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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: 77

Cover image of 'The owl at the window. A memoir of loss and hope'

The owl at the window. A memoir of loss and hope (2017)

Coronet (Hodder & Stoughton)

Award-winning TV comedy writer Carl Gorham's account of his bereavement is by turns deeply moving and darkly humorous. Part love story, part widower's diary, part tales of single parenting, it tells of his wife's cancer, her premature death and his attempts to rebuild his life afterwards with his six -year old daughter. Realised in a series of vivid snapshots, it takes the reader on an extraordinary journey from Oxford to Australia, from Norfolk to Hong Kong through fear, despair, pain and anger to hope, laughter and renewal. The Owl at the Window is a fresh and original exploration of what it means to lose a partner in your forties, and how Carl learned to live again. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'Thinking out loud. Love, grief and being mum and dad'

Thinking out loud. Love, grief and being mum and dad (2017)

Hodder & Stoughton

In 2015, former England football star Rio Ferdinand suddenly and tragically lost his wife and soulmate Rebecca, aged 34, to cancer. It was a profound shock and Rio found himself struggling to cope not just with the pain of his grief, but also with his new role as both mum and dad to their three young children. Rio's BBC1 documentary, Being Mum and Dad, touched everyone who watched it and won huge praise for the honesty and bravery he showed in talking about his emotions and experiences. His book now shares the story of meeting, marrying and losing Rebecca, his own and the family's grief - as well as the advice and support that get him through each day as they strive to piece themselves back together. Thinking Out Loud is written in the hope that he can inspire others struggling with loss and grief to find the help they need through this most difficult of times. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'Love, light and mermaid tails. One woman's healing journey back to wholeness through stage four cancer'

Love, light and mermaid tails. One woman's healing journey back to wholeness through stage four cancer (2017)

Fi Munro

In January 2016, at the age of 30, Fi Munro was diagnosed with non-genetic stage four ovarian cancer. In that moment, after months of pain, tests and assurances that it was ‘nothing to worry about’, her instincts were proved right and her worst fears were realised. In the months that followed, understanding her diagnosis, recovery and health became her full-time job. Using her expertise as a researcher she dedicated her time to understanding everything she could about her diagnosis and subsequent prognosis. In this honest, open and often tear-jerking account of her journey back to wholeness, Fi openly shares her story from diagnosis with stage four ‘terminal’ cancer to living an incredible, healthy life full of joy and laughter. This book is a guide for anyone, not just those with cancer, who wants to embrace a happier, healthier and more caring approach to their life. May it bring you hope, peace and, above all, joy. (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 'Living with cancer. A step-by-step guide for coping medically and emotionally with a serious diagnosis'

Living with cancer. A step-by-step guide for coping medically and emotionally with a serious diagnosis (2017)

Johns Hopkins University Press

The prospect of entering treatment is overwhelming for anyone facing a diagnosis of cancer. While patients have access to a vast amount of medical information online, this advice is often unreliable or confusing. In Living with Cancer, Drs. Vicki A. Jackson and David P. Ryan have crafted the first step-by-step guide aimed at helping people with this life-defining disease grasp what’s happening to them while coping physically and emotionally with cancer treatment. An empathetic resource full of relatable patient stories, this book teaches patients and caregivers how to ask the right questions to get the best possible care―beginning at the moment of diagnosis. Drs. Jackson and Ryan explain how to work with a team of doctors and nurse practitioners to minimize symptoms and side effects while living as fully as possible in the face of cancer. They relay important information about understanding prognosis, and they translate what doctors mean when they describe tests, treatments, and medical procedures. Finally, they discuss hospice care and answer questions about continuing treatment and managing the final phase of life. Based on new research and a groundbreaking program in which patients are treated with palliative care―along with the best cancer care―during the course of their illness, this honest and caring book provides the right advice to use at the right time throughout a journey with cancer. It allows a person with cancer to concentrate on living the best life possible, despite an uncertain future. Patients at every stage will find Living with Cancer a comprehensive, thoughtful, and accessible guide for navigating the illness and its treatment. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'The breast reconstruction guidebook'

The breast reconstruction guidebook (2017)

