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.
Please enter a word or phrase into the search box to find relevant materials. If you want to search for a phrase, please use quotes, eg “Macmillan Cancer Support”, “Breast cancer”. If you have any questions about the web directory please contact Sue Hawkins email@example.com
In 2017 broadcaster Rev. Ruth Scott was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. As rounds of treatment and hospital stays came to dominate her life, she was forced to step back from her busy routine. She found this experience disconcerting at first but gradually came to realise that it gave her a remarkable opportunity to view life from a different perspective. This book was written during the time of her treatment, what she came to call ‘a gap year in the shadow of death’. More than a memoir of wards and tests, it offers a series of reflections that draw on Ruth’s broad experience and deep thinking. In her life and work she had an innate gift for connecting with people, for being there with them. The book captures this essence in its brave, resonant, and always compassionate exploration of being alive. Living with uncertainty, letting go of control, and allowing for doubt, she writes, can make room for mystery and bring about understanding beyond rational limitations. Drawing on a lifetime of reading and on poems and songs gifted by friends and fellow-patients, Ruth Scott outlines the things that really matter, poignantly and powerfully drawing the reader on her journey. Ruth died in February 2019, but, as Richard Holloway writes, she has left us ‘a map to guide us through our own lives’.
Two days after celebrating her 50th birthday, Juliette Chan had an unexpected birthday present: bowel cancer. Luckily, they caught it early, but once the treatment was over, the psychological side-effects surfaced. For many months, Juliette was adrift and felt lost. It seemed that everything in her life was up for review and she struggled to gain clarity about what to do next. There were many questions, such as: When will I feel normal again; Why am I not as motivated as before; Will the cancer come back; Why am I mentally exhausted. It took her a while to realise that the cancer had caused a whole load of losses: loss of trust in her body, self-image as a fit and healthy person, energy, confidence, motivation, income and much more. And that’s when the penny dropped; she was grieving. Cancer not only involves coping with the physical disease and treatment – it also means experiencing and dealing with hidden losses that will affect how you view and live your life. Every time you experience a loss, there is an emotional response: grief. Most people only associate grief with bereavement but it is in fact a natural reaction to any and all losses, including the hidden and intangible losses you face with cancer. Anyone who has or has had cancer, as well as their family and friends, will experience grief – because life has changed. This can show up as anger, frustration, anxiety, ‘depression’, fear, sadness, for example. If left unchecked or suppressed, grief will affect your mental health and emotional wellbeing. It doesn’t have to be like this; it is possible to take care of the emotional and mental impact of cancer and to live well. In her easy, relaxed style of writing, Juliette explains the emotional and mental impact of cancer and highlights the limitations of Mindfulness and positive thinking. She has also included a workbook with simple practical exercises that help to release the psychological side-effects and provide clarity. You can also read the candid stories of eight others who faced cancer: Robert describes his initial feelings of shock on diagnosis and how others helped him to cope, whereas Meena recounts going it alone; Petra shares how she continued to run throughout her treatment, and Susan talks movingly about the seemingly endless decision-making from diagnosis onwards; Mary, Tony and June recount their unique experiences of the same cancer
If you are caring for someone, this book is for you. It contains everything that helped Verran to find his way as he cared for his wife Karen, from her initial diagnosis to her death 8½ years later. “This is so beautiful, so helpful right now.” Rachel, caring for her mother. Whenever he discovered a new way to do something, or a new way of thinking, or being that worked for him, he wrote it down in a notebook. Page by page, that notebook became this book - a collection of reminders that helped him time and time again, and especially when he was struggling. “This book connects to the human in all of us, a hand to hold, and a guiding light.” Lee, caring for his wife. The thoughts within this book still help Verran today, and he now offers it to you in the hope that it will help you too. He invites you to try whatever catches your eye, whatever makes sense to you in your heart. Also to notice whenever you find a new way that works for you, and to add your own reminders. It is Verran’s hope that these thoughts will help you to adapt, and to grow, and to find your way. Your way to truly be with those that you care for, to nurture your own peace of mind, and to create the space you need for you. (Publisher)
Losing someone close after a stem cell transplant can be devastating. Although it is a challenging treatment, there is often a lot of hope that it will give a long-term remission. Bereavement is a personal experience and there is no right or wrong way to grieve. This guide was developed with people who lost a partner or family member after a stem cell transplant. The post-transplant experience leading up to the bereavement can leave you with questions and emotions; this guide aims to help you identify those emotions and answer some of your questions.
After a life of reading and writing, what does it feel like to be deprived of both, to be thrown back only on what’s in your head? The literary snippets that emerge into Todd’s consciousness during a month of radiation are sometimes apt, often ludicrous. They draw her back into childhood in Wales, Bermuda, Ceylon when literature functioned as friend and escape, to her unquiet past in sixties Ghana, then America at the dawn of the rights movements. Her father, nearing 100, is caught in the same ‘hospital-land’: both learn the selfishness of sickness and both respond by telling stories. (Publisher)
In her mid-twenties, balancing a stable job and a partying lifestyle, Annie was also on the hunt for a man. She wanted to find Mr Right, get married, buy a house, and live the life she'd always wanted. But then one day, she found a lump ... Breast cancer. The two words that would derail Annie's life. Suddenly she realised how short her life had been, and the very idea of finding love seemed impossible. As her hair fell out, and her social life crumbled, her mental health deteriorated. She began to question if she would actually survive. Struggling with an identity crisis and worryingly low moods, she wondered if she'd ever be able to live the normal life that had been within her reach only months earlier. Love and Remission tells the tale of a young woman in search of love and mental wellbeing. (Publisher)
Square Peg (Vintage)
This is a singular memoir: an excavation of mother love, a candid account of the agonies, and absurdities, of the cancer experience, and a doggedly optimistic paean to life. When Genevieve Fox finds a lump in her throat, she turns up for the hospital diagnosis in a party frock and fancy hair. I can’t have cancer, she thinks. I’ve done my hair. But there is another reason she can’t countenance cancer. Genevieve was orphaned to it at the age of nine. Genevieve’s story weaves together past and present as she recalls her rackety, unconventional childhood, while also facing the spectre of being lost to her young boys. Yet, she confronts her treatment with the same sassy survival instinct that characterised her childhood misadventures. Through an extraordinary alchemy, Genevieve takes life’s precariousness and turns it on its head. (Publisher)
Poetry Space Ltd
Mark Sims, a young doctor was diagnosed with advanced skin cancer just before his 27th birthday. This is the story of his 23-month wrestle with the disease, his passion to raise awareness and funds for vital research and how he found love quite unexpectedly, while working through his bucket list. Sadly, Mark died on January 19th 2017. His book is being published posthumously. (Publisher)
Olop and Flossie Publishing
What does the mother say to her six-year-old when she asks the question that no mother ever wants to be asked? How does the fourteen-year-old cope with the illness while struggling with the typical angst of a teenager? This book is about an ordinary family who is faced with extra-ordinary changes and challenges when the mother is diagnosed with a potentially life-limiting illness. IT (the illness) becomes the uninvited guest in the family and as the story develops the frustrations, anxieties and impact all become very real. (Publisher)
Self-published using CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
In this, his first venture into the literary world, Terry Barry has succeeded in producing a distinctive, perceptive and truly heartwarming story about his battle with life-threatening illness and disease, drawing on medical records and diary entries and written in an engagingly immediate style, skilfully and sympathetically addressing the physical, psychological and emotional turmoil that affected him, his family and friends, prompting him to re-evaluate his recollection of past events and determining his aspirations and goals for the future (Publisher).