Holding Tight, Letting Go: Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer

Overview

This is a book about life: the daily lives of ordinary people confronting a deadly disease.

Holding Tight, Letting Go offers the stories of 40 women and men as they struggle to come to terms with metastatic breast cancer. All aspects of dealing with the disease are covered here: from coping with the shock of recurrence and seeking information, to making treatment decisions, investigating alternative and complementary methods, and communicating effectively with medical personnel....

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1997 Paperback New 1565922549. New. No remainder marks. Display copy; light shelf wear. Professional service from a Main street bookstore.; 8.90 X 6 X 1.20 inches; 510 pages.

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Overview

This is a book about life: the daily lives of ordinary people confronting a deadly disease.

Holding Tight, Letting Go offers the stories of 40 women and men as they struggle to come to terms with metastatic breast cancer. All aspects of dealing with the disease are covered here: from coping with the shock of recurrence and seeking information, to making treatment decisions, investigating alternative and complementary methods, and communicating effectively with medical personnel. Finding sources of emotional support from other patients and friends and dealing with relationship and family issues are often as important as managing the side effects of treatment and the pain and symptoms of disease progression.

Frank and moving descriptions from those who have been there make their stories meaningful to anyone who faces a life-threatening illness, whether they are talking about making end of life decisions, or keeping hope alive through spiritual connections, or seeking loving and compassionate care and the search for meaning in the midst of adversity.

Women with breast cancer live in fear of recurrence. For a third to a half of those diagnosed, the disease will eventually spread. When this happens, most people assume it means an immediate and grim death sentence. The eloquent voices in Holding Tight, Letting Go speak of a different reality: that women with metastatic breast cancer generally go on to live with their disease, often for many years, and that through facing this reality, and gathering information and support, the time that they have can be full and meaningful.

Of the dozens of books and other resources dealing with breast cancer, few discuss the realities of metastatic disease. Holding Tight, Letting Go gives a voice to the side of breast cancer no one wants to hear about, with stories of extraordinary ordinary people, forced by circumstance to call on resources in themselves and their families they never knew they possessed.

"...an honest account of metastatic breast cancer from those who have lived through it...explains how to find information and make decisions about treatment."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565922549
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/8/1997
  • Series: Medical Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 510
  • Product dimensions: 6.01 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Before completing her MFA in the Writing Division at Columbia University, Musa Mayer worked as a Master's level counselor in the Ohio Community Mental Health system, with a particular focus on groups and women's issues. She has written two memoirs, one about her own journey with breast cancer. Musa is author of Advanced Breast Cancer: A Guide to Living with Metastatic Disease. She is a nationally known and respected breast cancer activist. She has consulted for American Cancer Society, National Breast Cancer Coalition, Y-Me, and many other national groups on survivor issues (providing material for web sites, booklets, videos, and in-person training). She is contributing editor to MAMM magazine (women's cancer). She is a patient advocate for the National Cancer Institute and reviews clinical trials for breast cancer patients, speaks widely at cancer conferences or training sessions, and is active in the online breast cancer community. Musa also regularly teaches memoir writing, and leads writing workshops and retreats for people with life-threatening illnesses.

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Table of Contents

Preface: With Arms Held Out
Acknowledgments
1 Voices of a Forgotten Population 1
2 Dread, Uncertainty and White-Water Rafting 15
3 Seventeen Stories of Metastatic Breast Cancer 33
4 The Shock of Recurrence 55
5 The Problem of Knowledge: Doctors, Information-Seeking and Statistics 73
6 Medical Treatments and Choices 98
7 Hope and Healing for the Rest of You: Complementary Therapies 130
8 Living with Side: Effects and Symptoms 169
9 Families and Friends Speak: "It's happening to us, too" 210
10 Light and Shadow: Stories of Remission, Work and Identity 249
11 Final Gifts: Disease Progression, Hard Choices, Last Days 272
12 Still Here: The Anatomy of Courage 328
A. Profiles 365
B. Resources 383
C Common Drugs in Use with Metastatic Breast Cancer 423
Notes 429
Glossary 439
Index 459
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