Johns Hopkins University Press

For a decade The Breast Reconstruction Guidebook has been the best resource on this topic for women who have had a mastectomy. Equal parts science and support, it is filled with stories that illustrate the emotional and physical components of breast reconstruction. Readers will find advice about choosing a doctor and a procedure, insurance and payment issues, how to prepare for surgery, and what to expect during recovery. Expert commentary by physicians and insights from patients inform this book, as does the exhaustive research by the author, a two-time breast cancer survivor who has twice had reconstructive surgery. New in this edition are discussions of: the pros and cons of saline and silicone implants; solutions for post-lumpectomy cosmetic problems; new immediate-delayed reconstruction when post-mastectomy radiation may be required; the benefits and limitations of nipple-sparing mastectomy; considerations for direct-to-implant reconstruction; newly developed tissue flap procedures; who can best apply nipple and areola tattoos and why tattoos may not last; enriching fat with stem cells so it stays in the breast; patient-controlled tissue expansion; how insurance and health care reform affect reconstruction. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'Jamie’s journey. Cancer from the voice of a sibling'

Jamie’s journey. Cancer from the voice of a sibling (2016)

Little Five Star

When a child is diagnosed with cancer, his or her siblings may struggle with complex emotions such as confusion, guilt, and fear. Part story, part journal, Jamie's Journey: Cancer from the Voice of a Sibling helps siblings of pediatric cancer patients cope with those intense feelings. The first half of the book is about 13-year-old Jamie who describes the roller coaster of emotions she experiences when her 10-year-old sister, Jordan, is diagnosed with cancer. Jamie laments the loss of her 'normal' teenage life and describes feeling forgotten as her family focuses on Jordan's medical needs. Jamie finds solace through journaling about her experience, and encourages the reader to write about his or her own journey on the pages provided in the book. Jamie's Journey is unique in that it's designed especially for the siblings of pediatric cancer patients. Author Sharon Wozny draws from her experience volunteering with Children's Cancer Network for the past three years. During the time she's spent with young cancer patients and their families, Wozny has discovered that the patients' siblings face unique challenges. "They endure so much," she said. "They feel so much pain on so many levels and need to know that they are heroes also." Wozny has made the second half of the book an interactive journal, offering siblings of pediatric cancer patients a safe place to share their own journey. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'How to live well with chronic pain and illness'

How to live well with chronic pain and illness (2015)

Wisdom Publications

Comfort, understanding, and advice for those who are suffering--and those who care for them. Chronic illness creates many challenges, from career crises and relationship issues to struggles with self-blame, personal identity, and isolation. Toni Bernhard addresses these challenges and many more, using practical examples to illustrate how mindfulness, equanimity, and compassion can help readers make peace with a life turned upside down. In her characteristic conversational style, Bernhard shows how to cope and make the most of life despite the challenges of chronic illness. Benefit from: Mindfulness exercises to mitigate physical and emotional pain Concrete advice for negotiating the everyday hurdles of medical appointments, household chores, and social obligations Tools for navigating the strains illness can place on relationships Several chapters are directed toward family and friends of the chronically ill, helping them to understand what their loved one is going through and how they can help. Humorous and empathetic, Bernhard shares her own struggles and setbacks with unflinching honesty, offering invaluable support in the search to find peace and well-being. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'Cancer survivorship coping tools - we'll get you through this'

Cancer survivorship coping tools - we'll get you through this (2015)

Ayni Books

Hearing the words “You have cancer” can be devastating - some cancer patients even say that the emotional pain and loss of certainty from hearing this are worse than the pains from the cancer, surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy, and other treatments. This is the intimate journey of a melanoma and breast cancer survivor who honestly, and sometimes even humorously, shares her own story and offers supportive emotional tools to help people diagnosed with cancer, and their loved ones and caregivers, work through the emotional pain and upheaval of a cancer diagnosis. You will be supported in knowing what it feels like to hear you have cancer and be given a variety of helpful ideas to start feeling better whether you are newly diagnosed, in treatment, or months or years after treatment. If you are a caregiver, friend, or family member who wants to help, you will get a better understanding of the cancer experience as well as tools to help the person you care about. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'A guide to survivorship for women who have ovarian cancer'

A guide to survivorship for women who have ovarian cancer (2015)

Johns Hopkins University Press

This updated and expanded second edition offers a wealth of information to ease the physical and emotional suffering of women who have ovarian cancer. The expert authors include highly respected and experienced oncologists, gynecologic oncology nurse specialists, researchers, and ovarian cancer survivors. Throughout the book they emphasize the concepts of survivorship, or living life well in the face of daunting uncertainties, and self-determination: the right of each patient to be informed, involved, and in control of her care. Detailed information on diagnosis and treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, pain management, and integrative medicine, constitutes a key feature of the book. Also covered in depth are image recovery, nutrition, pain control, and genetic testing. Women who have ovarian cancer share advice on coping with the life-changing disease and its treatments. Offering candor, compassion, and hope, this remarkable book explains how to add quality to your life and take care of medical and social needs while living with ovarian cancer. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'The c-word'

