Surviving Cancer: Our Voices & Choices

Surviving Cancer: Our Voices & Choices

by Marion R. Behr

Paperback

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780615856001
Publisher: WWH Press LLC
Publication date: 06/14/2014
Product dimensions: 7.90(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.80(d)

Read an Excerpt

Any cancer diagnosis is frightening. Most women fear the diagnosis of breast cancer all their lives. It is important to have the right medical team when faced with a cancer diagnosis. The most important attribute of physicians is that they feel right to you. They must be able to communicate with you in language you understand. Board certification in their subspecialty is important as well. At Somerset Medical Center, where I practice, board certification is required for membership on the medical staff. Every hospital and facility has a website you can access to see how it is ranked against others. Today, breast centers are being certified by the American College of Surgeons. This is an important certification and means that the breast center meets certain strict criteria for standards and functions.

Important questions to ask your health care team are: What kind of cancer do I have? What is my stage? Remember to get a copy of all pathology, X-ray, consultant and treatment summaries and keep them always. Ask about the medications and therapies you will receive, their potential side effects and when you should call your physician. Ask about the type of tests needed for staging and monitoring. Ask what guidelines, such as the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) or American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) guidelines, will be used for treatment and follow-up. The websites for these organizations—nccn.org or cancer.net (ASCO)—are very helpful to the layperson. The American Cancer Society website, local hospital/cancer center websites and resource libraries in cancer centers are all places to go for information you can trust. Centers that participate in clinical trials are most likely to be on the cutting edge of new information. Get information that can help alleviate your anxiety at organizations such as the Cancer Support Community (CSC) and through local support groups.

A second opinion should never be a problem. There are new tests to determine if chemotherapy might be helpful in your case. In the case of breast cancer, know the estrogen and progesterone status of your tumor as well as the HER2 status. Go to see your physician with a list of questions. Write down the answers in a book or folder.

A team has multiple players. For a breast cancer patient this means a primary physician and/or gynecologist, a breast radiologist, a breast surgeon, a reconstruction surgeon, a medical oncologist and radiation oncologist. Oncology nurses, nurse practitioners/physician assistants, breast center technicians, social workers, dietitians and financial counselors can be useful sources of information as well. Support groups and organizations, family and friends (especially those who have had cancer) can also be helpful.

Remember treatment is urgent but not an emergency. You have time to make informed decisions. Don't let yourself be rushed; you must be comfortable with your team. If something doesn't seem right to you, get another opinion. It takes a team to care for a cancer patient and you want to be on the very best team you can get.

cancer support organizations:

breastcancer.org

cancer.gov

cancer.net

cancercenter.com

cancersupportcommunity.org

skincancer.about.com

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

12 List of Illustrations

15 Foreword

Professor Eitan Yefenof, Ph.D.

Director, Lautenberg Center for Immunology and Cancer Research

16 Preface

18 Acknowledgments

20 A Set of Questions to Help Define What You May Need to Know

i First Steps—Facing a diagnosis and assembling your team

25 How to Find the Medical Team for You

Kathleen Toomey, M.D.

27 I Was Only Twenty-Seven

Pamela Adams

27 Focusing Beyond the Cancer

Marion Behr

30 The Primary Care Doctor on the Cancer Team

Barrie L. Raik, M.D.

33 Denial

Joyce Greenberg Lott

37 Concerns of a Family Physician

Julie Ann Juliano, M.D.

ii Hand in Hand—Additional partners on the road to wellness

41 Your Oncology Nurse Practitioner

Debra A. Walz, R.N., M.S., W.H.N.P.-B.C., A.O.C.N.P., STAR/C

43 My Experience as a Cancer Study Participant

Sushma Prasada

46 Will I Live?

Peggy S.

47 The Role of the Gynecologist in Breast Cancer

Susan N. McCoy, M.D.

51 Experiencing Ovarian Cancer

Pam Cooper

iii The Diagnostic Process—Defining the condition

55 My Daughter Was Only Two and a Half

Meera Bagle

58 Family History and Genetic Susceptibility

Ruth Oratz, M.D., F.A.C.P.

61 My Mother Died of Breast Cancer at Forty-Two

Nora Macdonald

63 Lumps and Bumps in the Male Breast: Men Can Get Breast Cancer Too

Dawn Behr-Ventura, M.D., M.P.H.

66 Male Breast Cancer Is Real

Rich Loreti

70 Scars of Life and Love

Dawn Meade

73 Another Yearly Mammogram

Sondra Schoenfeld

74 Mammography, Ultrasound and MRI

Jane Tuvia, M.D.

79 A Radiology Technologist's Advice

Sandra Scott, R.T.(R.)(M.)

83 The Self-Exam

Keshia D. Hammond-Merriman

84 Watchful Waiting

Anne M. Johnston, Ph.D.

89 Of Underlying Concern

Wilbur Dexter Johnston, Ph.D.

iv A Different Kind of Challenge—

Lack of diagnostic support in a developing country

91 A Hard Place in My Breast

Men Salath

92 What Happened To and In Me?

Naov Davin

94 Cancer in Cambodia: A Doctor's View

Sedkai Meta, M.D., told by Charulata Prasada

v Major Treatments—Explained by specialists and described by survivors

97 Medical Options

Richard Margolese, M.D., C.M., F.R.C.S.(C.)

101 Uphill Imperative

Monica Becker

104 A Breast Surgeon's View

Christine Rizk, M.D., F.A.C.S.

111 Breast Reconstruction

William L. Scarlett, D.O., F.A.C.S., F.A.C.O.S., F.A.A.C.S.

114 Breast Cancer and Lymphedema

Marcy McCaw, B.Sc.P.T., C.L.T.

