of extraordinary beauty."

Blueink Review: "The Smooth River concept serves as practical inspiration to make life meaningful -- as the current moves us toward what we all inevitably share."