HOLLISTER, Mo. — A special education leader in Hollister is quickly gaining national attention from a book she wrote, about a heartbreaking experience.
The book went live on Amazon, March 5th and in just a few short weeks, it’s climbed to Amazon’s best selling list. The author Kristina Smith chronicles her journey of finding out her husband had stage 4 cancer when she was 7 months pregnant.
The book called “What I Wasn’t Expecting, When I Was Expecting: A Grieving Widow’s Memoir,” has sold close to one thousand copies across 34 states and 5 countries — in a little more than three weeks.
“I keep saying using the word surreal — and that word does not even come close to what any of this is,” said Smith, Education Director for Hollister Public Schools.
Smith explained why she needed to share what she went through when her husband Joe, of just one year was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, when she was 7-months pregnant with their first child.
“The premise of this book was to heal. That was my number one goal. I just needed to heal,” Smith said.
Joe passed away in 2014 — about a year and a half after his diagnosis.
“I needed to process everything that had happened. I needed to cognitively dig deep and realize how the whole picture was connected — and I just needed to put our love story on paper too,” said Smith.
“Writing has always been my outlet… first and foremost. I’ve got a journal going at all times when Joe got sick. One of my friends handed me a journal and said..there’s going to be a lot happen — and you may not be able to say it out loud,” Smith said.
Through it all..she’s thankful that her husband was able to see their son Porter.
“You know through the whole process..the first two months, 7 and 8 months pregnant.. uhm, I kept telling God.. this is not good timing, said Smith, “This is the worse timing ever. We have a baby coming. You don’t understand… and uh, He did. He definitely understood…Because our son was the best medicine that we could have never asked for. It is better medicine than any doctor could have ever given him.”
Smith is now a national advocate for colorectal cancer awareness.