"Superb! This thoroughly delightful book explores, explains, and puts in context our biggest fear- our own mortality! The very word "Cancer" evokes a primal fear that we are all mortal and will, at some point, die. My own experience, on a personal level with cancer, access ports, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and major surgery was very sobering! Dr Kevin Ryan has given us all a new perspective on how to live with and conquer our biggest fear! This book is a must read for anyone living with cancer, their families, and the entire treatment community. When Tumor is the Rumor, and Cancer is the Answer will help each of us to triumph over this experience, regardless of the outcome!"
-LT. Gen PK Carlton Jr. Surgeon General USAF (ret)
"A great cancer book should reduce anxiety with authority and comprehensive information helping those confronted marshal their internal resources and conquer their fears. Does such a book exist? You are about to read it"
-Maurie Markman MD FACP Senior Vice President of Clinical Affairs & National Director of Medical Oncology Cancer Treatment Centers Of America. Senior Vice President of Clinical Affairs and National Director of Medical Oncology, Cancer Treatment Centers Of America. Former Professor and Vice President of Clinical Research and Chairman of the Department of Gynecologic Medical Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center. Former Chairman of the Department of Hematology/Oncology and Director of the Taussig Cancer Center at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Former Vice-Chair, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, New York
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WHEN TUMOR IS THE RUMOR AND CANCER IS THE ANSWER
A comprehensive text for newly diagnosed cancer patients and their families
By Kevin P Ryan
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2013Kevin P Ryan MD FACP
All rights reserved.
READ THE DIRECTIONS FIRST
La Dolce Vita (A Recipe) for the Sweet Life
Over our lives, we develop quite a palette for the bountiful buffet of personalities out there. We learn what seems to taste good and pretty much agree on what or who seems to leave a bad taste in our mouths. We learn that in the kitchen of life, where we concoct recipes for how to deal with everyday reality, no true surprises are produced.
This is as it should be, as the ingredients for life's sweetest and most nourishing and sustaining meals are not that mysterious. We all have access to them. If there is any magic, it is in remembering the tried-and-true recipes. As is so often the case with us mere mortals, we forget them fastest when we need them most, such as when tumor is the rumor and cancer is the answer.
Certainly, when we suspect or are diagnosed with cancer, all hell can break loose emotionally and in other ways. Granted, it is tough to start thinking about poetic notions like recipes for the sweet life. It may seem like whimsical pabulum or the stuff of nice-sounding adolescent romance novels.
Fair enough. Most cancer patients are not adolescents, and cancer is not a romantic novel. We all know that if ever there is a time to get it right, put on your game face, follow the rules, and pay attention to what Momma taught you and "get religion," it is when you are in one of the foxholes handed out randomly by fate.
Equally true is that the mindset, the lifestyle with which you embrace the disease, has immense impact. Repeatedly, I have seen families and Equally true is that the mindset, the lifestyle with which you embrace that occur from rumor of tumor to cancer as the answer when they affect a simple yet profound attitude. Namely, they remember what works best in frightening times. In my thirty years of watching this transition from fear to fortune, the remembering of the recipe for a sweet, fulfilling, and enriching life is a practical part of the battle gear when putting on armor and engaging the beast.
There is good news. The best recipes always taste better when you are famished or when tough times hit the cupboard of our lives. Similarly, there is nothing quite like good ole home cooking. Remember times when Gramps had a little GI indiscretion, Dad quipped about stepping on a frog, and your little brother shot peas through his nose from laughing so hard while Mom acted utterly disgusted, muttering, "When in God's name can we ever have a nice family dinner?" Of course you do, in some manner or another. Being with those you love and loving every moment when the main thing on the menu was not pretentious made it easy to digest heaping helpings of love. There is nothing more nutritious.
Therefore, as regards recipes for living when first hit with the diagnosis, the more you can nourish and sustain yourself in the company and care of those who love you and whom you love, the better the meal.
Now let us look at how God made us to be nourished and how to sustain ourselves with calories that can build more than just courage. Let us read the directions we came with for a sweet life in the midst of not-so-sweet news.
