The Dr. Says read this book!

sales page imageHello readers! I decided to take the plunge and put my blog into book form. This is a selection of posts that I wanted to give to my family as a memento, but while putting it together I remembered how many people appreciated what I was writing. Stories of people saying that I’m putting into words what they couldn’t express.

So, I’m putting  my story out  to a wider audience in my book “The Dr. Says: A Journey.” That’s me peeking out of the side of the doorway there. I hired a couple of editors to clean up my work and get it presentable (thank you Emily and Harry!) and I’m selling the finished ebook on Amazon. I invite you to share it with others if you’ve found my words helpful in dealing with a terminal illness.

I’m selling the book for $3.99. That’s less than a good latte! More important than your payment is getting my message out to whoever needs it. I started my blog because I couldn’t find others who were also going through a terminal illness. There was no one I could share my feelings with. So, please, share my work with others if you feel it will help them on their own journey.

Here’s the purchase link:

Amazon buy button

Here are some wonderful reviews given by people who received review copies. Thank you all!

When I first saw the title “The Dr Says” I thought it was a medical journal of sorts. It was however the heartbreaking story of a woman who is dying of congenital heart failure. I was deeply touched by this brave woman’s writing in which she beautifully articulates her final journey. She catalogs her emotion, fears, and acceptance of her imminent death with raw honesty. The writing is intelligent and tender.

Sandra’s blog gave me an insight into the life of my precious daughter who was dying at the time. It opened my mind to what was going on in my child’s heart and mind. I am so grateful for Sandra’s blog and book because I know it will help thousands of people, to understand the mind and heart of a dying person. I know it has been painful for Sandra to read my blog ( – Vic’s final journey) especially after my daughter’s death as she knows this is what lies ahead for her beloved Chris.

I salute you Sandra Callahan. I wish I could give you more time or life!

— Tersia Burger

“They all seem to feel I have some unique insight into this whole dying thing.” This is one of the first statements Sandra makes in her blog. Having read the blog/book I believe “they” are correct. However, until I am confronted with being on the inside of this final journey I can only speak to the words and thoughts Sandra Callahan uses. She expresses a wish to be of some help to those also on the same journey The book is powerful and well thought. It is a very positive expression of her way of life and loving ways to handle thorny issues. It is her way of handling the feelings about telling readers and those closest to her the questions that will arise. She also supplies answers to those questions. Her background as a person who served others in helping professions is a real asset for insight into how words will affect the feelings of others.

One of the touching lines in the book is “I want to live as much as possible while I am dying.” There is no grousing or petulance. One question she takes great care to answer is “why me?” the answer throughout the manuscript is “why not me?” It says a great deal about her outlook on life. She has remained positive throughout this journey. Her emphasis is on what is positive in her life and remembering that love is what is important to her, both the giving and receiving. She recommends and comes forth with examples of how this may be practiced. She constantly emphasizes her life is the sum of her choices coupled with some serendipity. Love is a choice in her eyes.

The blog relates her acceptance of her dying, while not happy about it she accepts it. She states many times it made her much more aware of the value of time as a gift. She treasures it and wants the reader to treasure it without an imminent demise raising the consciousness of its value. She relates ways she views and the reader can, if they choose, view life.

There are many episodes that show her willingness to endure discomfort for a chance to be with those she loves. She does not use terms that express martyrdom, but rather a clear choice of what is important to her. She wants to be there because she wants to live as much as possible while she is dying. She never loses her sense of humor. When commenting about taking a trip she says she is going to be cremated and they can do that anywhere.

Death, according to most existentialists, is the great denial. This book is a worthy read not because it handles a subject everybody wants to deny will occur. It is a serious comment on how much we miss by not valuing what we have vs. what we want. That the glass is half full if we choose to look at it from that perspective.

— Joseph Silva is a blog about Sandra’s journey with debilitating heart disease, and its ghastly offshoots but she is never, ever complaining or morbid. Instead, she is joyful, grateful, in love, compassionate and positive; she is making the most of every single moment – a lesson to us all, an example of courage and grit I have never seen before.

— Julie Goyder

Discussing death and dying, for most of us, is uncomfortable. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross spent almost her entire career interviewing, studying, and documenting memoirs of people who have long passed. In her blog and now book, The Dr. Says, Sandra shares what life is like as she is dying with congestive heart failure. Her writing is honest and bold and I believe this is a blog that Kubler-Ross would read, and comment frequently, if she were alive.

In my Death and Grief class in college, we studied Kubler-Ross’ work and besides that, there was not a whole lot available because the topic, as I state above, is uncomfortable and awkward and most of us avoid it like the plague. When you read Sandra’s book and her blog, you will find yourself curious and returning to read about death and dying. You will get to know her and she will educate you about this uncomfortable subject. You will also come to realize that a big part of death and dying is whole-hearted living, one day at a time, and on some days one breath at a time.

— Angie Stone, a frequent reader and commenter on The Dr. Says blog

I am not only touched but also inspired by Sandra’s book. She is right. “It is our choice how we travel this road.” It reminded me how everyone’s life means something extraordinary to someone else. In this case Sandra’s story is not only amazing for her family, but reminds us that no matter what “The Dr. Says”, it is your own road (destiny) to follow.

— Olga Chavez, San Diego, CA

I read this partly with my heart, because I know her from blogging. The other part read it out of curiosity. Everyone at some point wants to know what it will be like to die. How will we die? Will we hurt, will we suffer? This is an excellent look from the patient’s eyes and I was taken in with every word. It was very hard to put it down as I wanted to know the end, but of course, we know the end don’t we? Thank you for allowing me to help with this special review.

Terry Shepard

“The Dr. Says” is a must-read for any person seeking to add meaning to life. Sandra Callahan writes with heart-breaking honesty as she faces the end of her life. Her coping skills and magnificent attitude is the heart of this inspirational odyssey that began as her blog in 2011. Despite suffering with heart failure, Sandra’s bravery is remarkable.
As Sandra writes about her trials, it is also clear that her journey is a beautiful love story. She shares her deep love for her husband, Chris, as they both despair with the knowledge that her death is imminent. But the ache of impending separation is tempered by treasuring every moment. This book touched me deeply and taught me to appreciate every moment of my life.

— Judy J. Unger (A dedicated artist, grief counselor, passionate musician and inspirational writer/blogger)


  1. The Dr Says…. | tersia burger said,

    • s blake callahan said,

      ok i have never used this word before but i find this is the only word that comes to mind, gobsmacked. your kindness and just the love and support you offer just brings tears to my eyes. even with all you have been through and continue to go through you are able to offer this kind of support to a friend. thank you is not enough but it is what i have.


  3. Terry said,

    I’m so thankful you finished this project. Love and hugs my friend

  4. Rita🌻 mattson said,

    My dearest friend sandra callahan (who i pick the name melody 🎶, an she called me flower🌼)is someone i became very close with this past two years. I am a server at one of Chris and Sandra favorite resturant in town cbocs, we clicked right in the first moments we met, i have been there many days for her. I arrived at her home less than 20 of her passing and before the took her from her home i hugged 🎶and whispered come visit me in my dreams. I loved her so much she left an impression on my heart and soul that will be with me forever she makes me smile bigger everyday an be thankful for every thing i learn and life as we know it. I love you sandra to infinity and beyond.🌹

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