Synopses & Reviews
Cancer. It’s the diagnosis no one wants to hear. Unfortunately though, these days most of us have known or will know someone who receives it. But what’s next? With the diagnosis comes not only fear and uncertainty, but numerous questions, and a lot of unsolicited advice. With A Cancer Companion
, esteemed oncologist Ranjana Srivastava is here to help, bringing both experience and honesty to guide cancer patients and their families through this labyrinth of questions and treatments.
With candor and compassion, Srivastava provides an approachable and authoritative reference. She begins with the big questions, like what cancer actually is, and she moves on to offer very practical advice on how to find an oncologist, what to expect during and after treatments, and how to manage pain, diet, and exercise. She discusses in detail the different therapies for cancers and why some cancers are inoperable, and she skillfully addresses the emotional toll of the disease. She speaks clearly and directly to cancer patients, caretakers, and their loved ones, offering straightforward information and insight, something that many oncologists can’t always convey in the office.
Equipping readers with the knowledge to make informed decisions at every step of the way, A Cancer Companion is an indispensable guide by a physician who cares to educate patients as much as she does to treat them.
“As a cancer survivor, I found the unparalleled wisdom and empathy offered by Dr. Srivastava to make this book a treasure chest of cutting-edge information to help oncology patients—including those with a serious prognosis—navigate the maze of treatment, its aftermath, and related issues ranging from diet and exercise to mental health and how to talk with one's children. The stories of real people and their families coping with this disease makes The Cancer Companion fascinating and highly accessible to all of us whose lives have been touched by cancer. “
“At last, we have a practical, easy-to-read book by a cancer specialist that provides information and insights about cancer and cancer care to patients, family members, physicians, nurses and students. Topics discussed in this valuable book include how to find the right oncologist; how to best manage chemotherapy; when to consider a research trial; the role of complementary medicine; predicting treatment outcomes; and ways to manage pain effectively. In an age of shared decision making between patient and doctor, this book will help patients become more informed and more empowered.”
Each year, more than 1 and a half million Americans alone will hear the words “you have cancer.” These three small words inevitably signal dramatic changes for the rest of life, setting in motion a chain of events that are often unnecessarily plagued by confusion. For every one of these patients, and their families, Ranjana Srivastava offers an empathic and expert field guide to this uncharted terrain.
With wisdom and warmth, Srivastava demystifies the labyrinthine world of the illness. What is cancer and how is it treated? Why isn’t cancer always operable? How should diagnoses be shared with children? What is the best diet during and after treatment? How can pain be managed? These basic questions are often overrun by the complexity of the oncological world, and the limits of office visits and doctor schedules. This book then becomes an ideal companion, and portable patient advocate, that makes the experience of cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery comprehensible.
Real-life advice from real-life teens
Currently one million American teenagers live with a parent who is fighting cancer. It's a hard blow for those already navigating high school, preparing for college, and becoming increasingly independent. My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks is the first book written especially for teens to help during this tough time.
Author Maya Silver was 15 when her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001. She and her dad, Marc, have combined their family's personal experience with advice from dozens of medical professionals and real stories from 100 teens--all going through the same thing Maya did.
In a highly designed, engaging style, this book gives practical guidance that includes:
- how to talk about the diagnosis (and what does diagnosis even mean, anyway?)
- the best outlets for stress (punching a wall is not a great one, but should it happen, there are instructions for a patch job)
- how to deal with friends (especially one the ones with 'pity eyes')
- whether to tell the teachers and guidance counselors and what they should know (how not to get embarrassed in class)
- what happens in a therapy session and how to find a support group if you want one
A special section for parents also gives tips on strategies for sharing the news, making sure your child doesn't become the parent, what to do if the outlook is grim, and tips for how to live life after cancer.
My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks allows teens to see that they are not alone. That no matter how rough things get, they will get through this difficult time. That everything they're feeling is ok. Essays from Gilda Radner's "Gilda's Club" annual contest are an especially poignant and moving testimony of how other teens dealt with their family's situation.
PRAISE FOR MY PARENT HAS CANCER AND IT REALLY SUCKS
"Wisely crafted into a wonderfully warm, engaging and informative book that reads like a chat with a group of friends with helpful advice from the experts."
Paula K. Rauch MD, Director of the Marjorie E. Korff Parenting At a Challenging Time Program
"A must read for parents, kids, teachers and medical staff who know anyone with cancer. You will learn something on every page."
Anna Gottlieb, MPA, Founder and CEO Gilda's Club Seattle
"This book is a 'must have' for oncologists, cancer treatment centers and families with teenagers."
Kathleen McCue, MA, LSW, CCLS, Director of the Children's Program at The Gathering Place, Cleveland, OH
"My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks provides a much-needed toolkit for teens coping with a parent's cancer. In this honest and heart-felt guide, Marc Silver and his daughter, Maya, present direct, no-nonsense and helpful advice."
Jane Saccaro, CEO of Camp Kesem, a camp for children who have a parent with cancer
"Marc and Maya Silver have skillfully blended the voices of teens, parents and experts...This book is knowing, pragmatic, and attuned to the challenges of growing into one's self while having to attend to a parent's needs."
Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., clinical psychologist and author of The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers
"A valuable resource for teenagers and their families."
Seth Berkowitz, LCSW, CCLS, Patient Services Manager, Southern Florida Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
About the Author
Ranjana Srivastava is an oncologist and educator in the Melbourne, Australia, public healthcare system. She presents a regular health segment on Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) television and radio. Her writing has been featured in the Guardian, New York Times, New England Journal of Medicine, and the Lancet, among other publications. She is also the author of Tell Me the Truth and Dying for a Chat.