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Help Me Live: 20 Things People with Cancer Want You to Know Paperback – May 1, 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"With grace and good humor, Hope tells us what we all should know about facing this life-altering disease. Extraordinarily moving and helpful, this book is essential reading for cancer patients as well as their families and friends."
--Marc Silver, author of Breast Cancer Husband and editor at U.S. News & World Report

"What a remarkable book."
--Jimmie Holland, MD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, author of The Human Side of Cancer

"Meaningful and valuable to cancer patients, their families, friends, caregivers, physicians, and therapists--as well as any compassionate individual living in a society with other human beings. Lori's hopeful and melodic voice sings throughout."
--Jo Ellen Lezotte, past president of The Cancer League, Inc.

"Help Me Live is personal, practical, and heartful and makes it easier to navigate the nitty-gritty realities of what to say and do if you want to help."
--Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD, author of Close to the Bone: Life-Threatening Illness and the Search for Meaning

"Lori Hope's masterful storytelling and clear explanations are invaluable, helping you understand (and forgive) others' hurtful words and actions. . . . This book is a gift."
--Wendy S. Harpham, MD, cancer survivor and author of Diagnosis: Cancer

From the Publisher

*An intimate guide for families, partners, and friends of individuals diagnosed with cancer, detailing 20 messages to help loved ones communicate effectively. *Appendices include specific advice geared toward special circumstances like workplace issues, children, and rare cancers; 15 common words, phrases, and questions that can sting; 15 fabulous things people did and said; 20 movies and books to know about; and more. *HELP ME LIVE does not prescribe behavior; rather it is designed as food for thought: stories unfold, providing examples of words and deeds that have helped and harmed.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Celestial Arts; 1 edition (May 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587612127
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587612121
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #605,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lori Hope is an author, producer, and public speaker. Her top-rated cancer support book, Help Me Live: 20 Things People with Cancer Want You to Know, has been featured in media including The Today Show, Time, Redbook, The Wall Street Journal, US News & World Reports, ABC News' "Nightline", the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Hallmark Channel, and her popular blog appears on the Huffington Post.

A former newspaper editor and award-winning journalist who developed hundreds of medical news reports and documentaries for television broadcast, her dozens of honors include two Emmys. A lung cancer survivor who quit smoking seventeen years before her diagnosis, Hope has written essays and opinion pieces that have appeared in Newsweek and other publications and have been broadcast on hundreds of public radio stations nationwide. Her essays appear in college English textbooks, and her broadcast work has appeared on CBS, ABC, PBS, HBO, and NBC stations. She has been a guest on the Oprah Winfrey show.

Hope has lectured about the power of hope, compassionate communication, and smoking cessation and addiction and the stigma of lung cancer at dozens of conferences and institutions including Tulane University Medical School, UCLA, the American Cancer Society, the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley, and the American Thoracic Society International Conference. Hope is a health expert on SheSource.org; a member of the National Cancer Survivors Day Speakers Bureau; and the most popular professional blogger on CarePages.com.

A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Hope earned a BA in Philosophy. She taught documentary production in San Francisco at the nation's most advanced non-commercial media access and training center, Bay Area Video Coalition, for more than a decade. Currently, she is a member of the executive board of the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and volunteers for several other cancer organizations. In her spare time, Hope enjoys her family and friends, walking her dog, and exercising to stay strong, healthy, and centered.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have had my fair share of cancer battles. In hindsight, there were some battles that I won, and some battles that I lost. I am confident I have won my own personal war against this life-altering disease. Society has a label for someone like me: `A Survivor'. Though the terminology might be appropriate to a degree, I do not think of myself as `A Survivor', but rather a person who has been given a fair share of blessings because I had to my own cancer fights. I consider my self `A Conqueror'. Hard to imagine? Then you should think again. My cancer battles helped me evolve as a person, made me a more enlightened soul, one who appreciates each and every moment I have here. Unfortunately, too many people forget this. My point in sharing this little history of mine is so that you know I am not a single event cancer fighter, but a multiple event Conqueror!

