The Patient from Hell: How I Worked with My Doctors to Get the Best of Modern Medicine and How You Can Too

Overview

"In the bewildering days after diagnosis of a dread disease, patients learn two daunting facts: (1) no doctor has all the answers, and (2) there are often no answers, only odds." "Stephen Schneider found himself in the situation when he was diagnosed with a rare cancer. After the initial shock, he approached his treatments just as he does his life's work - as a climate scientist, he is accustomed to confronting decisions in the face of great uncertainty. The Patient from Hell is both Schneider's own gripping story of how he and his wife worked
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Overview

"In the bewildering days after diagnosis of a dread disease, patients learn two daunting facts: (1) no doctor has all the answers, and (2) there are often no answers, only odds." "Stephen Schneider found himself in the situation when he was diagnosed with a rare cancer. After the initial shock, he approached his treatments just as he does his life's work - as a climate scientist, he is accustomed to confronting decisions in the face of great uncertainty. The Patient from Hell is both Schneider's own gripping story of how he and his wife worked with his doctors to get the best treatment possible and a brilliant critique of the flowed system under which most doctors must now practice." The Patient from Hell offers ever reader - patient, family member, advocate, or physician - a remarkable tale of survival as well as original and effective strategies to during out the very best that medicine can offer.
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Editorial Reviews

MacLean's
"An emotional account of the pain and fear [Schneider] felt while he was ill."
Journal of the American Medical Association
"Compelling...offers a number of positive and useful messages for patients enduring chemotherapy, radiation, and other cancer treatment."
Publishers Weekly
Schneider, a climate scientist at Stanford and a MacArthur fellow, brought skills rooted in the uncertainty of his own field to bear on the treatments he received for mantle cell lymphoma, a rare condition for which treatments were relatively new. With his wife, Terry, also a scientist, he learned as much as possible about the protocol he had been assigned and read up on his oncologist, a leader in this type of cancer, Dr. Sandra Horning. Schneider gives a detailed account of the painful and otherwise unpleasant side effects of the chemotherapy, radiation and bone-marrow transplant he endured in a determined effort to arrest the disease. From the beginning, the author researched probabilities and outcomes and sought to modify decisions made by his physicians. Most importantly, after some resistance, Dr. Horning agreed to use Rituxan for Schneider as maintenance therapy to prolong his remission. Although the author's scientific language can be daunting, patients will relate to his arguments for the importance of patient advocates, individualization of treatments and the negative role bottom-line accounting plays in medical judgments made by HMOs. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738210254
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 9/26/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen H. Schneider, Ph.D., is Professor of Biological Science at Stanford University, a MacArthur Prize Fellowship winner, and author of major works on climate change and the environment. He has written for and his works have been covered by the New York Times, the Washington Post, and London Times.
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Table of Contents

Preface : I'm just a patient - doesn't the doctor know best?
Ch. 1 "But doctor, it takes three tests to find the bottom" 1
Ch. 2 This better not be serious - I've got a plane to catch 14
Ch. 3 Whew! the tests are negative, and I've got a plane to catch 33
Ch. 4 Taking my lumps : biopsy blues 42
Ch. 5 "Once per lethal disease" : coping with chemo 67
Ch. 6 "How can you know I'm in remission?" 85
Ch. 7 What's so special about fifty-five? 109
Ch. 8 Graduation to the bone marrow unit 123
Ch. 9 Zap it to me : staring into a Hiroshima-dose of radiation 139
Ch. 10 Hospital arrest 154
Ch. 11 My re-birthday 171
Ch. 12 How much risk is too much? 178
Ch. 13 Can't I stay another day? 184
Ch. 14 Darth Vader in pink 195
Ch. 15 A delicate balance 205
Ch. 16 Size matters 213
Ch. 17 "In cancer, perfect is important" 221
Ch. 18 "I think your kidneys did you a favor" 231
Ch. 19 A successful partnership 249
Ch. 20 You and your docs : allies, not adversaries 257
Afterword : a caregiver's journey 267
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