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Dealing with a cancer diagnosis, treatment or long-term survival issues can sometimes be overwhelming or confusing. If you're an adult patient or the caregiver of an adult patient, there are books that can help you find ways to better manage your new responsibilities. Browse the list below for books that can help you cope.

Suggested Reading - Cycle of Lives

Cycle of Lives: 15 People's Stories, 5,000 Miles, and a Journey Through the Emotional Chaos of Cancer by David Richman
River Grove Books, 2020, 376 Pages
ISBN 978-1-63299-299-4 Paperback
ISBN 978-1-63299-300-7 eBook

Cycle of Lives chronicles the lives of 15 people affected by cancer, including patients, doctors, researchers, and caregivers.  These moving stories cover many aspects of a cancer diagnosis.  Readers are able to examine a wide range of experiences and viewpoints to help them grow in empathy, and to better understand how issues affect the way people deal with the traumas that shape their lives.

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Suggested Reading - When Blood Breaks Down

When Blood Breaks Down - Life Lessons from Leukemia by Mikkael A. Sekeres, MD
MIT Press, April 2020, Hardcover, 328 Pages
ISBN: 9780262043724

In When Blood Breaks Down, Dr. Mikkael Sekeres, a leading cancer specialist, takes readers on a journey that patient and doctor travel together.  Sekeres tells the compelling stories of three people who receive diagnoses of adult leukemia within hours of each other: Joan, a 48-year-old surgical nurse, a caregiver who becomes a patient; David, a 68-year-old former factory worker who bows to his family's wishes and pursues the most aggressive treatment; and Sarah, a 36-year-old pregnant woman who must decide whether to undergo chemotherapy and put her fetus at risk. We join the intimacy of the conversations Sekeres has with his patients, and watch as he teaches trainees. Along the way, Sekeres also explores leukemia in its different forms and the development of drugs to treat it—describing, among many other fascinating details, the invention of the bone marrow transplant and a treatment that targets the genetics of leukemia. The lessons to be learned from leukemia, Sekeres shows, are not merely medical; they teach us about courage and grace and defying the odds.

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Suggested Reading - Braving Chemo

Braving Chemo: What to Expect, How to Prepare, and How to Get Through It by Beverly A. Zavaleta, MD
Sugar Plum Press LLC, November 2019, Paperback, 240 pages
ISBN: 978-1-7334565-0-0

In Braving Chemo, Harvard-educated physician and cancer survivor Beverly A. Zavaleta MD combines her medical expertise with a survivor’s insight to provide practical advice for both chemotherapy patients and cancer caregivers. This book will give you clear answers to your most urgent questions, such as: what to eat; how prevent nausea; and how to face tough feelings like fear of dying.  Braving Chemo is a valuable resource about what to expect during chemo, how to minimize the side effects, and how to live life as normally as possible when life itself is on the line.

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Suggested Reading - A Beginner’s Guide to the End

A Beginner’s Guide to the End: Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death
By Dr. BJ Miller and Shoshana Berger
Simon & Schuster, 2019, 544 pages
ISBN 978-1-5011-5716-5
ISBN 978-1-5011-5722-6 (ebook)

“There is nothing wrong with you for dying,” hospice physician B.J. Miller and journalist and caregiver Shoshana Berger write in A Beginner’s Guide to the End. “Our ultimate purpose here isn’t so much to help you die as it is to free up as much life as possible until you do.”

Theirs is a clear-eyed and big-hearted action plan for approaching the end of life, written to help readers feel more in control of an experience that so often seems anything but controllable. Their book offers everything from step-by-step instructions for how to do your paperwork and navigate the healthcare system to answers to questions you might be afraid to ask your doctor, like whether or not sex is still okay when you’re sick. Get advice for how to break the news to your employer, whether to share old secrets with your family, how to face friends who might not be as empathetic as you’d hoped, and how to talk to your children about your will. There are also lessons for survivors, like how to shut down a loved one’s social media accounts, clean out the house, and write a great eulogy.

Suggested Reading - Voices of Cancer

Voices of Cancer: What We Really Want, What We Really Need - Insights for Patients and the People Supporting Them by Lynda Wolters
Mascot Books, October 2019, Hardcover (160 pages) and Kindle
ISBN: 1645430391

Voices of Cancer offers a candid look into the world of a cancer patient, informed by Lynda’s own story (as a Mantle Cell Lymphoma patient) and conversations she had with dozens of patients weighing in on their needs, wants, and dislikes as they navigate the complex world of diagnosis, treatment, and beyond. With comprehensive and accessible insight from people who’ve been there, Voices of Cancer helps educate, dispel fears, and start positive conversations about what a cancer diagnosis truly means, while shining a light on how best to support a loved one on their own terms.

