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.
Ebury Press (Penguin Random House)
Patrick Dillon and Nicola Thorold were together for twenty-eight years. Patrick was an award-winning architect and writer and Nicola a leading figure in theatre, awarded an OBE for her contribution to the arts at London’s Roundhouse. Their two children were almost grown-up. Life was good. And then, in May 2015, Nicola was diagnosed with leukaemia. After several rounds of treatment, a bone marrow transplant and many waves of recovery and decline, she died thirteen months after her diagnosis. Six months later, at Christmas, Patrick started to write. A Moment of Grace is the searing, tender account of Patrick’s life with Nicola and her illness, and his life after her loss. But it is more than a story of illness and unbearable grief: it is a book of memory, of home, of family. It is a tale of the transfiguring power of love. Heartbreaking, life-affirming and truly unforgettable, A Moment of Grace is one man’s journey to find life after his wife’s death. (Publisher)
Renowned as a much-loved and highly respected BBC journalist, Victoria Derbyshire has spent 20 years finding the human story behind the headlines. In 2015 she found herself at the heart of the news, with a devastating breast cancer diagnosis. With honesty and openness, she decided to live out her treatment and recovery in the spotlight in a series of video diaries that encouraged thousands to seek diagnosis and help. Victoria has kept a diary since she was nine years old and in this book she shares her day to day experiences of life following her diagnosis and coming to terms with a future that wasn't planned. From the moment she woke up to find her right breast had collapsed, to telling her partner and children, through to mastectomy and chemotherapy. From wearing a wig to work and hiding it from her colleagues, to the relief and joy of finishing treatment before immediately flying to Glasgow to present a debate on the European Referendum. y sharing her story, she became the person that mums, daughters, sisters, husbands, boyfriends and family members contacted to thank as they tried to find ways to cope with their own and their loved ones' prognosis, and needed to know that they were not alone. (Publisher)
London-born Kate Bowler, a thirty-five year-old professor at the school of divinity at Duke, had finally had a baby with her childhood sweetheart when she began to feel jabbing pains in her stomach. She lost thirty pounds, guzzled antacid, and visited doctors for three months before she was finally diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. As Kate navigates the aftermath of her diagnosis, she pulls the reader into her life and her history - affectionately filled with a colourful retinue of friends, mega-church preachers, parents, and doctors - and shares her irreverent, laser-sharp reflections on faith, friendship, love, and death. She wonders why suffering makes her feel like a loser and explores the burden of positivity. Trying to relish the time she still has with her son and husband, she realizes she must cure her habit of 'skipping to the end' and planning the next move. An historian of the American Prosperity Gospel (the creed of the megachurches that promises believers a cure for tragedy, if they just want it badly enough) Kate finds that she craves these same 'outrageous certainties'. Why is it so hard to surrender when she knows there are no spiritual guarantees? (Publisher)
They say there’s a book in all of us, but I doubt I would ever have written one had it not have been for my diagnosis of breast cancer in 2011. ‘A New Kind of Normal' is the story of my life up to and moving on from that moment. Growing up in the 60's, working through the 70's and 80's, juggling a career in TV and radio while bringing up three children and surviving two divorces. From the moment I knew what a bra was, I’d wanted breasts: I even crafted a pair of blue plasticine boobs for myself, as nature made me wait until I was 15 for breasts of my own! Through cancer I lost them both, and with the chemotherapy; all my hair, my fingernails, and more worryingly, a sense of whom I was. My hair grew back, as did my fingernails, but I still struggled with my identity. What I’ve written isn't a diary, nor a self-help guide, and it's not just about cancer. I’ve taken a really good look at the little girl I was and the woman I grew into, and why I went to such lengths to try and claw back some of what cancer had taken from me - it's not everyone's way I appreciate, and it’s been an interesting exercise trying to ascertain why it was mine! I’ve been honest, open, and meticulous when it comes to detail, as I firmly believe that if you take away the mystery, you can take away some of the fear. But there’s a lot to laugh about here too, as luckily I’ve always been able to see the funny side of a situation, preferring that to the occasional overwhelming despair I felt. In this book I've tried to move the disease away from the medical professionals and the hospitals, and to bring it into the day to day, because that's where it sits. Over the last seven years I’ve come to realise that the ripple effect of cancer is far reaching, affecting not just those of us living with it but everyone around us. 'A New Kind of Normal' gives an insight into my relationship with my then partner, now husband; my children and their reaction to my illness, my family and friends, my work colleagues, people who wrote to me, and the professionals who cared for me; everybody reacts differently. Breast cancer assaults your femininity - the treatment is tough and the surgery brutal. It isn't easy, but it is possible, and I'd like to feel this book may be a source of comfort to anyone who's life is touched by breast cancer; maybe even help them to find their 'New Kind of Normal'. There are many things in life we may have to give up on, but hope is not one of them. (P
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)
This booklet has been written for families whose children have cancer. It includes sections on the circles of grief, changes in grief over time, how relationships are affected, the dual process model of coping with grief, remembering your child, spirituality, and dealing with other people's responses. The text is interspersed with quotes from people whose child has died.