My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks [NOOK Book]


Real-life advice from real-life teens

Currently one million American teenagers live with a parent who is fighting cancer. It's a hard blow for those already navigating high school, preparing for college, and becoming increasingly independent. My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks is the first book written especially for teens to help during this tough time.

Author Maya Silver was 15 when her mom was ...

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My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks

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Real-life advice from real-life teens

Currently one million American teenagers live with a parent who is fighting cancer. It's a hard blow for those already navigating high school, preparing for college, and becoming increasingly independent. My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks is the first book written especially for teens to help during this tough time.

Author Maya Silver was 15 when her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001. She and her dad, Marc, have combined their family's personal experience with advice from dozens of medical professionals and real stories from 100 teens--all going through the same thing Maya did.

In a highly designed, engaging style, this book gives practical guidance that includes:

• how to talk about the diagnosis (and what does diagnosis even mean, anyway?)

• the best outlets for stress (punching a wall is not a great one, but should it happen, there are instructions for a patch job)

• how to deal with friends (especially one the ones with 'pity eyes')

• whether to tell the teachers and guidance counselors and what they should know (how not to get embarrassed in class)

• what happens in a therapy session and how to find a support group if you want one

A special section for parents also gives tips on strategies for sharing the news, making sure your child doesn't become the parent, what to do if the outlook is grim, and tips for how to live life after cancer.

My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks allows teens to see that they are not alone. That no matter how rough things get, they will get through this difficult time. That everything they're feeling is ok. Essays from Gilda Radner's "Gilda's Club" annual contest are an especially poignant and moving testimony of how other teens dealt with their family's situation.


"Wisely crafted into a wonderfully warm, engaging and informative book that reads like a chat with a group of friends with helpful advice from the experts."

Paula K. Rauch MD, Director of the Marjorie E. Korff Parenting At a Challenging Time Program

"A must read for parents, kids, teachers and medical staff who know anyone with cancer. You will learn something on every page."

Anna Gottlieb, MPA, Founder and CEO Gilda's Club Seattle

"This book is a 'must have' for oncologists, cancer treatment centers and families with teenagers."

Kathleen McCue, MA, LSW, CCLS, Director of the Children's Program at The Gathering Place, Cleveland, OH

"My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks provides a much-needed toolkit for teens coping with a parent's cancer. In this honest and heart-felt guide, Marc Silver and his daughter, Maya, present direct, no-nonsense and helpful advice."

Jane Saccaro, CEO of Camp Kesem, a camp for children who have a parent with cancer

"Marc and Maya Silver have skillfully blended the voices of teens, parents and experts...This book is knowing, pragmatic, and attuned to the challenges of growing into one's self while having to attend to a parent's needs."

Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., clinical psychologist and author of The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers

"A valuable resource for teenagers and their families."

Seth Berkowitz, LCSW, CCLS, Patient Services Manager, Southern Florida Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Every household with children should have access to this book. It answers more questions than I would have ever considered myself and it puts a perspective on the importance of how this disease changes everyone's life. ... It also reminds us that if we always consider each other and respect each other and work together, we can get through anything that life brings our way — including cancer." - Let Life Happen

""My Parent Has Cancer And It Really Sucks honestly and openly tackles the questions, fears and emotions that many teenagers face after learning a parent has cancer. It offers sound and practical advice on how to keep communicating, handle stress, face friends, seek support, carry on as normally as possible at school and figure out cancer lingo, to name a few." - Nancy's Point" - Nancy's Point

"This accessible book has topics ranging from what to do when you first learn the news, to how to manage stress and friendships, to coping with a parent's dire prognosis. ... This is the book for librarians to recommend to students in this situation." - Library Media Connection

"For teens dealing with a parent's cancer and who might feel as though no one understands what they're going through ... This is the book for librarians to recommend to students in this situation." - Library Media Connection

"Drawing on their own experiences, the Silvers offer advice for finding solace in people who have been there and who have found ways to cope. ... [They] speak with an honesty that teens will identify and find comfort in." - Booklist

"Chock-full of information and advice ... the many voices offer a variety of perspectives." - Kirkus

"A comprehensive how-to-get-through-it guide that includes insight from dozens of medical professionals and 100 teens." - Staten Island Advance

"A first of its kind guide written especially for teenagers who have a parent fighting cancer." -

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402273087
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/5/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 270,628
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • File size: 937 KB

Meet the Author

Maya Silver lives in Crested Butte, CO, where she works at the Office for Resource Efficiency. She won the Diane Vreuls Fiction Prize at Oberlin College in 2008 and has contributed to U.S. News & World Report and Washington Post Express.