The c-word (2015)

Arrow Books

The last thing Lisa Lynch had expected to put on her 'things to do before you're 30' list was beating breast cancer, but them's the breaks. So with her life on hold, and her mind stuffed with unspoken fears, questions and emotions, she turned to her computer and started blogging about the frustrating, life-altering, sheer pain-in-the-arse inconvenience of getting breast cancer at the age of 28. The C-Word is an unflinchingly honest and darkly humorous account of Lisa's battle with The Bullshit, as she came to call it. From the good days when she could almost pretend it wasn't happening, to the bad days, when she couldn't bear to wake up, Lisa's story is emotional, heartbreaking and often hilarious. The C-Word will make you laugh and cry, and ultimately reaffirm your faith in life. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'Cancer determination and me'

Cancer determination and me (2015)

Self-published using AuthorHouse

The author was once an all round sportsman keeping fit and healthy until one day he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. This book is about what he had and what he has been through and how he came out fighting and mainly how motivated he was. How he used to just try to get up and do things in this book are all his feelings of what he has been through. It is strange because his life and his perspective on life have changed dramatically since he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He has missed a lot of school and study time because of the intense and lengthy treatment he received. He had to Re-learn basic skills, especially basic physical skills that most people take for granted, such as writing, walking and other every day activities. He believes that this experience has made him a more determined and motivated person. He had to work very hard to get his life back but he never complained or gives in. The words that got him through everything where 'No pain no gain' and he will look forward to using his inner strength as he go forward in life. He wants to pass this book around the world for people to understand that no matter how hard life is or how hard you fight to beat an illness. If you want something that bad YOU CAN DO IT... (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 'I love you daddy'

I love you daddy (2014)

Millgate House Publishers

A poignant and true story written from a child's perspective, I Love You Daddy is sensitive and insightful and helps to support the emotional needs of children faced with the pain of losing a loved one to cancer. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'POG. Weathering the storm'

POG. Weathering the storm (2014)

Mereo Books

When Samantha received the devastating news that she had a cancer that was difficult to treat - in fact, the treatment itself might be fatal - she had to make some difficult choices about how to try and survive. Her story is full of pain, laughter and hope. Surrounded by her young children and supported by her husband, stepson, close family and friends, Samantha was able to overcome her illness through a mixture of conventional and unconventional treatments, some large leaps of faith and some very fortunate timing. She believes that with a combination of meditation and Eastern medicines she was able to put off further chemotherapies until Western science procured an answer. POG is a big thank-you letter to those who helped her on her journey. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'Cellmates. Our lessons in cancer, life, love and loss'

Cellmates. Our lessons in cancer, life, love and loss (2013)

Saraband

I'm Rose. John and I shared nearly eight years of our lives together. For the last three years of our relationship cancer anchored us together. That's not as grim as it might sound. This is our story. A story of how two ordinary people live with the diagnosis, the check-ups, the disappointments, the relief, the questions, the answers, the operations, the recovery, the emergencies, the denial, the acceptance, the anger, the pain, the loss, the love, the fear, the frustration - and the happiness. Shortly before he died, John made Rose promise to share their story - to tell what they had learned, practically and emotionally, and convey the hope they found even in the darkest of times. He had discovered her hidden stash of letters and diary entries, which she'd been writing to keep herself sane, neither censoring nor intending them to be read. The result is an astonishing, searingly honest, real-time account that reveals our profound capacity for love and how the human spirit can endure the most harrowing of tests to emerge dauntless, flying free. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'How to feel better. Practical ways to recover from illness and injury'

How to feel better. Practical ways to recover from illness and injury (2013)

Piatkus (Little, Brown Book Group)