Suggested Reading - How to Cope Better When Someone You Love Has Cancer

How to Cope Better When Someone You Love Has Cancer By William Penzer Ph.D.
Esperence Press, 2011 234 Pages
ISBN-10: 098350170X ISBN-13: 978-0983501701

In 2005, Dr. William Penzer, a psychologist for more than forty years, found himself sitting with his wife in the waiting room of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Their 31 year old daughter had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Nothing in his life or his work had prepared him for this experience. Like a traveler in a foreign land which Dr. Penzer came to call ?Cancerville?, this loving father and seasoned psychologist discovered the pain-filled reality of supporting a loved one who has been diagnosed with cancer. In this warm and empowering book, Dr. Penzer describes his demanding journey to help you support both yourself and your loved one.

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Suggested Reading - Instructional DVD: How to Give Comfort through Touch and Massage to a Loved One with Cancer

Instructional DVD: How to Give Comfort through Touch and Massage to a Loved One with Cancer
By William Collinge, PhD, MPH 2009

A thorough and authoritative DVD program provides detailed instruction by leading experts in the field of oncology massage in safe and simple techniques anyone can learn and apply. Developed with support from the National Cancer Institute Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, Behavioral Research Program, Health Communication Informatics Research Branch (grant #CA103606). The instructional DVD follows 11 cancer patients and their caregivers through a workshop as they learn and practice simple touch and massage techniques together. It is especially helpful for the caregiver. Full program available in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese languages (plus optional subtitles for the hearing impaired). Researchers and institutions who would like to use the program in their own studies and projects, collaborate in development of new applications for the program, or have it produced in additional language versions are invited to contact Collinge and Associates.

Suggested Reading - 100 Questions & Answers About Caring for Family or Friends with Cancer

100 Questions & Answers About Caring for Family or Friends with Cancer By Susannah L. Rose, MSSW, and Richard T. Hara, Ph.D.
Joans and Bartlett Publishers, 2005, 223 pages
ISBN: 0-7637-2361-4

For people who are supporting someone through the mental or physical ordeal of a cancer diagnosis, this book is a guide to the day-to-day challenges and offers numerous suggestions and support.

Suggested Reading - Charlie's Cancer Rescue

Charlie's Cancer Rescue By David Justus, Linda Justus
Authorhouse, 2004, 168 pages
ISBN: 1418491462

This is a book that is enjoyable and easy to read for all ages. It provides over 100 suggestions that are beneficial while facing the trials of cancer, promotes the understanding that one does have the power to change and take control, and lists the benefits of finding and participating in a support group. Charlie's Cancer Rescue also provides a very helpful nationwide list of resources from cancer-related organizations.

Suggested Reading - Caregivers' Guide for Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant: Practical Perspective

Caregivers' Guide for Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant: Practical Perspective Edited by Myra Jacobs, M.A.; Anne Murley, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.; and Carole Slotkin, M.Ed.
National Bone Marrow Transplant Link, 2003, 59 pages

The National Bone Marrow Transplant Link has published a practical compilation of brief essays on caregiving for the transplant recipient. In the environment of increasing outpatient care, the caregiver's responsibilities have become more closely woven into the bone marrow transplant (BMT) process itself. Told from the perspective of various members of the healthcare team - oncology social work and nursing, mother and spouse of the patient as well as the patient, this booklet offers insights into the BMT caregiver role while affirming its importance.

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Suggested Reading - Chemo Sabe: A Guide to Being a Personal Advocate for a Chemotherapy Patient

Chemo Sabe: A Guide to Being a Personal Advocate for a Chemotherapy Patient By Brenda L. Joyner
Polonius Press, 2003, 144 pages
ISBN: 0972918000

In addition to love and moral support, there are many practical things you can do to assist someone undergoing treatment for cancer. Chemo Sabe offers a wonderful collection of helpful hints and practical information to help caregivers to also be their loved one's Personal Advocate.

Suggested Reading - And Thou Shalt Honor: A Caregivers Companion

And Thou Shalt Honor: A Caregivers Companion Edited by Beth Witrogen McLeod
Rodale Press, 2002, 464 pages
ISBN: 1579545580

This encyclopedic companion to the PBS special And Thou Shalt Honor provides practical information, as well as suggested checklists and "action plans" on a wide variety of issues that challenge caregivers. Themes include reaching out to a loved one in need of help, managing day-to-day caregiving tasks, accessing public and private resources, navigating the legal and financial maze and assembling a support network. Researchers, patient advocates and actual caregivers alike share expertise, experiences and available resources.