Saying all of this, if you or a person close to you is fighting the big `C', then I cannot express to you the significance of Lori Hope's book Help Me Live: 20 Things People with Cancer Want You to Know. This is more than a must read . . . the advice and perspective Ms. Hope shares thru her book is, and again, I cannot express this enough, essential to the recovery process for not only the person who is physically fighting this dreaded disease, but also the entire support group of family and friends, who too are fighting this disease through their support of the cancer victim.

As a `Conqueror' herself, Lori was wise in her writing style for this book. Filled with a sense of ease, grace, and lots of humor, this book shouts out with pragmatic optimism that every individual involved with the `C' war will appreciate.
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1 Comment 59 of 61 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Lori Hope's book addresses an issue no other book has tackled.

For the first time, a woman with cancer tells how friends and family can help. Usually, it's the medical profession telling patients with cancer what to do or telling their families how to help. In this book, Hope shares her down-to-earth examples and humorous stories. A lung cancer survivor and Emmy Award-winning documentary film producer, Hope tells people like me how not to help -- from overreacting to the diagnosis (I've done this) to saying, "whatever you need, let me know" (I've done this, too). Now, I have a context in which to help those many friends of mine who have lived with cancer. Instead of asking a global, "what do you need?" I learned from Hope's book to ask instead, "can I bring over dinner tonight?" "would you like to go for a walk?" or "may I do those dishes for you?" and "I'd be happy to take you to chemo treatments once a month...what day works for you?" I learned a lot, not just about helping friends with cancer, but about really helping.
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Format: Paperback
As a cancer survivor and caregiver, I found this book not only needed but essential. With sensitivity and warmth, it tackles an important subject that must be addressed. As much as we all wish, cancer is not going to go away anytime soon. One in two American men and one in three American women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes. Survivorship has become a national priority and it will continue to grow.

So what do you say to someone whose life has been turned upside down by a cancer diagnosis?

Hope interviewed scores of cancer survivors asking them bluntly about the comments and actions that helped them most, as well as those that wounded. Her book is a practical outline on how to truly help and be present in a cancer survivor's life. More important, is it a storybook full of tales (some quite funny) that illustrate words and actions that have helped or hurt.

I have given copies of this book to many intelligent and sensitive but uniformed people -- people who have asked things like, How much time does the doctor think you have? How much life insurance do you have on your husband?

As more and more cancer survivors thrive, we become a force to be reckoned with. Cancer survivors should not feel slighted in addition to all the other issues they must face. No one can take the disease away, but Hope gives those who have friends and loved ones dealing with the disease an honest and practical blueprint for truly respecting and understanding their needs.

Hope has become a spokeswoman for communicating with compassion and her articles and presentations are truly changing the way we talk about cancer and surviving. What Hope has done for the survivorship movement is remarkable. Her book should be required reading for doctors, nurses and anyone entering the health care profession, as well as anyone touched by cancer.
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Format: Paperback
Help Me Live is a beautiful and a necessary book. If you don't need it now, you are going to need it sooner or later, because, sadly, all of us are touched by cancer before long. I knew that Lori Hope was working on this book, and I asked her for an advance copy when my best friend was hospitalized with what the doctors first thought was a brain tumor. Although this friend and I had been having what seemed like an unbroken conversation for thirty years, I did not know how to talk with him about his cancer. Lori Hope's book walked me through that, like an understanding friend by my side, gently warning me about things not to say, gently encouraging me about things to be sure to say. Far more than a list of dos and don'ts, Help Me Live is a testament to its author's own experience and the experiences of the many people she interviewed in the course of writing it. Deeply personal and honest, courageous and understanding, and filled with stories of grace under the most trying of circumstances, this book should be in every household, in every doctor's waiting room, in every hospital gift-shop. Read it. And tell your friends about it.
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