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Even those who are ordinarily calm and thoughtful find themselves spinning when first diagnosed with cancer. When Your Life Is Touched by Cancer helps sort out the issues involved with a cancer diagnosis, including conversations about cancer with friends, family, and doctors; traditional and nontraditional treatment options; the often-difficult period when treatment ends; and breaking the news to parents and children, including tips on what to say. Sympathetic and clear, this guide is the perfect place to turn to in a moment of crisis, providing both immediate comfort and the tools to move forward.
Bob Riter is the Executive Director of the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes in Ithaca, NY, an organization that provides support, information, and community to people affected by cancer. His involvement in the cancer community began in 1996 when he was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 40. Bob writes about cancer from a variety of perspectives in his column for the Ithaca Journal and his essays have appeared in Newsweek and CR Magazine. He routinely speaks to college classes, civic organizations, and professional groups about the human side of cancer. A native of Huntington, West Virginia, Bob received a master's degree in health services administration from the University of Michigan. He is currently a member of the New York State Health Research Science Board, and was the winner of the 2006 Innovation in Breast Cancer Research and Education Award in the health professional category from the New York State Innovation in Breast Cancer Research and Education Program.
Table of Contents
Introduction Acknowledgments Foreword
Just Diagnosed Advice for those Newly Diagnosed Cancer and Positive Thinking It’s OK to Ask Your Doctor These Questions How Old is too Old to Treat Cancer? Second Opinions If Your Mom has Cancer Good Cancers and Bad Cancers Communicating with Your Doctor Why Aren’t They Doing More? Clinical Trials Cancer-Related Anxiety Cancer and Depression Watching and Waiting Telling the Kids Telling the Parents What to Sayand Not Say When a Loved One Has Cancer Thoughts and Prayer Tree
During Treatment Keeping Yourself in Balance Non-Traditional Cancer Therapies Cancer and Alternative Therapies Doctor-Patient Interactions Chemo Nurses and Radiation Therapists A Better Phrase than Staying Strong How You Feel and How You Look Too Little and Too Much Cancer Treatment Advocating for a Loved One Groundhog Friends Helping from a Distance Helping Those We Don’t Like Helping Friends with Cancer Being Present More than Tired Chemobrain Understanding Friends with Cancer Visiting Those in the Hospital Single with Cancer Cancer as a Marathon Holiday Gifts Holiday Gifts for those with Serious Illness When a Partner is in Denial
After Treatment The After-Treatment Blahs When Loved Ones Complete Treatment Survivor’s Guilt Post-Cancer Relationships Donating Blood and Organs Survivors Can Help the Newly Diagnosed Cancer as a Chronic Disease Beginning to Talk about Hospice What to Say When Cancer Returns
Personal Reflections and Random Essays My Cancer Experience Don’t Ask about My Battle Uncertainty and Commitments Mental Illness and Cancer The Ugly Stepsister of Cancer Cancer and the Nature of Hope I have cancer. What’s new with you? My "Cancer Sucks" Button Small Acts of Heroism The Uncertainty of Cancer The Transitions of Cancer The Good That Emerged The Look People Give You Surprising Facts about Cancer Stepping Up for Neighbors New Year’s Wishes Good News in Cancer Our Cancer Professionals New Nurses and Cancer Patients Veterinary Oncology The Guys at the Corner Table Doing What I Do