A lumpectomy, radiation therapy, and nine months of chemotherapy followed. She lamented that she had no role models for survival: in addition to losing her mother, her grandmother had died of uterine cancer, and an uncle from a brain tumor. She joined her hospital's cancer support group, but as its youngest member, found "my issues as a young adult with cancer did not resonate in that room." So, while still undergoing treatment, she founded Vital Options, a support group for cancer patients ages 17 to 40.
That was in 1983. During that time, she also started "The Group Room," a call-in radio show that's grown into the world's largest cancer support group. Cancer Talk is an invaluable collection of the voices from the show: cancer survivors, nurses, doctors (much more sensitive than those who biopsied Schimmel, and some who've survived cancer themselves), social workers, and family and friends of cancer patients. They discuss the emotional issues that follow a cancer diagnosis (including difficulties facing one's mortality), how to handle side effects from treatment, and ways to manage the flood of medical bills and problems with insurance companies. Cancer Talk isn't meant just for younger people, but does include hard-to-find support for such patients, including ways to help children tell their classmates about their disease and changes in their appearance. Other discussions cover sensitive topics such as relationship and intimacy problems; how to handle fertility issues following chemotherapy and radiation, including what to do when cancer strikes during pregnancy; and how to handle health questions during a job interview when you have or have had cancer. More than 100 resources are included for more information, and most of them include Web-site addresses. This is an essential book for anyone affected by cancer.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.