In this week's Reading Mary Anne Schwalbe took her first trip out of the country after she’d learn of her diagnosis. London was where she went too and enjoyed going back to visit family and just reminisce. When she got back from London it was time to pick new books for the club. As she was going down memory lane Mary Anne asks Schwalbe if he has yet read her favorite book, The Lizard Cage. Mary Anne and Schwalbe briefly talked about the book on what it was about. The lizard Cage , “starts with a little boy, an orphan, and tells the story of his interaction with a political prisoner, a songwriter named Teza.”(131) Teza is the main character in the book, it talks about the worst things that happen in prison. “Teza, a Buddhist must capture and eat raw lizards, breaking his breaking his faith by killing and consuming something that lived in order to survive himself..”(131) Schwalbe mentions how this book helps him and Mary Anne connect with each other more as he says, “It’s a tremendously powerful book that also speaks to our need to connect with each other, to tell stories and pass them on, especially through writing.” (131) Mary Anne kept what meant to her the most from The Lizard Cage , “Whatever beings there are, may they be able to protect their own happiness.” As Mary Anne is sitting getting treated for chemo she continues discussing the book with Schwalbe, and briefly asks him, “What did you think of the amazing prayer Teza says to himself after the beating?” (132) The prayer Teza says is “.. a Buddhist meditation that Teza uses to calm his mind, to put aside not just the physical pain but the sadness and range he’s feeling.” (133) She tells Schwalbe that it is her favorite about protecting your own happiness. Schwalbe then asks himself, “But how can you protect your own happiness when you can’t control the beatings?” (133) In Schwalbe's mind he replaced the word beatings with cancer. Do you think you can protect your own happiness? What if you can’t control the bad the comes to you? Can you still choose to be happy or let it beat you? Have you ever had something bad happen to you? And did you let it take over your happiness? Do you agree in being able to have control in protecting your own happiness? If so, how?