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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A practical road map for getting through chemo
Who could better write a book on chemotherapy than two chemo nurses from Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, one with over 25 years experience as a chemo nurse involved in patient education and the other with several years as an oncology-certified nurse and family nurse practitioner? These ladies are on the front lines, in the trenches, so to speak and they know all the...
Published on March 17, 2010 by PT Cruiser

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Recommended by Dr Office. Lots of good info. Would buy it again in my situation.
Published 5 months ago by sharon bohling


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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A practical road map for getting through chemo, March 17, 2010
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This review is from: The Chemotherapy Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Get Through Treatment (Paperback)
Who could better write a book on chemotherapy than two chemo nurses from Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, one with over 25 years experience as a chemo nurse involved in patient education and the other with several years as an oncology-certified nurse and family nurse practitioner? These ladies are on the front lines, in the trenches, so to speak and they know all the questions and all the tricks you need to deal with chemotherapy. If you or a loved one are facing cancer treatment this is a good primer on what to expect and what you can do to lessen the effects and just get through the ordeal with your sanity intact. It starts with a short primer on cell life and cancer cells and goes into an explanation of some of the types of chemotherapy and treatments. They give you an idea of what to expect and how to cope with the side effects that may or may not occur. It's good to know what's normal and what isn't, when to check in with your doctor and when you can handle things on your own.

I liked that they wrote the book in easy to understand language and addressed a lot of practical issues like coping with hair loss, digestive changes, dealing with nausea, diarrhea or constipation and mouth and throat problems. Actually the anti-nausea medications are so good these days that a majority of people don't feel nausea at all. They name some of the common anti-nausea drugs and tell how each one works which I found useful. Another chapter that I really liked was the one on blood tests results and how to make sense of them. Looking these things up on the internet can be very confusing sometimes. Which ones are the most important, which one just follow some of the other values and which can be treated with drugs should they drop too low? This book explains all that. Oncologists usually provide some of this information but with so many questions and things to remember from a visit, it's nice to have it in book form where you can just go back and refer to it as different issues arise.

A few of the chapters were contributed by other experts such as the one on nutrition during chemo and the one on mind and body connection. These were very helpful and contributed lots of good ideas and suggestions. Stress, fertility, sexuality, the IV experience, relaxation techniques and finally life after treatments and being a survivor are all covered in this book. Just knowing what to expect, what to call your doctor about and what you can do yourself to address some of the issues can make the whole experience a little easier to deal with and a lot less scary. If you or a loved one is facing chemo, this book will help all of you get through it.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chemo Survival, August 1, 2009
This review is from: The Chemotherapy Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Get Through Treatment (Paperback)
I would not worship exclusively at the holy grail of
chemotherapy. Having made that statement, the authors
accomplished much in explaining the dynamics of
chemotherapy and the requisite planning to be done by
patients and physicians. The information contained in
this book is not known to patients, generally speaking.
And so, the acquisition would have value for a person
or family member facing chemotherapy with little time
to investigate the dynamics of the treatment or the
extensive terminology of the protocol .

The volume explains how cells are nourished with blood
and oxygen. Additionally, the immune system protects
against foreign organisms. Simply put, cancer cells
lack a growth control mechanism. To compensate,
physicians have various strategies in the toolbox.

For instance, surgery, radiation and a combination
may be utilized to rid the body of cancerous tumors.
Chemo interferes with the cell cycle specific to
preventing cancer cells from reproducing.

A strength of the work is that the authors direct the
patient to understand the pathology report, as well as
the treatment plan. Specific strategies deal with the
dynamics of the blood chemistry. For instance, a
decreased red blood count calls for eating a balanced
diet, more iron (Fe) and rest. Erythropoetin stimulates
red blood cell production. A low white count calls for
a strategy of limiting exposure to places where many
people gather. Skin should be kept clean at all times.
Teeth should be cleaned often (brushing and flossing).
Fluids should be consumed often.

The authors provide specific blood test markers of interest
to the patient; namely, CA15-3 for the breast tumors,
CA125 for ovarian cancer and the PSA for men. A Nurse IV
specialist should be employed for the infusion of vitamins
and medicinal preparations for chemo patients. This book
would be helpful for anyone on chemo or contemplating it.

The book is written in a format easily understandable to
the layperson.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for thoes going through Chemotherapy, January 9, 2010
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This review is from: The Chemotherapy Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Get Through Treatment (Paperback)
I think like most people who are diagnosed with cancer it is scarey feeling and not knowing what to expect from Chemotherapy can be overwhelming to deal it. I know this is how felt when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer.

