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 soundbite 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 books that provided me information without scary statistics and overwhelming tales. These delivered inspiration to move forward and take care of myself, while I let my medical and support team take care of me.
My Favorite 4 Books to Help Someone with a Cancer Diagnosis
1. Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips by Kris Carr
NY 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. She’s a spit-fire, sharing silly stories (hers and others) and embarrassing moments, which makes her relatable. She gives you a lot of information in an easy fashion, so it’s not too overpowering to read and take notes over a few days. 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.
2. Anticancer: A New Way of Life by 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. 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.
4.The Silver Lining: A Supportive and Insightful Guide to Breast Cancer by Hollye Jacobs, RN, MS, MSW
This breast cancer guide has received a ton of publicity within the past year. 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.
I just released an e-book with half of the net profits going to metastatic breast cancer research through The Cancer Couch Foundation. Happiness through Hardship: A Guide for Cancer Patients, Their Caregivers and Friends During an Initial Cancer Diagnosis via Amazon Kindle and then in paperback later this year. The first few weeks after diagnosis is often most challenging. I’m blessed because I had three angels, Ellen, Mary Ann and Meghan guiding me through. I dedicate this book to them.
Tell me what you think about these books? Are there any other resources that you recommend for a patient or caregiver going through cancer?
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