Cancer Combat: Cancer Survivors Share Their Guerrilla Tactics to Help You Win the Fight of Your Life

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Here's what you need to know to fight—and win—the battle against cancer.

A diagnosis of cancer is a call to arms, rallying the patient, family, friends, and medical team. In this important book, cancer survivors from around the country bring you into their lives, sharing their secret tactics for day-to-day survival to help you fight the battle of your life—and win.

In their own words, more than 80 cancer survivors, including students, athletes,...

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Here's what you need to know to fight—and win—the battle against cancer.

A diagnosis of cancer is a call to arms, rallying the patient, family, friends, and medical team. In this important book, cancer survivors from around the country bring you into their lives, sharing their secret tactics for day-to-day survival to help you fight the battle of your life—and win.

In their own words, more than 80 cancer survivors, including students, athletes, actors, teachers, moms and dads—along with their favorite medical professionals—provide a valuable, intimate briefing on the fight ahead, from diagnosis to post-recovery. In Cancer Combat you will discover advice you cannot get elsewhere, the inside story from these veterans—how they felt and what they did to survive. Find out about:

How to get what you need from your medical team Coping with hair loss, no appetite, mouth sores Making your hospital room a home away from home Holding it together—work, dating, family, intimacy Maintaining your dignity—coping at the sperm bank Keeping your kids on track—carpooling, little league games, home-cooked meals Bills—where to look for help and how to get it Information, support organizations, books, and much more

Cancer Combat, a book written by and for cancer fighters, teaches patients how they can fight back and win. This is a book with real, practical advice. It is a book that provides support. It is a book with attitude. And it is a book about entering the battle of your life and coming out a winner. Cancer Combat is the first book that presents winning techniques from cancer survivors n positive, hard-hitting anecdotes. This approach forms an upbeat sense of community in which the patient, friends, and family can take comfort and from which they can gain strength and confidence, and will generate the necessary will to survive and help prepare for battle.

Here, in brief anecdotes told firsthand, are the successful tactics used by more than 90 action-oriented people to defeat cancer. These smart, tough cancer fighters offer their personal stories which are gritty, often funny, and always on the money. The anecdotes address such subjects as when to turn to your nurse instead of your doctor, how to maintain your sex life when you look and feel rotten, and how to find an ally at your insurance company. Sidebars interspersed throughout the book will feature advice, suggestions, and stores from cancer care social workers, nurses, priests, rabbis and other spiritual mentors as well as encouraging facts and light-hearted suggestions, such as great funny movies to rent during treatment.

Fighting against cancer means refusing to quit, refusing to lose, and doing anything to win. This book will help every cancer patient to throw off feelings of victimization and despair, accept reality, and then fight the battle of their lives. —>

"...written by and for cancer patients, offering real-life stories from those who have survived this battle and have joined forces to help others facing the same battle."

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
For newly diagnosed cancer patients, one of the most important things to realize is the wide range of options available for fighting this disease. Unlike other consumer health titles, this work does not endorse or recommend specific doctors, treatment plans, or institutions; rather, it presents practical advice and information in the form of anecdotes from cancer survivors. Taking a specific and detailed approach to their subject, the authors, who themselves have had cancer, emphasize positive thinking and the importance of building a team of friends and family members to assist patients in their personal war. Their message is clear: patients can emerge from this disease stronger and wiser, but it takes time, organization, and optimism. Organized into four sections, chapters discuss such topics as the first diagnosis, breaking the news to others, coping with fear, and rebuilding one's life after remission. The stories collected here will inspire those readers feeling isolated and wanting to know how others handled this situation. Recommended for consumer health collections.Janet M. Coggan, Univ. of Florida Libs., Gainesville
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553378450
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/1998
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Read an Excerpt


In my twenty-five years as an oncologist, treating cancer in almost every form, I continue to be humbled by this disease, which spares no age group and often strikes with no clear cause. But I have also been impressed and profoundly inspired by the tremendous strength demonstrated by positively focused cancer patients. These individuals are able to rebound from the initial loss of control that comes with a cancer diagnosis and obtain the strength not only to battle the disease on a personal basis but at the same time to inspire those around them in a team effort. The successful journey from despair to gaining control is not only reassuring to the patient but also creates a sense of urgency in the attending doctors and nurses and encourages families and friends to rally around the patient.
What is it that gives these patients the willpower and dignity to wage a successful battle against cancer? That's what this book is all about. It is about how to take control, how to gain momentum from each small victory, and how to rebound from the setbacks. It is about how to become—with the help of your chosen support team—mentally, physically, and often spiritually stronger in standing up to this life-threatening disease.

Cancer Combat is ultimately about gaining a useful and practical perspective in this determined fight for health. Its message is delivered in short, useful anecdotes that make the experience less lonely, less painful, and more positive. The advice of these cancer survivors covers everything from where they sought second opinions and spiritual strength to how they made hospital stays and chemotherapy less unpleasant—and thus more productive.

The insights of these cancer veterans were gained through personal experience. In that sense, they are the experts. Their suggestions—useful to both patients and professionals dealing with this disease—range from little things you can do to counteract the side effects of treatment, like using a plastic spoon instead of a metal one when chemotherapy has given you a metallic taste in your mouth, to ways to motivate yourself to keep up the fight, like figuring out how to maintain your sex life while you're in the hospital in order to remind yourself of some of the reasons why life is worth living in the first place. The stories told here reveal just how remarkably resilient and resourceful people can be.
During the battle against cancer—no matter who you are—there will be times of confusion, uncertainty, fear, and anger, which must be weathered with the best spirit you can muster. Cancer Combat can function as a back-pocket support group to help you take control. If you are facing a certain difficulty, find out how the contributors—normal people just like you—bridged that valley. Their stories may be able to help you navigate the valleys and peaks of the cancer experience and allow you to sustain a more predictable life during treatment. Sure enough, following a tough period, a time of rest and a glimmer of optimism may return to propel you forward.
The book's message is clear, powerful: Not only can you survive cancer, you can emerge stronger and wiser than before. Accept the fact that you have cancer. Make treating cancer a part of your life, but do not let it dominate you. Remain confident and maintain your personal strength and will to fight. Have a sense of humor about it when you can. These are the approaches that stand out in people who are successful.
There is no right or wrong way to carry on this battle. Only your way. The information in this book can serve as a road map to finding your way. Take strength in—and heed the advice of—those who have traveled the routes before you, but pick your own path, one that satisfies your personality, your needs, and your desires. And remember, doctors and hospitals can treat cancer, and mitigate the pain of treatment, better today than ever before. Armed with this knowledge and the insights available to you in Cancer Combat, make your experience as life-affirming as possible.

—Samuel Waxman, M.D., Zena and Michael A. Wiener Professor of Medicine, Director, Rochelle Belfer Chemotherapy Foundation Laboratory and Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, New York

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2013

    In the spring of 2002, I learned that I had Hodgkin's lymphoma.

    In the spring of 2002, I learned that I had Hodgkin's lymphoma. It was a scary and uncertain time for me, and I looked for books that might help give me information and ideas. "Cancer Combat" was the book that I choose, and it was a huge help to me. I highly recommend it to anyone who is going through cancer, or to those who have a loved one going through cancer. The ideas in the book helped to get me into warrior mode, and to prepare for the fight of my life - which I was fortunate enough to emerge from. Art

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