When Your Life Is Touched by Cancer Practical Advice and Insights for Patients, Professionals, and Those Who Care

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-02-11
  • Publisher: Hunter House

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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.

Author Biography

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


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 Say—and 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
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

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