Surviving with cancer, Natalie Davis Spingarn tells us, means seeing yourself differently and recognizing that others may see you differently. It means worrying more about work and money. It means facing your mortality. It means dealing with the medical system by learning how to be a good consumer of health services-including making choices among different doctors, medical centers, and insurance plans.
Diagnosed with cancer in the early 1970s and now an independent writer specializing in health and social policy issues (particularly for the Washington Post), Spingarn uses her experiences as the basis for describing and critiquing what experts say about the emotional, physical, family, and practical issues involved. She helps others deal with such issues by relating her own experiences, good and bad, and offering practical encouragement to readers in similar situations.
Lively and empathetic, The New Cancer Survivors will appeal to persons with cancer who, thanks to modern medical science, are "hanging in there with illnesses that once evoked only submission or surrender"-as well as to their families, friends, and caregivers. Throughout, the author shines a bright light on the cancer experience, providing good reason to be hopeful as well as insight into how to respond when things do not go so well. Because she has suffered recurrences, she can compare treatment in the seventies (week-long hospital stays, for example, and extensive surgery and chemotherapy) with treatment in the nineties ("drive-through" precision surgery, genetic testing, the incorporation of some "complementary" therapies into mainstream medicine) and weigh the differences. The New Cancer Survivors digs deep for the truth and serves it up with humor and attitude-offering a wealth of information, comfort, and inspiration.