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Laugh, Sing, and Eat Like a Pig: How an Empowered Patient Beat Stage IV Cancer (And What Healthcare Can Learn from It) Paperback – June 30, 2010
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From the Back Cover
Laugh, Sing and Eat Like a Pig is Dave's story in his own words: excerpts from his cancer journal and later writings as he discovered the e-patient movement - "Empowered, Engaged, Equipped, Enabled" - and became its best-known blogger, speaker, and government policy advisor.
The true story of "e-Patient Dave" will inspire you and fill you with a sense that a new world is beginning, a world in which empowered patients partner with medical professionals, to truly help heal
"In my list of greatest personal reads."
"Was it my cheering or tears, the intimacy of the story, the caring nature of the community, the power of his vision, or just my awe of his guts? I suspect it was for all of those reasons and more that Dave's book now ranks in my list of greatest personal reads."
-- James B. Conway, MS, FACHE, adjunct faculty member of the Harvard School of Public Health; Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)
"Listen up to e-Patient Dave. A must-read."
"If you want to be an empowered patient - and you should - listen up to 'e-Patient Dave.' His lessons on participatory medicine can save your life just as I believe they saved his. Dave's story has inspired me, and I'm sure it will inspire you. Dave's a pioneer in the empowered patient movement, and Laugh, Sing, and Eat Like a Pig is a must-read for anyone who wants to take charge of their healthcare."
-- Elizabeth Cohen MPH, CNN Senior Medical CorrespondentAuthor, The Empowered Patient (Random House)
"Required reading for patients and doctors"
"Dave embodies the idea that the patient is the most underutilized resource in medicine. His spirit, wisdom, and fearlessness are contagious. This book is required reading for patients and doctors, to learn how we can work together to make health care better."
-- Roni Zeiger, MD, Chief Health Strategist, Google
"An enormous impact on medicine"
"There is no doubt that Dave has made an enormous impact on medicine. He has been featured in Time and US News, testified in Washington, DC and now his wisdom and advice are available in this book to anyone facing a serious disease."
-- Kent Bottles, MD, President, Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement
About the Author
Online since 1989, Dave used every resource at his disposal: a strong mental attitude, online research, great treatment at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess, online medical records, an online journal for family and friends, and online forum of kidney cancer patients. He beat the disease in less than a year, then discovered "e-patients," who participate actively in their healthcare. He began blogging as e-Patient Dave.
An accomplished speaker and writer before his illness, today Dave is engaged in opening health information directly to patients, as public speaker, policy consultant, and Founding Co-chair of the Society for Participatory Medicine. He's testified in Washington, appeared in Time, US News & World Report, the Boston Globe, and was named to the HealthLeaders "20 People Who Make Healthcare Better."
"This is the first time in my life I've felt I have a calling," says Dave, "something I can't get away from: it's what I need to do. I've had plenty of fulfilling jobs in a great career, but not a calling. This is it."
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Top Customer Reviews
I received a diagnosis of bladder cancer last summer, and have been in treatment ever since. I think any cancer patient will find Dave's story extraordinarily compelling, not just because Dave is an extraordinary patient, but because he teaches us how we can all be extraordinary patients.
Dave's attitude is contagious, and every time I turned a page I found myself growing in my own sense of courage to face my cancer, and in personal power to take more responsibility for medical decisions.
He's honest about his feelings, determined to fight his disease with every resource he can muster, yet always knows that "reality is what it is" and that acceptance of whatever happens is a powerful approach.
I wasn't familiar with the concept of e-patients before I read this book, but reading it transformed me into one. This book will teach you (as it did me) what a huge difference being "empowered, engaged, equipped, and enabled" can make when facing a serious illness.
You're a busy physician, and these patient self help books are all over the place. Why should you read this one?
1) It's a spectacular medical save.
Any doctor reading this book will find renewed pride in our profession. We really ARE saving lives, even those on the very brink of death from formerly incurable disease. I felt good about that, and I guarantee you will, too.
2) You'll find out how your severely ill patients REALLY feel while you're treating them.
