The Diary of Nalie by Nalie Agustin

The Diary of Nalie

In 2013, Nalie Agustin, a 24-year-old author, speaker and wellness advocate, was diagnosed with cancer. Throughout her rounds of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Nalie decided not to let her cancer make her a pitiful victim. Instead, she decided to share her ordeal by keeping a diary, as well as utilize social media to its fullest extent, include her own blog and podcast.

Besides chronicling her ordeal through what seemed like endless treatments and side effects, Nalie also shared with her audiences the various life lessons and affirmations she absorbed that helped her endure these treatments with a great deal of hope and positivity. She eventually recovered, but then she was struck down by cancer two more times, first as stage IV metastatic breast cancer, and then in May 2020, when the cancer metastasized from her lungs to her brain. Yet through all that physical and emotional pain, Nalie kept on sharing her thoughts, feelings and life lessons through her multi-media platforms, including her diary.

The Diary of Nalie

And it’s the third battle that sets the stage for her book The Diary of Nalie. Through 31 chapters, Nalie chronicles her third battle with cancer, in what could have been a fatal battle. From her third diagnosis to her rounds of treatments with a drug called Navelbine, we get a stark, yet hopeful perspective of what it is like to fight a dreaded disease, and how the power of positive thinking, as well as those many opportunities that presented itself for a lot of personal introspection, that can take the sting out of what is normally seen as a dreadful experience.

But Nalie never kids herself about the prospect of an instant full recovery. Instead, she writes each entry with a healthy dose of reality without having to bring down the situation to a screeching halt. Whether it be the hope and fear of a new type of treatment or drug, a mini vacation with her husband for a much needed change of pace from the treatment routine, or agreeing to do a photo shoot on Facetime after a radiation treatment showing Nalie at her most rawest (naked, bald and no makeup), we get a brutally honest – but not overly pessimistic –portrait of a cancer patient who just won’t give up.

Nalie Agustin’s family

The layout of the text, for most part, is anything but conventional. In fact, it looks more like a collection of poetry written by legendary American poet E.E. Cummings. And some of the text doubles as illustrations, which vividly gives the reader the impression of the ups and downs Nalie has experienced battling the cancer demon.

Let’s get this straight. The Diary of Nalie is not meant to be read as a last will and testament. Instead, according to Nalie, it’s more like a gift to her readers, followers and supporters to be inspired to always share their own stories to a broader audience, no matter how good or difficult it might be. As she shares towards the end of the book: “…your story matters, you matter, and the person who needs to hear it matters too.”

Stuart Nulman
By: Stuart Nulman – [email protected]

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