Our Top 5 Cancer Books

Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (And Yourself) During Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond by Marc Silver

Recommended by my stepfather, this book helped Joey right away.  He says it’s an easy read from a guy’s perspective and it “gives great advice on how to communicate with your wife and prepare for what’s coming.”

Anticancer by David Servan-Schreiber
A gift from a friend, Anticancer completely changed the way my husband eats and, subsequently, how I shop and feed our family.

On our first date, Joey ordered meatloaf, mac & cheese, mashed potatoes and a Guinness.  I thought, This is never going to work!  But it has (beautifully) and we found middle ground – I started eating chicken and he learned to appreciate fish.  Still, to him “organic” was just a synonym for over-priced and “greens” meant an iceberg wedge with blue cheese and bacon.

(Of course, I’m the one who ended up with cancer, but, pish posh – this is about reducing risk!  Nothing’s a sure thing.)

Anyway, Joey says, “I need data and evidence and this book, written by a brain surgeon who developed brain cancer, convinced me that what you do with your body matters.”  Though he still enjoys the occasional Guinness, Joey also makes a mean green juice!

Surviving Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Hope, Treatment & Recovery by Patricia Prijatel
Just released 10/12, this is the book version of the fantastic blog, Positives about Negative.  Elsewhere online, scary adjectives precede “triple negative” and it’s neither helpful nor encouraging.  Ms. Prijatel is both.  She rounds up all of the data specific to hormone-negative breast cancer, including treatments, clinical trials and ways to reduce risk of recurrence.  Most importantly, she’s an articulate, delightful, thriving survivor.

Yea Though I Walk by Darrell Huckaby
A signed copy arrived in our mailbox as I was finishing radiation.  Family friends had heard the author speak and thought I’d enjoy his book.  They were right – I finished it in one sitting.  Mr. Huckaby, a survivor of Stage IV metastatic prostate cancer and fellow UGA alum, tells his story in exactly the right tone for me – matter-of-fact and funny.  And his relentless search for new doctors, when treatment after treatment failed, is inspiring.

Nowhere_Hair_199x300Nowhere Hair by Sue Glader
Within days of learning I had cancer, my friend Kathy researched books for children and sent us this gem about chemo-induced hair loss.  Our daughter (age 7 then) was worried about my being bald, and what her friends would think.  It wasn’t her most heartbreaking concern, but the one she voiced most often.

We ended up buzz-cutting my thinning hair to 1/4″ in length – all 4 of us, in our master bathroom.  Afterwards, we decided to go out to dinner and I wondered out loud whether I should wear a scarf.  Precious Sara, who by then knew Nowhere Hair by heart, asked, “Well, Mommy, how are you feeling?  Like the book says – brave or not so brave?”  I told her I felt okay, maybe even brave.  She said, “Well, then, you don’t need to cover your head!”

So I didn’t and we held hands all the way to the restaurant.