In days gone by, people understood that a knock to your health takes its toll on your emotions, your relationships, your morale, your 'spirit'. But these days, we think that if the doctor has waved you off, then you are 'better'. If only it were this simple. The truth is that when your body takes a serious knock so does your mind - your thoughts and feelings. Often people feel worried, confused, lonely, depressed, unsupported or overwhelmed. You may be grappling with ongoing physical challenges: disability, pain, treatment side effects, sleep problems and fatigue. And you may have practical concerns over finances or work - or may simply be trying to 'adjust'. That's when this new book, from the authors of The Cancer Survivor's Companion (highly commended by the BMA and winner of the Guild of Health Writers' Best Health Book 2012), will prove invaluable. It offers simple, practical ways to find a path through the space between illness and health. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'Gift of time'

Gift of time (2013)

Constable

An heartbreakingly honest and deeply moving memoir in the words of the son, his wife and his mother of her battle with cancer, from one of the UK's best loved travel writers. When his mother Joan was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Rory MacLean and his wife Katrin took her into their home. For five months, as their life fragmented and turned inward, they fought both to resist and to accept the inevitable. Each gave vent to their emotions in different ways, but all three kept a diary. Heartbreakingly honest and deeply moving, Gift of Time is the story of those days, in the words of a son, his wife and his mother. Woven together into a poignant meditation on life and death, they illuminate the courage and dignity of one woman who confronted what we all must face. Threaded through with wisdom and guilt, anger and acceptance, the story is punctuated by a family wedding and the hope of new life, by bin-bags of old letters and books rediscovered, by the end of winter and the first signs of spring. Powerful, raw and urgent, this slender volume is above all a celebration of life. Capturing every moment of beauty and pain it acknowledges that what survives all of us is love. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'The dog, the chick and the reindeer. The story of a family living with cancer'

The dog, the chick and the reindeer. The story of a family living with cancer (2013)

Apollo Publishing

In 2004 my mother asked us to donate to the Macmillan team in lieu of a present. It is ironic that she then developed and survived endometrial cancer in 2006 and was diagnosed with and died from ovarian cancer in 2012, especially as the Macmillan team supported us to keep her in the home she loved right to the end. The story tells of the effects of both cancers on Mum and the rest of the family. Naturally there were sad times and some excruciatingly painful and stressful times but there were also some funny and touching moments. Audrey, Mum's sister was coincidentally diagnosed with oesophageal cancer and at one point they were in different wards at opposite ends of the same hospital. The day we were told of Mum’s diagnosis, we wheeled her down to sit with Audrey and they held hands and hugged, one in a wheelchair and the other hooked up to all kinds of machinery. Audrey died thirteen days after mum. There is no doubt that my mother loved her family - she had nearly ninety children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren, both biological and adopted; whilst the story is written from my perspective, I wasn't the only one to suffer and it could easily have been written by thirty or forty other people. When I found out mum had a terminal illness I made up my mind to take her back to her home, which is the only place she wanted to be; some people thought I was mad but we had a dedicated team of family and were lucky to be further supported by her GP, the DN’s and Macmillan team. I organised weekly rotas to ensure 24 hour care: The book tells how we coped with this and of my panic the day I found out the Macmillan support team didn’t have any sitters for the following week. It also portrays the “normal” things we did along as we rode our six year emotional roller coaster, such as going on holidays and dealing with other family crises. The last twelve months before her death were intolerable. The last six months a nightmare, and the ten weeks between diagnosis and her passing were hell on earth but we had some laughs, we cried and we sang songs. A few weeks before she died, as my daughter entered the room Mum was playing a game with my younger grandchildren, throwing the tiny purple chick to each of them in turn and giggling along with them, its tail flashing as though it too was enjoying the fun. I initially wrote the book to help me deal with my own grief, stress and feelings of guilt that I was glad she had finally let g

Cover image of 'Mortality'

Mortality (2012)

Atlantic Books

During the US book tour for his memoir, Hitch-22, Christopher Hitchens collapsed in his New York hotel room to excoriating pain in his chest and thorax. As he would later write in the first of a series of deeply moving Vanity Fair pieces, he was being deported 'from the country of the well across the stark frontier that marks off the land of malady.' Over the next year he underwent the brutal gamut of modern cancer treatment, enduring catastrophic levels of suffering and eventually losing his voice. Mortality is the most meditative piece of writing Hitchens has ever produced; at once an unsparingly honest account of the ravages of his disease, an examination of cancer etiquette, and the coda to a lifetime of fierce debate and peerless prose. In this eloquent confrontation with mortality, Hitchens returns a human face to a disease that has become a contemporary cipher of suffering. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'The life and death of an unknown celebrity'

The life and death of an unknown celebrity (2012)