Marc Silver is the author of Breast Cancer Husband. He is currently deputy editor for text at National Geographic magazine and lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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Read an Excerpt

From the Introduction:

We hope that the voices in this book create a community
of support to give you strength as you deal with your parent's
cancer. Because if you can learn from the 20/20 hindsight and
mistakes of others who've been there, you'll be better prepared
to handle the situations you will encounter.

A parent's cancer is uncharted territory, and the uncertainty
about what's happening and what's next can be
"Among the things I wish I was told with
more clarity is: here's what your mom's going to be going
through, here's what you need to do, what you need to be
aware of..." said Aaron, who was a teen when his mom had
breast cancer. This book doesn't have all the answers, but it
will provide you with an idea of what might be going on-and
how to get the information you need if your parents
aren't good communicators.

One of the most important things we learned from interviewing
so many teens--and
one of the themes of this guide--is
that everyone deals with their parent's cancer differently.
Some people cope just fine. Others have a very hard time.
A lot depends on the nature of the diagnosis. Is your parent
facing a cancer that has a good treatment success rate? Or is
the cancer a difficult one to treat?

Your reaction also depends on you. Personalities differ.
Some teens want lots and lots of information. Others want the bare minimum. Some worry a great deal. Others feel confident
that everything will be okay. Some lose their focus at school
and see grades slip. Others hyper-focus
on keeping grades up.
Some want to talk about it all. Others don't. And that's okay.

One thing we can all agree on, though, is that cancer sucks.
For everyone involved. We hope this book will help you cope
in the months and years ahead.

As hard as times may get, you will make it through. Take it
from Bailee Richardson, who was twelve when her mom was
diagnosed: "Stay strong. Everything's going to work itself out
in the end. Don't ever let it get the best of you."

Finally, here are two rules for this book:

Rule 1: Teens, don't feel guilty. You have your own way of
coping, and you don't have to behave like any other
teen in this book.

Rule 2: Parents, do not use the book to make your teen talk
if he or she doesn't want to talk.

Read on!

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Table of Contents



Chapter 1 THE NEWS

1.1 A Hunch

1.2 Why Your Parents Told You the Way They Did

1.3 Why You Reacted the Way You Did

1.4 A Charged Word

Chapter 2 CANCER 101

2.1 The Big Question Marks

2.2 Treatments and Their Side Effects

2.3 The Cure: Why Isn't There One Yet?

2.4 True or False

2.5 Tell Me More!


3.1 How Much Do You Want to Know?

3.2 What If You're Out of the Loop?

3.3 Reality Check: How Far in the Know Can You Go?

3.4 How to Keep Talking...Even If It's in Writing


4.1 Teenage Change Is Normal!

4.2 Cancer Sneaking Up on You

4.3 Changes to Expect

4.4 Changes in Your Parent

4.5 Siblings


5.1 How It Happens

5.2 Catching a Break

5.3 Silence Isn't Golden

5.4 The Big Picture


6.1 How to Beat the Cancer Blues

6.2 Exploring the Options


7.1 Former Bad Boys: Gary and Jose Turn It Around

7.2 Former Bad Girls: True Confessions


8.1 Think Positive

8.2 Faith and Spirituality


9.1 What You Do (and Don't) Want from Your Friends

9.2 Girls Are from Mercury, Boys Are from Neptune

9.3 Accepting Help

9.4 Have Fun with Your Friends If You Can

9.5 But Can They Still Come Over?

9.6 Social Networks: Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and More

9.7 Dealing with Friend Problems

9.8 New Friends

Chapter 10 SCHOOL DAZE

10.1 School = More Stress or a Place to Escape?

10.2 To Announce or Not to Announce

10.3 Telling the School

10.4 How the School Can Help

10.5 Dilemmas, Dilemmas

10.6 Keeping Grades Up

10.7 The Need to Achieve

10.8 Pulling a Bueller


11.1 The Adult Who Knows You

11.2 Seeing a Therapist

11.3 Group Support


12.1 Facing the News

12.2 How Long Do We Have?

12.3 When the Bad News Isn't All Bad

12.4 Finding Hope When Things Seem Hopeless

12.5 Living for the Moment

12.6 A Different Kind of Hope

12.7 What If You Feel Closer to the Parent with Cancer?

12.8 Avoidance

12.9 Making Memories


13.1 A Dictionary of Emotions

13.2 Mourning Doesn't Come with an Expiration Date

13.3 All Kinds of Questions

13.4 Life Goes On

13.5 Dealing with Your Emotions

13.6 School Can Be a Comfort...or a Pain

13.7 Music Can Make It Better

13.8 Staying Connected


14.1 What Happens Now?

14.2 New Normal Hiccups and Surprises

14.3 Struggling in the Aftermath

14.4 Becoming an Activist

14.5 Same Old You

14.6 Silver Linings






About the Authors

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2014


    Wow this book was great so much love put in to it

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