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Everything Changes: The Insider's Guide to Cancer in Your 20's and 30's Paperback – February 1, 2009


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Everything Changes: The Insider's Guide to Cancer in Your 20's and 30's + Planet Cancer: The Frequently Bizarre Yet Always Informative Experiences and Thoughts of Your Fellow Natives + Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470294027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470294024
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #393,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After being diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of 27, Rosenthal, a choreographer and now a patient advocate for young adults with cancer, crisscrossed the country, interviewing other young cancer victims. Rosenthals text is part guidebook, part true confessions (including her own), as she segues between intimate conversations and sound advice on topics ranging from dating and parenting to working the health-care system and coping with pain. The interviews are riveting and reveal a youthful perspective on cancer (one girl goes to chemo wearing goth makeup; others worry about when to confide in a lover). As she talks with 25 young adults of varying backgrounds, the author points out that many are not diagnosed until their symptoms are advanced, often because theyve been dismissed by doctors who say they are too young to have cancer, or because they have lost their health insurance during the transition from college to jobs. Rosenthal notes that 70,000 young adults between the ages of 20 and 39 are diagnosed with cancer each year, and 25% do not survive. Though at times the volleying between Rosenthals own story and those of her subjects is disorienting, the work as a whole is poignant, raw and informative. The text will provide needed support and valuable resources for young adults, their parents, friends and caregivers. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

* After being diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of 27, Rosenthal, a choreographer and now a patient advocate for young adults with cancer, crisscrossed the country, interviewing other young cancer victims. Rosenthal’s text is part guidebook, part true confessions (including her own), as she segues between intimate conversations and sound advice on topics ranging from dating and parenting to working the health-care system and coping with pain. The interviews are riveting and reveal a youthful perspective on cancer (one girl goes to chemo wearing goth makeup; others worry about when to confide in a lover). As she talks with 25 young adults of varying backgrounds, the author points out that many are not diagnosed until their symptoms are advanced, often because they’ve been dismissed by doctors who say they are “too young” to have cancer, or because they have lost their health insurance during the transition from college to jobs. Rosenthal notes that 70,000 young adults between the ages of 20 and 39 are diagnosed with cancer each year, and 25% do not survive. Though at times the volleying between Rosenthal’s own story and those of her subjects is disorienting, the work as a whole is poignant, raw and informative. The text will provide needed support and valuable resources for young adults, their parents, friends and caregivers. (Feb.) (Publishers Weekly, December 15, 2008)

More About the Author

Diagnosed with cancer at age 27, Kairol Rosenthal emerged from treatment, ditched her hospital gown, and hit the road with a tape recorder in hand. From the Big Apple to the Bible Belt, she met twenty-five complete strangers living with cancer in their 20s and 30s. They revealed to her intimate cancer stories that they had never shared with anyone else - from fighting for COBRA to best cancer sex toys and everything in between.

Part travelogue, diary, and investigative reporting, these candid stories along with expert advice have become the first-ever comprehensive guide book for young adults with cancer.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Her writing is honest and deft.
Adam Shames
I found her resource pages at the end of each chapter extremely helpful; honestly, I learned more from those than from any oncologist I've visited so far.
GeekyKeekee
I would recommend this to cancer patients, their families, and friends.
Emma

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By EnglandBoy on September 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
I myself am a cancer survivor, having battled lymphoma for several years. I came across this book late in my experience, a few years after I reached a long term remission. The book is filled with interviews of young adults who tell their private stories in their battles with cancer. I found their experiences to be interesting, and very close to my heart since I too, had experienced many of their struggles such as with work, dating and living with my parents.

There were a couple of thoughts that settled in my mind after I finished reading this. First off, this book is referenced as "the insider's guide to cancer in your 20s and 30s." It is clearly not a guide. A guide is a handbook, a tool to help you navigate the unexpected or unfamiliar. My question is how many newly diagnosed cancer patients in their 20s and 30s buy a book like this once they hear of their shocking diagnosis. I certainly didn't. The first thought was "what the ^%$$^*(&##" and not, "i guess I'll look up a book on how to navigate the waters of cancer in my 20s." There is so much more than that when you're diagnosed. Which brings me to my next point.

By the time a patient ends up reading this book, he or she have most likely gone thru so much to know what has worked for them and what hasn't. The book, although a good read from the interviews stand point, fails to deliver what new patients needs at a timely manner, not because of the book's fault but because patient's instincts especially young ones are not to resort to a book when they're immediately diagnosed. Sometimes the treatment happens so quickly after diagnosis that you don't have time to read anything. You're relying many times on the hospital and staff to help you thru. A guide remains relevant if the info is delivered to the patient at the right time.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Christine Blumer on February 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
Not every cancer patient is a heroic cheerleader type.

If the sight of pink ribbons makes you want to hurl (without chemo), then this is the book for you. Kairol interviews young adults who share their darker thoughts and feelings along with tidbits of inspiration. The book is chock full of resources for self education, financial assistance, and dealing with the freak show that is the US health care system.

If you have a 20-30 something close friend or family member with cancer that doesn't necessarily want to "share" or talk about their feelings: read this book. It will give you an insight as to how lonely and private this crappy disease can be and how easily it can shift extroverted happy folks to emo types in a heartbeat. And why that's absoultely OK.

I'm a 30 something stage 4 colon cancer patient and I found great comfort in this book. It's nice to know that I'm not alone on my occasional visits to the dark side.Finally, some validation regarding my twisted sense of tumor humor. Practical and touching.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By CB Coulter on March 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
As someone who has always seemed to know "someone with cancer", I was very interested to read a book about the disease by someone my age. Kairol doesn't sugar-coat her experiences, nor does she seem to dumb down those of her subjects. The book really opens the door to every aspect of cancer, and I expect it would be especially valuable to those with limited income and/or support structures facing the disease.

Although Rosenthal devotes space at the end of each chapter to describing practical resources, I personally found the most value in her subjects' description of how they got through every day, and what they really needed from the people in their lives. Almost everyone reported that friends and attachments slipped away, as those who aren't sick don't quite know how to deal with the person who is. Everyone's different; there's no one method to deal with people with cancer. Taking the time to figure out what your "someone with cancer" wants - and then delivering - may be the best thing a friend can do.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lisa F. on February 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
I don't have cancer, but I have friends who do. I also have loved ones who suffer from other chronic conditions. This book, I feel, is for everyone. It speaks beyond simply the cancer experience to any young person who has dealt with arrogant doctors, the Byzantine health care system or managing a love life while facing your own mortality.

Rosenthal is smart and honest and sarcastic in all the right ways, especially about the bumper sticker, feel-good labels society likes to attatch to people living with cancer. My favorite line from Chapter 1:

"Nora helped me understand why I got so feisty when people assumed that as a cancer patient, my disease must have taught me about how precious and fulfilling life can be. I knew how precious life was before I got sick. What I had learned as a cancer patient was far more practical and lifesaving and much less glamorous: I learned how to navigate the labyrinth of health care in the United States."

Finally, this book is just a damn good read. The interviewees are great, and Rosenthal is deft enough to get out of the way of their stories. When she does pop in with insights or her own narrative, it's incredibly compelling. And the resource section in chapter one alone is among the best I've ever seen.

Looking forward to chapter two and beyond!
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