Janus Publishing Company Ltd

There was less of her now, but I loved her more. In this raw personal account of tragedy told from a male perspective, the author shares with us what must be one of the most devastating things in anyone’s life when he loses his wife and the mother of his two young children to breast cancer. Darren then has to face telling his children that their mother is never coming back as he learns to adjust to his new life and shake hands with his sorrow. To watch a loved one deteriorate so quickly is very disturbing. To stand by feeling helpless as the cancer spreads through the body, causing it to die, is heartbreaking. Shoe obsessions, screaming, sympathy sex and Starbucks were all part of his journey of self-pity as he loses himself in idle distractions. Through this honest account, Darren shows us that there is hope, once the searing pain of grief has subsided and memories of a past become subdued as he is set on the path to acceptance and happiness. A world without love is a lonely place, so it is comforting to know that love can blossom again - even after the worst and longest winter (Publisher)

Cover image of 'The yellow world. Trust your dreams and they'll come true'

The yellow world. Trust your dreams and they'll come true (2012)

Particular Books (Penguin Imprint)

Albert Espinosa never wanted to write a book about surviving cancer, so he didn't. He wrote a book instead about the Yellow World. What is the yellow world? The yellow world is a world that's within everyone's reach, a world the colour of the sun. It is the name of a way of living, of seeing life, of nourishing yourself with the lessons that you learn from good moments as well as bad ones. It is the world that makes you happy, the world you like living in. The yellow world has no rules; it is made of discoveries. In these 23 Discoveries Albert shows us how to connect daily reality with our most distant dreams. He tells us that 'losses are positive', 'the word 'pain' doesn't exist', and 'what you hide the most reveals the most about you'. Albert Espinosa has won several battles with death, which is why his stories are so full of life. He is powerful because he never gives up. And as a last resort he bargains: he swapped a leg and a lung for his life. He has learnt how to lose in order to win. He's hyperactive and prefers losing sleep to losing experiences. If you want to tell him something it has to be very good or told very fast. He loves to provoke people but he does it to make provocations seem normal. His greatest hope is that after you have read this book you will go off in search of your yellow world. Albert Espinosa is a bestselling author. At the age of thirteen, Albert was diagnosed with cancer, an event that changed his life forever. When he was fourteen, his left leg had to be amputated. At sixteen his left lung was removed, and when he was eighteen part of his liver was taken out. After ten years in and out of hospitals, when he was finally told that he had been cured of the disease, he realised that his illness had taught him that what is sad is not dying, but rather not knowing how to live. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'Enjoy every sandwich. Living each day as if it were your last'

Enjoy every sandwich. Living each day as if it were your last (2011)

Bantam Press (imprint of Transworld Publications)

As medical director of the famed Preventive Medicine Research Institute, Lee Lipsenthal helped thousands of patients struggling with disease to overcome their fears of pain and death and to embrace a more joyful way of living. In his own life, happily married and the proud father of two remarkable children, Lee was similarly committed to living his life fully and gratefully each day. The power of those beliefs were tested in July 2009, when he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, leaving him with a 90 percent chance of dying within five years. As Lee and his wife, Kathy, navigated his diagnosis, illness, and treatment, he discovered that he did not fear death, and that even as he was facing his own mortality, he felt more fully alive than ever before. In the tradition of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, Tuesdays with Morrie and The Last Lecture, Enjoy Every Sandwich distils everything Lee learned about how we find meaning, purpose, and peace in our lives. Told with humour and heart, this deeply inspiring book will help readers embrace their humanity, accept uncertainty, and live a life of gratitude - whether they are facing the end now or not. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'A woman's disease. The history of cervical cancer'

A woman's disease. The history of cervical cancer (2011)

