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The web Directory of Information Materials for People Affected by Cancer is regularly updated and currently has details of over 1,900 booklets, leaflets, books and audiovisual materials for people affected by cancer. Most have been published in the last five years but we have included some older ones that are still useful.

Results: 8

Cover image of 'Echo's sister'

Echo's sister (2018)

HarperCollins

Twelve-year-old El has planned on making her first week at a new school fantastic. She won’t go by her given name, Laughter. She’ll sit in the back of the classroom where she can make new friends. She won’t even have time to think about all the fun her old friends are having without her. Everything will be great. But when her dad picks her up after school and tells her that her younger sister, Echo, has a life-threatening illness, her world is suddenly turned upside down. And with her parents now pressed for time and money, El feels lost and powerless. Then she befriends Octavius, the only other kid in school who gets what she’s going through. As El begins to adjust to her new life, she soon finds that maybe a little hope and a lot of love can overcome any obstacle. (Publishers)

Cover image of 'Marrow. A love story'

Marrow. A love story (2016)

Harper Wave (HarperCollins imprint)

The author of the New York Times bestseller Broken Open returns with a visceral and profound memoir of two sisters who, in the face of a bone marrow transplant—one the donor and one the recipient—begin a quest for acceptance, authenticity, and most of all, love. A mesmerizing and courageous memoir: the story of two sisters uncovering the depth of their love through the life-and-death experience of a bone marrow transplant. Throughout her life, Elizabeth Lesser has sought understanding about what it means to be true to oneself and, at the same time, truly connected to the ones we love. But when her sister Maggie needs a bone marrow transplant to save her life, and Lesser learns that she is the perfect match, she faces a far more immediate and complex question about what it really means to love—honestly, generously, and authentically. Hoping to give Maggie the best chance possible for a successful transplant, the sisters dig deep into the marrow of their relationship to clear a path to unconditional acceptance. They leave the bone marrow transplant up to the doctors, but take on what Lesser calls a "soul marrow transplant," examining their family history, having difficult conversations, examining old assumptions, and offering forgiveness until all that is left is love for each other’s true selves. Their process—before, during, and after the transplant—encourages them to take risks of authenticity in other aspects their lives. But life does not follow the storylines we plan for it. Maggie’s body is ultimately too weak to fight the relentless illness. As she and Lesser prepare for the inevitable, they grow ever closer as their shared blood cells become a symbol of the enduring bond they share. Told with suspense and humor, Marrow is joyous and heartbreaking, incandescent and profound. The story reveals how even our most difficult experiences can offer unexpected spiritual growth. Reflecting on the multifaceted nature of love—love of other, love of self, love of the world—Marrow is an unflinching and beautiful memoir about getting to the very center of ourselves. (Publisher) 

Cover image of 'Bald is better with earrings. A survivor’s guide to getting through breast cancer'

Bald is better with earrings. A survivor’s guide to getting through breast cancer (2015)

HarperCollins

When Andrea Hutton was diagnosed with breast cancer, she wanted to know everything. She voraciously read books, articles, and websites and talked to everyone she knew. But nothing prepared her for what the surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation would feel like. Were there tricks that could ease her pain and discomfort? What was “fatigue” and how would it affect her? At what exact moment would her hair fall out and how? Hutton wanted what she could not find: a clear how-to guide for the cancer girl she had become. Bald Is Better with Earrings is Hutton’s answer for women diagnosed with breast cancer: a straightforward handbook, leavened with humor and inspiration, to shepherd them though the experience. Warm and down-to-earth, Hutton explains what to expect and walks you through this intense and emotional process: tests, surgery, chemo, losing your hair and shaving your head, being bald, radiation treatments. Hutton offers a wealth of invaluable advice—from tricks for surviving chemo, to treating your skin during radiation, to keeping track of meds—and includes a practical list of tips for each stage of the process at the end of every chapter. Compassionate, friendly, and shaped by Hutton’s first-hand knowledge, Bald Is Better with Earrings is the comprehensive, essential companion for anyone dealing with breast cancer. (Publisher) 

Cover image of 'The heart and the bottle'

The heart and the bottle (2010)

HarperCollins Children's Books

Award-winning picture book star Oliver Jeffers explores themes of love and loss in this life-affirming and uplifting tale. Once there was a girl whose life was filled with wonder at the world around her…Then one day something happened that made the girl take her heart and put it in a safe place. However, after that it seemed that the world was emptier than before. But would she know how to get her heart back? In this deeply moving story, Oliver Jeffers deals with the weighty themes of love and loss with an extraordinary lightness of touch and shows us, ultimately, that there is always hope. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'Cancer made me a shallower person. A memoir in comics'

Cancer made me a shallower person. A memoir in comics (2006)

