As the hours set in after my initial cancer diagnosis, I went from feeling disbelief to craving information. I wanted to know more. So rather than jump on the internet, since I was warned to stay away, my husband and I drove to the nearest Barnes & Noble bookstore. I purchased a few “you have cancer” books and quickly learned that any piece of literature, story, infographic or even a sound bite could bring me to tears if I wasn’t ready. Since unfortunately others have been and will be touched by cancer, below is a short list of cancer books that provided me information without scary statistics and overwhelming tales. These cancer books delivered inspiration to move forward and take care of myself, while I let my medical and support team take care of me.
My Favorite Cancer Books to Help Someone with a Diagnosis
1. Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips by Kris Carr
New York Times Best Selling Author and Wellness Warrior Kris Carr can be seen as the ultimate resource for someone who wants to be a good medical patient, while also investigating natural modalities. She speaks about her own rare cancer diagnosis and guides you through organizing your patient appointments and medical needs. She offsets her light bootcamp, aka Cancer College, with suggestions on how to start a wellness makeover. This was one of the first books I read when I was initially diagnosed for the second time. I wish it would have been around in 2004, when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer and clueless as to what mattered most. While this is an old book, I still think it’s an easy read with many wellness strategies that work.
2. Anticancer: A New Way of Life by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber
Brain surgeon and cancer patient David Servan-Schreiber combined several research studies on cancer and lifestyle to create his own wellness plan and anti-cancer activities. While this book is filled with medical jargon and 30 pages of footnotes, he created an index with easy to read tables outlining the most substantiated data. With the internet today, there are so many different sites and magazines catering to “super foods” and “mindful practices.” This book came before their time and is a one-stop shop highlighting specifics to change your lifestyle including mind, body and spirit practices.
3. Anticancer Living: Transform Your LIfe and Health with the Mix of Six by Lorenzo Cohen, MD and Alison Jeffries, MEd
This book is a follow up to the work done by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber with so much more. The authors, married to each other, showcase the scientific data between lifestyle, environmental factors and cancer risk. Their “Mix of Six” outlines ways to promote health and happiness whether you are living with disease or trying to prevent it. Dr. Cohen and Alison were guests on “Happiness through Hardship” – The Podcast and share their stories and tidbits on the book.
4. The Cancer Recovery Plan: How to Increase the Effectiveness of Your Treatment by D. Barry Boyd, MD and Marian Betancourt
Dr. Boyd is known as a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine and writes about maximizing the effectiveness of cancer treatment. In this book, he outlines a nutrition guide and exercise plan as well as showcases several naturopath options to help patients through cancer treatment. In addition, he shares success stories of his patients to provide insight and inspiration a long the way. I read this ten years ago before he became my doctor. Now, I’ve become his patient and learn a tremendous amount about nutrition, lifestyle and my cancer at our appointments.
5.The Silver Lining: A Supportive and Insightful Guide to Breast Cancer by Hollye Jacobs, RN, MS, MSW
Hollye Jacobs is a well-known, nurse, social worker and child development specialist, who found “silver linings” through her experience as a breast cancer patient. The Silver Lining is half memoir, half resource guide. Each chapter opens with a story about her own diagnosis, treatment and recovery. The second half of each chapter is told from Hollye’s perspective as a medical expert. It is beautifully illustrated through photography by her close friend, Elizabeth Messina.
6. Happiness through Hardship – A Guide and Journal for Cancer Patients, their Caregivers and Friends by Caryn Sullivan
Written from my heart including stories, suggestions and resources for those touched with cancer, this book is my life’s work. Over the years, I’ve had a ton of people ask for me to talk to friends and family members recently diagnosed. Happiness through Hardship is filled with information to help and heal. The back of the book includes a journal and notetaking pages, too. In addition, half of the net profits are donated to metastatic breast cancer research through The Cancer Couch Foundation.
Tell me what you think about these cancer books? Are there any other resources that you recommend for a patient or caregiver going through cancer?
Favorite Cancer Books
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