You've got cancer. Now what? It is one among the myriad of daunting questions that the more than 1.3 million Americans who are diagnosed with invasive cancer each year find themselves asking. There is, of course, no simple answer. Cancer does not come with a set of instructions and most people have no real idea of what lies ahead. There are, however, certain things that all individuals affected by the disease can do to help navigate their way though this life-altering ordeal. As treatment options continue to improve, cancer has ceased to be the definitive death-sentence that it once was. While it remains an extremely serious and potentially fatal disease, today more and more people are surviving their diagnosis - at last count, 10 million in the United States alone. With these staggering numbers, it has become all the more critical that patients and their loved ones learn not how to prepare for death, but rather how to live with the reality of cancer. In this essential, candidly-written guide, Dave Visel draws on expertise hard-won during his wife's battle with lymphoma.
He provides an overview of the varieties of cancer as well as patients' perspectives on all the basic types of treatments available, from surgery and radiation to chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant. Chapters dispel common myths and fears associated with these treatments as well as provide tips on nutrition and physical fitness. "Living with Cancer", however, is not a medical text. Recognizing that the disease not only changes us physically, but has tentacles that affect nearly every aspect of our lives, Visel moves beyond the hospital to provide information and strategies to help with the emotional, practical, and financial effects of a diagnosis. Cancer patients and their partners and family will find the tools they need to make sensible, well-informed decisions on questions ranging from the right time to tell coworkers to whether to travel for treatment. Because medical bankruptcies affect nearly 2 million Americans each year, Visel devotes several chapters to financial issues, including needs forecasting, creating budgets, applying for grants or aid, and negotiating with insurance companies.
Relationship issues, such as how to deal with a difficult parent or whether to reconcile with an estranged spouse, are also addressed. Breaking down the confusing variety of information and advice that cancer patients face from seemingly every direction, "Living with Cancer" provides an organized and comprehensive overview of the most useful corporate, government, and nonprofit resources available. Anyone looking for help in understanding the full range of personal, professional, and legal issues associated with cancer will welcome this book. As inspiring as it is informative, it is a survival guide in the truest sense.