Challenging Cancer (Class Health) Paperback – 1 Jun 2002
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"..a psychologist and a consultant oncologist suggest how patients can learn to cope with a "cancer crisis"..chaos can be turned into control and opportunity." -- The Lancet
"..brings together the thoughts, ideas, hopes and experiences of doctors, patients and the families who care for those with cancer. Unbelievably optimistic." -- Woman magazine
"..uses the voices of patients in group discussions..to show how the quality of life can be retained, and in some cases actually enhanced after cancer." -- Practical Health
"I would recommend it ..to patients and their families struggling to gain some control over the chaos of cancer." -- Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine
"The narratives are compelling, and the book's informal and even chatty style draws in the reader." -- The Christian Century
Challenging Cancer shows people with cancer how they can stop feeling like victims and regain control of their lives. Cancer patients describe in their own words their strategies for coping with their situation, and demonstrate that it is possible to turn a crisis into an opportunity. The book centers around a weekend seminar and includes in-depth comment from those patients attending and their experiences and challenges from diagnosis to survival. There is a chapter on the story of Dr Vicky Clement-Jones, who having been diagnosed with ovarian cancer - found there was little information available about the practical aspects of living with cancer nor information about the disease from a patient's perspective. Together with Dr Maurice Slevin she founded CancerBACUP in 1985.See all Product description
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That's where this excellent book helps. It is written by Dr Maurice Slevin, the leading oncologist and Dr Nira Kfir, the psychiatrist recognised for her work in crisis management. They set out to show how it is possible to fight back through better knowledge, emotional support and the provision of options to help to trigger the change in people's lives necessary if they are to take control of their lives again.
Everyone will take different learning points from the book..........and there are certainly too many to list here..........for me the three things I found most valuable were:
1. `Fighting back' does not have as much meaning if it is for you personally.......it will have more purpose if it is put it in the context of the impact on others (family or wider society)......which allows you to set goals, which can then be extended or refined as medical circumstances allow................
2. Patients would do well to recognise that it is often their supporters (family and friends) who are in the real front-line...........one of the reasons for this is that there are two teams supporting the patient.......a medical team who will multiply in times of need.........and the support team, who each have to rise to new levels of support, when the same need appears............
3. For those in their first chemotherapy regime (where everyone's life has a discipline for up to six months)...........to think through what you and your supporters will do when the regime ends..........where you will want to have made some decisions in advance, or run the risk of entering a period of waiting (a void) that could be quite disorientating, especially for those who have enjoyed a busy life before............
Summary: a `must read' for those who have been diagnosed with cancer and their supporters. It should enable them and their supporters to hold an open discussion on how they intend to regain control of their lives, so they can fight back, take control and find options best suited to them.