HarperCollins

Miriam Engelberg is a successful cartoonist who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 43. Like many who face trauma, tragedy and illness, she was unable tell her story in traditional written and visual forms. Instead, she has written a distinctly unique cartoon memoir. Following in the Art Spiegelman tradition of graphic novels, Engelberg walks us through every emotional and physical stage of the disease, from diagnosis to a return to 'normal' life and everything in between: waiting for the biopsy results by pretending to be doing everything but that, awkwardly breaking the diagnostic news to horrified acquaintances, shopping for wigs while fighting nausea and disorientation from her cancer drugs, feeling like an outsider in support groups, and speculating about what caused the cancer in the first place - overzealous cheese consumption or apathy about multi-vitamins? 'Cancer Made Me A Shallower Person' is an offbeat and darkly humorous account of one very funny woman's battle with an uncertain and often fatal illness. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'With the end in mind. Dying, death and wisdom in an age of denial'

With the end in mind. Dying, death and wisdom in an age of denial (2017)

William Collins

In this unprecedented book, palliative medicine pioneer Dr Kathryn Mannix explores the biggest taboo in our society and the only certainty we all share: death. Told through a series of beautifully crafted stories taken from nearly four decades of clinical practice, her book answers the most intimate questions about the process of dying with touching honesty and humanity. She makes a compelling case for the therapeutic power of approaching death not with trepidation but with openness, clarity and understanding. With the End in Mind is a book for us all: the grieving and bereaved, ill and healthy. Open these pages and you will find stories about people who are like you, and like people you know and love. You will meet Holly, who danced her last day away; Eric, the retired head teacher who, even with Motor Neurone Disease, gets things done; loving, tender-hearted Nelly and Joe, each living a lonely lie to save their beloved from distress; and Sylvie, 19, dying of leukaemia, sewing a cushion for her mum to hug by the fire after she has died. These are just four of the book’s thirty-odd stories of normal humans, dying normal human deaths. They show how the dying embrace living not because they are unusual or brave, but because that’s what humans do. By turns touching, tragic, at times funny and always wise, they offer us illumination, models for action, and hope. Read this book and you’ll be better prepared for life as well as death. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'There is no good card for this: what to say and do when life is scary, awful, and unfair to people you love'

There is no good card for this: what to say and do when life is scary, awful, and unfair to people you love (2017)

HarperOne

The creator of the viral hit "Empathy Cards" teams up with a compassion expert to produce a visually stunning and groundbreaking illustrated guide to help you increase your emotional intelligence and learn how to offer comfort and support when someone you know is in pain. When someone you know is hurting, you want to let her know that you care. But many people don’t know what words to use—or are afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. This thoughtful, instructive guide, from empathy expert Dr. Kelsey Crowe and greeting card maverick Emily McDowell, blends well-researched, actionable advice with the no-nonsense humor and the signature illustration style of McDowell's immensely popular Empathy Cards, to help you feel confident in connecting with anyone experiencing grief, loss, illness, or any other difficult situation. Written in a how-to, relatable, we’ve-all-been-that-deer-in-the-headlights kind of way, There Is No Good Card for This isn’t a spiritual treatise on how to make you a better person or a scientific argument about why compassion matters. It is a helpful illustrated guide to effective compassion that takes you, step by step by step, past the paralysis of thinking about someone in a difficult time to actually doing something (or nothing) with good judgment instead of fear. There Is No Good Card for This features workbook exercises, sample dialogs, and real-life examples from Dr. Crowe’s research, including her popular "Empathy Bootcamps" that give people tools for building relationships when it really counts. Whether it’s a coworker whose mother has died, a neighbor whose husband has been in a car accident, or a friend who is seriously ill, There Is No Good Card for This teaches you how to be the best friend you can be to someone in need. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'Late fragments'

Late fragments (2015)

William Collins

Ambitious and talented, Kate Gross worked at Number 10 Downing Street for two British Prime Ministers whilst only in her twenties. At thirty, she was CEO of a charity working with fragile democracies in Africa. She had married 'the best looking man I've ever kissed' – and given birth to twin boys in 2008. The future was bright. But aged 34, Kate was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer. After a two-year battle with the disease, Kate died peacefully at home on Christmas morning, just ten minutes before her sons awoke to open their stockings. She began to write as a gift to herself, a reminder that she could create even as her body began to self-destruct. Written for those she loves,her book is not a conventional cancer memoir; nor is it filled with medical jargon or misery. Instead, it is Kate's powerful attempt to make sense of the woman who emerged in the strange, lucid final chunk of her life. Her book aspires to give hope and purpose to the lives of her readers even as her own life drew to its close. Kate should have been granted decades to say all that she says in these pages. Denied the chance to bore her children and grandchildren with stories when she became fat and old, she offers us all instead her thoughts on how to live; on the wonder to be found in the everyday; the importance of friendship and love; what it means to die before your time and how to fill your life with hope and joy even in the face of tragedy. (Publisher)

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