Oxford University Press

Cervical cancer is an emotive disease with multiple connotations. It has stood for the horror of cancer, the curse of femininity, the hope of cutting-edge medical technologies and the promise of screening for malignant tumours. For a long time, this disease was identified with the most dreaded aspects of malignancies: prolonged invalidity and chronic pain, but also physical degradation, shame and social isolation. Cervical cancer displayed in parallel the dangers of being a woman. In the 20th century, innovations initially developed to control cervical cancer - radiotherapy and radium therapy, exfoliate cytology (Pap smear), homogenisation of the 'staging' of tumours, mass campaigns for an early detection of precancerous lesions of the cervix - set standards for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of other malignancies. In the late 20th century, cervical cancer underwent another important change. With the display of the role of selected strands of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) in the genesis of this malignancy, it was transformed into a sexually transmitted disease. This new understanding of cervical cancer linked it more firmly with lifestyle choices, and thus increased the danger of stigmatisation of patients; on the other hand it opened the possibility for efficient prevention of this malignancy through vaccination. Ilana Lowy follows the disease from antiquity to the 21st century, focussing on the period since the mid-19th century, during which cervical cancer was dissociated from other gynaecological disorders and became a distinct entity. Following the ways in which new developments in science, medicine, and society have affected beliefs about medical progress and an individual's responsibility, gender roles, reproduction, and sex, Lowy demonstrates our understanding of what cervical cancer is, and how it can be prevented and cured. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'The c-word'

The c-word (2010)

Arrow Books

Carrie Bradshaw fell in Dior, I fell in Debenhams. It was May 2008, and it was spectacular. Uncomfortable heels + slippy floor + head turned by a cocktail dress = thwack. Arms stretched overhead, teeth cracking on floor tiles, chest and knees breaking the fall. It was theatrical, exaggerated, a perfect 6.0. And it was Significant Moment #1 in discovering that I had grade-three breast cancer. The last thing Lisa Lynch had expected to put on her 'things to do before you're 30' list was beating breast cancer, but them's the breaks. So with her life on hold, and her mind close to capacity with unspoken fears, questions and emotions, she turned to her Mac and started blogging about the frustrating, life-altering, sheer pain-in-the-arse inconvenience of getting breast cancer at the age of 28. The C-Word is an unflinchingly honest and darkly humorous account of Lisa’s battle with The Bullshit, as she came to call it. From the good days when she could almost pretend it wasn't happening, to the bad days, when she couldn't bear to wake up, Lisa's story is emotional, heartbreaking and often hilarious. The C-Word will make you laugh and cry, and ultimately reaffirm your faith in life. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'How to be sick. A Buddhist-inspired guide for the chronically ill and their caregivers'

How to be sick. A Buddhist-inspired guide for the chronically ill and their caregivers (2010)

Wisdom Publications

'How to be sick: A Buddhist-inspired guide for the chronically ill' and their caregiver is about living skilfully with the challenges of any chronic illness or condition. I wrote it for sufferers and for their caregivers (the latter includes people involved in hospice, chaplaincy, and elder care; for those interested in chronic illnesses and conditions (health professionals, family and friends); and for people interested in Buddhism (illness can function as a metaphor for suffering which, along with the cessation of suffering, is at the heart of the Buddha’s teaching). Chronic illnesses or conditions - such as arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes (three among dozens) - while not immediately life-threatening, are life-disrupting and stressful. The book is unique in that each chapter contains easy-to-learn tools and practices to help the chronically ill and their caregivers live skilfully, maintain equanimity, and even find joy despite the profound changes in their lives. A recurring theme in the book is that, although one’s body may be sick, one’s mind can be at peace. Some of the practices presented are traditionally Buddhist. Others I devised after becoming ill. Two are from the work of Byron Katie. Each practice is illustrated with examples from my own experience, so the book is also highly personal. The practices are intended to help with the following types of challenges: Suffering due to the relentlessness of physical symptoms; Blaming oneself for being sick; Cursory or dismissive treatment by doctors and medical professionals; The inability to visit with friends, participate in family gatherings, and take part in other social events; Feeling ignored by family or friends; Suffering due to uncertainty about the future; Coping with the disappointment of failed treatments; Caretaker burnout. At the end of the book is a handy reference guide, summarizing the specific tools and practices that can help with each of the above challenges. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'The day the sea went out and never came back'

The day the sea went out and never came back (2003)

Speechmark Publishing Ltd

"The day the sea went out and never came back" is a story for children who have lost someone they love. Eric is a sand dragon who loves the sea very much. Each day, he watches it going out and coming back. His sea is beautiful indeed to him. But one day, the sea goes out and does not come back. Eric waits and waits, but it does not come back. So he falls on the sand in terrible pain. It feels to him as if he has lost everything. After many bleak days, Eric sees a little wild flower. It is dying. Eric knows he must save it. He finds water. More and more flowers appear and so Eric starts to make a beautiful rock pool garden. And as he does, he finds the courage to feel the full pain of his loss, instead of closing his heart. He realises that his memories of his precious sea are like a special kind of treasure in his mind, a treasure he will never lose. (Publisher)

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