118 Chemotherapy: What Is It and How Should You Prepare for It?

Myra F. Barginear, M.D.

121 The Port Is a Great Invention

Annelise DeCoursin

123 When Pink Was Just a Color

Paula Flory

126 The Grace of Caregiving

Tobias D. Robison

129 Radiation Therapy

Mitchell K. Karten, M.D.

131 Surviving Cancer

Evie Hammerman, M.S.W.

136 Heart

Michael Carr

137 The Man in the Vinyl Chair

Michael Carr

vi Further Guidance—Essential advice for the road to recovery

139 Oncology Social Workers and How We Help

Vilmarie Rodriguez, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.

143 The Importance of a Nurse Navigator

Sherry Melinyshyn, R.N.(EC)., B.N.Sc., C.O.N.(C.), P.H.C.N.P.

145 The Contributions of a Patient Navigator

Cheryl Kott

146 Look Good—Feel Better

Michele Capossela

147 Nutrition and Cancer

Karen Connelly, R.D., C.S.O.

151 Understanding Cancer-Related Fatigue

Meryl Marger Picard, Ph.D., M.S.W., O.T.R.

vii The Whole Person—Addressing the mind, body and spirit

157 Breast Cancer and Spiritual Care

Nomi Roth Elbert, M.Ed., Spiritual Care Provider

159 The Role of the Oncology Social Worker

Elisabeth (Elsje) Reiss, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.

163 Complementary Medicine

Richard Dickens, M.S., L.C.S.W.-R.

168 Using the Mind—Body Connection to Get Physical and Emotional Relief:

Jin Shin Jyutsu, Gentle Self-Acupressure

Kerry Kay

viii Financing Your Wellness—Cancer and money management

173 Affording Cancer Treatment

Megan McQuarrie

177 Medical Insurance

Stuart Van Winkle, C.F.P.®

180 The Road to Financial Wellness

Richard A. Fontana, C.F.P.®

183 Essential Help from the Women's Health & Counseling Center

Christine Bonney

186 COBRA: Health Insurance after Job Termination

Omri Behr, Ph.D., J.D.

188 NBCCEDP: A Path for Patients without Insurance or Funds

Omri Behr, Ph.D., J.D.

ix Finding Community and Compassion—

Interactions between cancer support organizations and survivors

191 My Cancer Story

Mariann Linfante Jacobson

194 Cancer Support Community

Ellen Levine, M.S.W., A.C.S.W., L.C.S.W., O.S.W.-C.

197 The Most Painful Trial of My Life

Lucinda (Cindy) Newsome

199 Sisters Network: Founding a Chapter

Dorothy Reed

200 When Life Pulls Out the Carpet from Beneath Us… Do Flips!

Pamela Schwartz

203 Seventeen-Year Breast Cancer Survivor

Kathi Edelson Wolder

207 Formation of a Chapter for the Susan G. Komen® Organization

Kathi Edelson Wolder

209 Cancer Hope Network Volunteer

Linda Kendler

210 Cancer Hope Network: All About Hope

Joe Wojtowicz

212 In The Pink: Early Cancer Detection and Education Program

Aretha Hill-Forte, M.P.H.

213 Why?

Jeanette Joyce

215 Breast Cancer Prevention Institute

Angela Lanfranchi, M.D., F.A.C.S.

x Searching for Answers—

Two perspectives on research and programs that look to the future

219 Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone and Its Analogs in Cancer

Andrew V. Schally, Ph.D., Nobel Prize Laureate

221 Good Treatment and Good Science

Richard Margolese, M.D., C.M., F.R.C.S.(C.)

xi Summing It All Up—Inspiration and information

225 A Relay for Life

Alicia Rockmore

225 What Kept Me Going

Lori Cohen

227 Avon Walk

Tracy Redling

230 Inspiring Hope

Angela Lanfranchi, M.D., F.A.C.S.

233 Mammogram Math

Lora Weiselberg, M.D.

235 The Beginning…

236 Information and Resources for Cancer Patients

240 Contributor Biographies

252 Glossary

260 Index

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Surviving Cancer: Our Voices & Choices 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Maryann_Makekau More than 1 year ago
This book is an artistic gem that provides an inside-out look at one of life's most difficult journeys. When cancer invades a person's life its ripple effects are far-reaching. The author has managed to provide a powerful blend of learning, understanding, and helping for the one diagnosed and all who know and love them. There is tangible hope and healing in this beautiful collaboration of "voices and choices" - Thank you Marion Behr!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"I went to Marion's book signing for her release of "Surviving Cancer: Our Voices & Choices" at Raymour and Flannagan. I was able to meet several women and men who are highlighted in her book. Marion had a few of her sculptures on display and it really touched my heart. Seeing an actual medical cradle - the bare, raw impressions molded around the most vulnerable moments of fear and pain - was deeply profound. Witnessing how sadness, fear and pain were transformed into beautiful sculptures brought hope knowing that there is healing and beauty even in the aftermath of cancer. "Our Voices and Choices" is a gathering of souls and inspiration, which Behr artfully captures in her encouraging book. Highly recommended for anyone in the midst of cancer treatments or someone who needs encouragement after treatment. Glad that Barnes & Noble are carrying this wonderful book! SR
Christina_LoBrutto More than 1 year ago
This piece is not your typical health book. It compiles the voices of the various people impacted by a cancer diagnosis -- from the patient to the doctors to the family members, and beyond. The voices represent a variety of ages and cultures, further demonstrating the truth that cancer does not discriminate. You follow along on a journey through each stage of the process of "surviving cancer," and there is a sense of comfort in reading people's honest and true accounts of their experiences. This book is an artistically compiled collection that is well worth the read. Well done, Marion!