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Be Prepared: The Complete Financial, Legal, and Practical Guide to Living with Cancer, HIV, and other Life-Challenging Conditions Paperback – January 24, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0312253745 ISBN-10: 9780312253745 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Coming off the deaths of his father following a bout with lung cancer, a loved one who was diagnosed with leukemia, and a number of friends who contracted HIV, attorney David S. Landay wrote Be Prepared for people facing life-challenging conditions. The book is organized and presented in a tone Landay says is necessary for anyone facing an uncertain future. As such, he repeatedly emphasizes a need to both expect the best and prepare for the worst. He covers a variety of topics, including drugs and treatments, nutrition and exercise, taxes, new uses of existing assets, and estate planning. Being proactive is a consistent theme and is particularly relevant in areas such as medical power of attorney, living wills, do-not-resuscitate orders, durable power of attorney, and preneed decisions about children. Of course, when it comes to an area such as money, it's tempting to assume that much of this information is already presented in other reputable books on financial planning that cover areas such as life, disability, and health insurance. But Landay makes a point of noting that some of his concepts for people with life-challenging conditions appear to fly against conventional wisdom. He calls attention to those concepts with a special symbol and refers to them as CASH: Conventional Advice Switched on its Head. (Examples: As long as you have a taxable income, it is advisable to continue to invest in retirement accounts; even if you don't have health insurance, there are still ways to get it; disability does not generally happen overnight; Medicaid covers more long-term care than Medicare.) And the book is certainly unique in its compilation of advice in a variety of areas (medical, financial, and legal), all aimed at informing people facing critical decisions. In the end, it's hard to know if Be Prepared is a truly proactive tool, or the type of resource people won't turn to until a crisis strikes. In that sense, it's much like earthquake preparation guides that go unnoticed until the big one hits. Nevertheless, Landay's effort is a sobering reminder both that poor health can send our lives spiraling out of control and that a little planning ahead can bring pride, dignity, and a sense of power to an otherwise compromised life. --John Russell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Read this book. Everyone confronted by a major illness will gain important knowledge to help live his or her life with dignity. (Cornelius Baker, executive director of the National Association of People with AIDS)

Be Prepared is an essential guide for all of us (Diane Blum, ACSW, executive director of Cancer Care, Inc.)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (January 24, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780312253745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312253745
  • ASIN: 0312253745
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,049,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jon Edney on July 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Be Prepared is an incredible compilation of useful and practical information for anyone dealing with serious illness. When my mother was diagnosed with Liver Disease, I had no idea where to turn to get answers to a number of our questions regarding insurance and financial matters - our family attorney didn't even have all the information compiled here. I am grateful that a friend gave me a copy of Be Prepared... Not only did it provide me with the tools to evaluate our situation realistically, it also pointed me in the right direction to deal with issues that hadn't even crossed our minds. I highly recommend Be Prepared to anyone facing the challenges of a serious illness.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 17, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is the information I wish I had had when diagnosed with cancer 11 years ago. I told my oncologist not to give a malignancy diagnosis without also giving the patient this book.The author's philosophy of expecting the best while also being prepared for the worst is right on the money.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Spero on January 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
Be Prepared seems to have been written for people with AIDS and cancer, but its recommendations apply to anyone facing health problems and any kind of financial difficulty. The author guides you through getting disability, maintaining health insurance, getting other benefits that may be available to you and getting all your papers and affairs in order.
These steps help you keep control of your life when health problems could otherwise overwhelm you. As Landay says, "preparing for the worst allows you to expect the best." I followed his recommendations in coping with multiple sclerosis and applied some of them in my book The Art of Getting Well.
It's not always the easiest read; it's long and packed with info and resources. But I consider it a vital reference; I don't know of an equal one on the topic.
David Spero RN [...]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James Gannett on March 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
Before I start my review let me just say I read the previous reviews for this book and I don't understand the ranting of Betty Burk's review. It is very clear that she has not read this book and is on some personal vendetta against the gay culture. It's amazing how she speaks out about name calling from "bullies" on the internet but has no problem with singling out young gay men as being "evil." I hope Betty is judged as she judges others.

At age 34, I was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer that has metasized to my liver. At the time of my surgery to remove a large tumor from my colon, my oncologist gave me a 50% chance of living another two years.

Today, I've survived over a year and a half of chemotherapy and still going strong. My wife discovered this book one day at our oncology clinic at a time where we where struggling with a lifetime cap on my health insurance and monthly bills from the hospital that would burn up the cap in a year.

This book, though a little bit dated with the recent drug plans offered by Medicare, covers pretty much everything you should be thinking about when dealing with a life challenging condition. From dealing with your employer, your rights as a person with a disability, to private insurance and disability, and of course your options for long term care, social security, Medicare and Medicaid. It also encourages you as well as gives you hints on how you can take action as your own advocate.

I highly recommend anyone facing a life challenging illness or disability to read at least the first chapter of this book. The chapters are well listed and you can skip very easily to the places you are most interested in. I'd also encourage family members to read it as well.

Overall, it's a wealth of information written in "grandma's english" which makes it very easy to understand. I thank David Landay for providing us with this great resource.
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