This book was great because it was easy to understand and gave a lot of great information about the experince of going through chemotherapy and understanding cancer. At first I thought I was going to read this book cover to cover but for me as I have gone chemotherapy certain chapters have been important for me read depending on my symptoms at the time.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is diagnosed with cancer and needs to go through chemotherapy. I know that it has been a great book for me to reference when I had questions about cancer or chemotherapy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You're not alone -- everything you need to know about your Chemo treatment in plain English..., September 15, 2011
By 
RNS (Murfreesboro, TN USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Chemotherapy Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Get Through Treatment (Paperback)
From my own experience I can say, cancer is a mean beast and you need every bit of information you can get your hands on to help you understand what your treatment plan is going to put you through. If you can gain a good understanding of what you're up against, you'll feel much less anxious and better able to cope with whatever side-effects crop up in your particular case.

Both authors -- Judith McKay and Tamera Schacher -- are seasoned oncology nurses. They've been there, done that -- and they've written this book as if it were intended for their own brother, sister, mother or best friend. I read it from cover-to-cover while sitting during my chemotherapy sessions. I've got excellent doctors at one of the best hospitals in the world, but the appointments are typically in 15-minute sessions and -- though I'm a fairly bright guy -- my doctor often reverts to medical-gibberish techno-talk, with words from an alien planet. As such, this book should have been titled, "The Rest of the Story: Details the Doctors Don't Tell You." (smile)

The best part is that it's written in plain English, it's got a logical format, and will have a calming effect on readers in treatment in that it explains what to expect at each stage of chemo and how to deal with the side effects.

I keep this book, along with "What to Eat When You Have Cancer," by Maureen Keane and Daniel Chace (Updated 2nd ed. McGraw Hill, 2007), close by and -- while in treatment -- read portions of each nearly every day.

R. Neil Scott
Middle Tennessee State University
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book helped my mom and others during chemo, June 20, 2011
By 
Erin R. Crouch (Wild, Wonderful WV) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Chemotherapy Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Get Through Treatment (Paperback)
When my mom was going through chemo for ovarian cancer, we read a LOT of books on the subject. This was the best book for explaining the process of chemo and helping us understand what she would be going through. Since her chemo has been over, she has passed this book along to other ladies going through chemo for breast cancer. One good thing about this book, is that it can be used by men and women and people experiencing a vast variety of chemo treatments.

I would recommend this book for anyone who is anticipating going through chemo. This book helped us to understand what my mom would be going through and helped ease the fears. I believe that we need to believe for the best and plan for the worst. This book will help you do that if you are going to be be experiencing chemotherapy in the near future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Book, June 10, 2011
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Being recently diagnosed and having an enormous appitite to find out as much as possible, this book answered a lot of questions in a technical but practical manner.

Well done
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Knowledge is Power - This Guide Offers Lots of Both, February 13, 2014
By 
Beverly Diehl (Sherman Oaks, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Chemotherapy Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Get Through Treatment (Paperback)
Cancer is chilling, whether it happens to us, or to someone we love. Lots of us want to put our fingers in our ears and sing, "La-la-la, I can't hear you," and learn as little as possible about this disease. Until the day comes when we HAVE to learn about it. Then there is SO much information and it is all confusing as hell and terrifying.

This incredibly informative book breaks it down into 16 chapters that are intuitive and helpful. It can be read in order, or we can skip directly to: the chapter on Understanding Blood Tests, what the different kinds of blood cells are, and what lab results mean. Or, perhaps, the chapters on Preventing Nausea, or Coping with Other Digestion Changes. There are sections on relaxation, on Mind and Body working together, on Fertility, and Sexuality, and on Life After Cancer.

The language at the beginning of the chapters felt a little simplistic and condescending, along the lines of: "A beach is a place where the water washes in from the ocean." But pretty soon, I was in over my head, and VERY grateful that this book translated the medical jargon into easy-to-understand language and clear, uncomplicated explanations.

If you have cancer, or love someone who does, I highly recommend this book as a primer (get the paperback rather than e-version, so it can be more easily passed around the family), for understanding all the things you need to know. I felt SO much more empowered and knowledgeable after reading it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book Review, April 11, 2013
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This review is from: The Chemotherapy Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Get Through Treatment (Paperback)
This book was very helpful to my wife and myself while she was going through chemo. I recommend to anyone in the same situation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An user friendly comprehensive guide, April 9, 2013
This review is from: The Chemotherapy Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Get Through Treatment (Paperback)
The Chemotherapy Survival Guide helped me cope with the breast cancer chemotherapy treatments I was going through last year. Now, as a cancer survivor, I use the information and advice this book details to cope with new challenges that I'm facing. This book can benefit all cancer patients, caregivers and family members during cancer treatments and beyond.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars must read for cancer patients, January 6, 2013
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This review is from: The Chemotherapy Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Get Through Treatment (Paperback)
I sent this to a cancer patient and he found it most helpful. He felt it to be a good guide to navitage the tx process.
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The Chemotherapy Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Get Through Treatment
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