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Treatment

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 - The Big Ordeal

The Big Ordeal: Understanding and Managing the Psychological Turmoil of Cancer by Cynthia Hayes
River Grove Books, February 2021, 264 pages
ISBN 978-1-63299-335-9 Print
ISBN 978-1-63299-336-6 eBook

 

Nothing can truly prepare you for the emotional rollercoaster of a cancer diagnosis, but The Big Ordeal will help you anticipate and respond to the psychological turmoil ahead. Written by a cancer survivor with the help of a psychotherapist and two oncologists, The Big Ordeal presents the typical emotional experience, illustrated by patient and caregiver stories. The book explains the science behind those emotions, helping you understand why you feel the way you do, and offers advice on how to cope. The book is based on interviews with over 100 patients, caregivers, oncologists, neuroscientists, and other experts.

For more information: https://thebigordeal.com

Suggested Reading - Bone Marrow and Blood Stem Cell Transplants: A Guide for Patients

Bone Marrow and Blood Stem Cell Transplants: A Guide for Patients and Their Loved Ones by Susan K. Stewart
Blood & Marrow Transplant Information Network, 2020, 204 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-7337268-5-6

A comprehensive and easy-to-read book that's a must for patients considering a transplant using donor bone marrow, blood stem cells or cord blood. The book walks the reader through what to expect before, during and after transplant and includes the perspective of patients and caregivers as well.

For more information: http://www.bmtinfonet.org/

Suggested Reading - CAR T-Cell Therapy: What to Expect

CAR T-Cell Therapy: What to Expect Before, During and After by Susan K. Stewart
Published by Blood & Marrow Transplant Information Network, 2020, 26 Pages
ISBN 978-1-7337268-4-9

CAR T-cell therapy is an exciting new treatment currently approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration for patients with certain types of lymphoma or acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Researchers are studying whether it can help other cancer patients as well.  If you are considering CAR T-cell therapy, this easy-to-read colorful booklet will help you understand what to expect when going through treatment.

For more information: https://bmtinfonet.org/

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.

For more information: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/when-blood-breaks-down

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.

Author’s website: https://www.beverlyzavaletamd.com

Suggested Reading -The Scars, Aligned

The Scars, Aligned (A Cancer Narrative) by Brad Buchanan
Finishing Line Press, 2019, Paperback 93 pages
ISBN: 9781635348514

The Scars, Aligned follows the author's journey through the many phases of a cancer patient’s experience and interweaves lines of famous poetry. He covers feelings of uncertainty, paranoia, diagnosis, acceptance, expectancy, crisis, treatment, and finally recovery. The narrative working through these poems is a powerful and universal one, but the details of an intensely lived physical and emotional ordeal make this book far more than a mere succession of unfortunate events.

Suggested Reading - Autologous Stem Cell Transplants: A Handbook for Patients

Autologous Stem Cell Transplants: A Handbook for Patients
By Susan K. Stewart
Blood & Marrow Transplant Information Network, 2019, 180 pages
ISBN: 978-1-7337269-0-1

This comprehensive and easy-to-read book is for patients considering a transplant using their own bone marrow or stem cells.  It walks the reader through what to expect before, during and after transplant and includes the perspective of both patients and caregivers.

For more information: https://www.bmtinfonet.org

Suggested Reading - Sending

Sending - An Athlete Confronting Cancer by Jennifer Erin Pinkus
Blurb.com and Dorrance Publishing, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-36-803943-0 Softcover, 178 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-6470-2653-0 Ebook

SENDING is a generic term for successfully completing a vertical rock or ice climb. Jennifer Erin Pinkus approached her struggle against cancer with the determination and emotional strength she used when tackling the most challenging mountain.  When Jen received a diagnosis of lymphoma, she decided to start a daily journal describing her experience with hair loss, “chemo brain,” metallic tastes and insurance coverage. Her talent for using the written word in prose and poetry to describe coping with this horrific illness is raw and honest. It shows Jen’s courage as she faces her fears, the unknown and finally death.