Beware, pretenders and offenders to common sense, when it comes to nutritious lifestyles, just as you would beware of magical promises of cancer cures. Mothers are rarely wrong. So, for starters, do just like Momma said and pay attention when better judgment tells you, "Don't eat that; it's not good for you!" Stay away from the too-pretty packaging. Be wary of the have-I-got-a-deal-for-you, empty-calorie garbage that will seem to pop out of everywhere from the Internet to the airwaves to late-night TV, as well as the trendy quick-fix self-help books with titles that seductively seem to talk just to you—yes, only you! Of course, there are many well-intentioned and indeed very helpful things out there in the world. However, if it seems too good to be true, if it goes against common sense, or if it does not pass the mommy test ("where did you hear that nonsense?"), go back to the basics that have been there since man first sought to alleviate suffering and live the good life.
The best recipes come from seasoned chefs who have tossed quite a lot of salad in their lives. These are folks, as you and I, who have made many meals in tough times. They have burnt some and undercooked others, but they know what really works. Here is what seems to top the list of appetizing aptitudes and attitudes that make a great recipe for a sweet life during tough times.
We said in the dedication and introduction, and it will echo repeatedly throughout the book, that you are not alone and there is a shared nature to humanity. Nothing makes you incomprehensible or unlovable. The same is true for recipes for life; they nourish all.
From Plato to Charles Schultz's Peanuts, thoughtful Thoreau to inane Inspector Clouseau, Gandhi or Christ to whomever your sage best model for life may be, the recipe is unchanged. Certain ingredients just keep popping up. They are all readily available in the cupboards of your heart and the pantry of your minds. They are all essential for a substantial, nourishing life. They will all keep meat on your bones and sizzle in your soul when the tough times, like the diagnosis of cancer, come calling. Best of all, the only criterion to enter the kitchen to cook up your own concoction is a pulse.
Start with a pound of purpose. Load up on plenty of this. No matter how dark, dismal, or desperate things are, with purpose there is a path and ample provision for your heart and soul.
Add a pinch of productivity. Just get your hands dirty and make something—anything—more than it was to start with. Dirty hands can clean minds just as fuel treatments blow the carbon out of our engines.
Then stir in cream of creativity. Remember, this singular gift marks you as the most wondrous of all creations. Only humans have that divine spark, the ability to create. It may be a ship in a bottle, a new whatchamacallit patent, or a smile on someone's face. Your creativity is not about scope and grandeur; it is about keeping the flame alive. It is about the ability to affect the world around you in a manner that, no matter how infinitesimally, leaves it with more and better than how it found you.
Then simmer. Some folks called this ciphering, chewing it over, or sleeping on it. It never means dwelling or getting ready to boil or blow up. It means having a gentle patience with your endeavors, remembering you already met the only criterion to enter the kitchen in the first place—a pulse. In addition, remember that there is no egg timer for hatching goodness.
Take time and have faith that your endeavors will bear fruit, and soon the sweet aroma of creative productivity will fill you up. Productivity and creativity are seemingly separate, but they are mutually wonderful and intimately intertwined, and together they make for magic. Sort of like life, eh? The stew of life is always better than the sum of its parts.
Next, lightly flour this meal with forgiveness. Always have some on hand. Moreover, it only works if you give more of it away than you recently got—darndest thing how that works! Even better, opportunities to use it are never in short supply.
Add two—no, add three heaping helpings of humor. In the final analysis, you will never laugh so deeply as when your favorite comedian is yourself. Granted, it is a tough gig, and phew, what a hard audience, but when you get the auto-giggle going, look out, it's life-sustaining and infectious.
Caramelize the entire concoction with kindness. The best way to do that is blindly and almost randoml
Excerpted from WHEN TUMOR IS THE RUMOR AND CANCER IS THE ANSWER by Kevin P Ryan. Copyright © 2013 by Kevin P Ryan MD FACP. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Foreword Maurie Markman, MD, FACP.................... xiii
Read the Directions First.................... 1
Read This Second, but Learn It First.................... 7
Anxiety and Fear.................... 11
The Enemy.................... 15
Broad Overview of the Nuts and Bolts of Oncology.................... 19
The Oncologist.................... 65
Suspect the Diagnosis.................... 77
Clinical Trials in Oncology.................... 167
Symptom Control and Side Effects.................... 181
The Problem of Pain.................... 211
Alternative and Unproven Forms of Cancer Treatment.................... 221
The Future.................... 241
Spiritual Care.................... 257
But What Do I Say?.................... 277
Front Office.................... 287
Inpatient Care.................... 293
Psychosocial/Hospice/End-of-Life Issues.................... 309
The Internet.................... 337
What Is a Tumor Registry?.................... 345
Some Final Thoughts.................... 347
The Heroes.................... 349
Index/Partial Glossary.................... 383