Unlike most authors telling a story, Dave didn't know if he would live or die while writing the journal entries comprising most of this book. That brings with it a power and an immediacy absent in similar books. Consider: "Most of all, I cried out of knowing that when I go under anesthesia, there's nothing more I can do, and that's scary. Dr. Wagner's team is going to remove that cancerous kidney, and I'll have nothing to say or do until I wake up" (p. 28). It may be routine for us, but definitely not so for the patient.
3) You'll find out what you can do to help.
First, read Paul Levy's introduction, "Yes, Patients CAN help their Doctors." Mr. Levy, CEO of the hospital where Dave was treated, explains how a simple attitude change on our part can improve our patient interactions to the benefit of both of us:
"[Dave's] story is how doctors and a patient working in partnership can learn from one another." And Mr. Levy is not just pontificating from his C-suite - he served Dave his dinner one night, complete with hand-washing, apron and hairnet.
Second; learn from the book and Dr. Danny Sands' introduction how you can discover and 'vet' the best websites for your patients, and enable them to both help themselves and help you. Dr.Read more ›
Tom posted only once to the [...] blog -- his blog -- before he died in 2006 and it was a tribute to The Voice of the Patient. When a group of us decided to complete the white paper and continue the blog in Tom's honor, Dave was not yet part of the group. Now Dave is not only part of the blog, but helped start the Society for Participatory Medicine and is a central figure in patient empowerment.
Dave dedicates his book to Tom, writing: "I never met you, but you guide me every day." I bet there are people out in the world who would say the same thing about Dave, thanks to his writing -- on blogs, on Twitter, and now in this book. Dave is the embodiment of the voice of the patient. Listen and learn.
First, you should buy this book because it's not just a cancer survival story or even just a cancer survival how-to book. Laugh, Sing, and Eat Like a Pig is a book on patient empowerment, on why and how to take control of your life, even in the face of personal tragedy. You don't have to have cancer or know someone with cancer to get a lot out of this book.
Second, I loved the book. I'm still loving the book on the second read, and I usually don't re-read anything. I think grad school did that to me. I had so much to read, so much to translate, and so much to analyze that I never wanted to read anything again unless it was absolutely necessary. Every book I re-read is time stolen from one more new book I could be reading. Still, I've really enjoyed Dave's book. I love the way it bounces in and out of chronological sequence. I love the asides and insertions.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Written by my friend Dave deBronkart, an expert in the e-patient or patient empowerment movement. This is about his recovery from cancer.Published 23 months ago by Amazon Customer
Your friends and family members who have Stage IV cancer have to want to live; I found this book thought-provoking and encourage with many good ideas, but in the end it didn't help... Read morePublished on June 28, 2013 by S. L. Montag
I purchased e-Patient Dave's book for a friend who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, hoping it would be source of inspiration. Read morePublished on February 24, 2011 by Adam Flaherty
I first heard Dave's amazing story at the ePatient Connections Conference in the fall of 2009. He brought many of us to tears and all of us to our feet with his inspirational and... Read morePublished on February 17, 2011 by Eileen OBrien
Plato said that physicians should experience all diseases to do their art well. After reading Dave's story about his battle with stage IV cancer, I understand why. Read morePublished on October 5, 2010 by Dermdoc
I was surprisingly captivated by 'Laugh, Sing, and Eat like a Pig.' I say "surprisingly" because I began reading knowing I have no medical expertise at all, so I expected to just... Read morePublished on September 20, 2010 by MLincoln
This book has a very "healthy" perspective for anyone facing a life-threatening illness. Rather than picture a battle between himself and the "evil" cancer cells, Dave gave his... Read morePublished on September 11, 2010 by suee
More than a cancer book. More than a journal of Dave's story. Help for all patients who are fighting for their lives or health.
Dave's ideas and example are contagious. Read more
As someone living with two incurable chronic illnesses, I didn't think that I could relate to someone who 'beat' cancer. Well, I was wrong. Read morePublished on August 9, 2010 by Lisa Emrich