Suggested Reading - Consider it Pure Joy

Consider It Pure Joy by Jennifer Jones Austin
Published by The Church Online LLC, February 2018, Paperback, 217 pages (also available as e-book)
ISBN: 9781940786612

Author Jennifer Jones Austin - wife, mother, lawyer, child advocate and the picture of good health - finds herself with an acute form of leukemia that requires a bone marrow transplant to increase her chances of survival.  The story recounts how Jennifer, her family and friends, are in a race against time as she fights cancer and searches for a bone marrow donor to cure her and others of the deadly disease. With scripture and bible verses, Jennifer describes how her power of faith, and her power of community, help to transform desperation into joy.

Suggested Reading - Graft-versus-Host Disease: What to Know, What to Do

Graft-versus-Host Disease: What to Know, What to Do
Published by Blood & Marrow Transplant Information Network (2018)
42 Pages - Available in English and Spanish​

Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a complication that often occurs after a transplant using cells from a donor (an allogeneic transplant).  This booklet will help you understand the symptoms of GVHD, the organs it can affect, treatment options and steps you can take to minimize the impact of GVHD on your daily life.

For more information: https://bmtinfonet.org/

Suggested Reading - Living with Cancer - A Step-by-Step Guide for Coping Medically and Emotionally with a Serious Diagnosis

Living with Cancer - A Step-by-Step Guide for Coping Medically and Emotionally with a Serious Diagnosis by Vicki A. Jackson, MD, MPH, David P. Ryan, MD and Michelle D. Seaton.
Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017, 351 pages
ISBN 1421422328 Hardcover (also available in paperback and e-book)

Doctors Vicki A. Jackson and David P. Ryan have crafted a step-by-step guide aimed at helping people with cancer grasp what’s happening to them while coping physically and emotionally with treatment.  It is a practical, easy to read and comprehensive reference covering everything from understanding one’s diagnosis to managing symptoms and side effects and dealing with end of life concerns.

For more information: https://www.press.jhu.edu/

Suggested Reading - Cancer Clinical Trials: A Commonsense Guide to Experimental Cancer Therapies and Clinical Trials

Cancer Clinical Trials: A Commonsense Guide to Experimental Cancer Therapies and Clinical Trials By Tomasz M. Beer, M.D., Larry W. Axmaker, Ed.D
DiaMedica, 2012, 144 Pages
ISBN-10: 098232197X ISBN-13: 978-0982321973

Cancer Clinical Trials is a comprehensive, no-nonsense, and readable guide for anyone who is considering therapeutic options in addition to standard cancer therapy. The book seeks to share knowledge about cancer clinical trials with people living with cancer, their families and loved ones. It will help readers decide if a clinical trial is a good option for them, to choose an appropriate trial, and to navigate through the clinical trial process. It includes lists of questions to ask, things to look for, things to watch out for, and places to look for information. A chapter on available drugs now used to treat cancer will be especially helpful.

Suggested Reading - 100 Questions & Answers About Cancer and Fertility

100 Questions & Answers About Cancer and Fertility By Lindsay Beck, Kutluck H. Oktay MD, Joyce Dillon Reinecke, JD
Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2008 152 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-7637-4049-8

Whether you're a newly diagnosed cancer patient, a survivor or a loved one of someone suffering from infertility, this book offers help. The only book available which provides both the doctor's and patient's views, 100 Questions & Answers About Cancer & Fertility, provides practical, authoritative answers to 100 of the most common questions asked by cancer patients and survivors about fertility. Written by an Ob-Gyn/reproductive medicine specialist and cancer/fertility patient advocate, with commentary from actual patients, this is an invaluable resource for anyone struggling with the medical, physical and emotional turmoil of cancer and infertility.

Suggested Reading - One Hundred Days: My Unexpected Journey from Doctor to Patient

One Hundred Days: My Unexpected Journey from Doctor to Patient By David Biro, M.D.
Knopf Publishing Group, 2001, 304 pages
ISBN: 0375706739

Stricken with a potentially life-threatening rare blood disease, Dr. Biro chooses to undergo a potentially curative, though potentially life-threatening allogeneic stem cell transplant, despite conflicting medical advise. Told with candor and humor, he shares his experiences of the transplant process. From the perspective of a patient who is also a doctor, he includes both the physical and the emotional impact of the transplant.