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The Anatomy of Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2008

    True to Life

    My mother died of cancer, specifically, of breast cancer that metastasized in spite of a radical mastectomy followed by radiation. She lived on courage, stubbornness, a morphine shot every 4 hours, and her faith. Once her doctor responded to a question with, 'I don't know how long you're going to live. You should have been dead years ago!' [He meant that the cancer was serious enough to have killed her much earlier.] When she turned 60, it didn't faze her. But there was something very unsettling to her about becoming 61 years old. She didn't want to be 61. To celebrate her birthday, we all went out to dinner. She had a good time. The next day she was a little unwell, the day after worse, but nothing spectacular. Five days after her birthday she was dead. There were no special incidents, just an increasing 'unwellness.' It seemed as if she had been clutching life vigorously with both hands, and then -- at age 61 -- she just let go. I think Dr. Groopman does a good job of showing how faith and emotions affect health.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2006

    Love it!

    Having an ill child, this book helps to bring hope in usually hopeless times. I truely loved this book and definately recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2004

    No insight

    I enjoyed the patient scenarios presented in the first chapters of the book. However, the last three chapters really fell apart. The author did not do justice to the science he grossly surveyed. Furthermore, he did not ever tie in the patient experiences to hope at all. Perhaps superficially he alluded to hope but never did he bring this very important concept together with any real insight. The author is a physician who believes he is god and is playing with the thought that he is interested in his patients. His aloofness is evident through this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2004

    A misnomer

    This book is a bit of a con : it is not about prevailing in the face of illness but really about Dr Groopman's religious beliefs and those of patients whom he has treated. And to a large extent it is about dying well. It is also a rather patchy book of the kind that ties together, rather loosely, bits and pieces of the author's notes; this is particularly true in the matter of the biology of hope. There is a naivety about Dr Groopman that is at times charming . I was determined to finish it but it took some will power to do this.

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