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on June 21, 2001
Vickie Girard has written a wonderful, instructional book, which will become a tremendous asset for all of us who are fighting cancer (myself included). Her analogies and anecdotes are well put and well received. Vickie has been challenged in every way-from the terror of a cancer diagnosis, to life-and-death insurance issues and everything in between! What is most remarkable is that she has decided to tell her story with the hope that she will help others.
However, while reading "There is No Place Like Hope," I could not help but to conclude that it is, in large part, a marketing tool designed to attract patients to Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA). Vickie was treated at one of the organization's hospitals. While I appreciate Vickie's opinions regarding CTCA, I question her statement indicating that this organization attracts and employs the "best and the brightest" in cancer care.
I was treated for breast cancer at a CTCA hospital. Since the conclusion of my treatment at CTCA more than 10 years ago, I have been re-diagnosed with breast cancer twice. In the labyrinth of hospitals, clinics and physicians I have encountered during my own treatment odyssey, I strongly believe that the best and the brightest cancer experts are located in research hospitals where there is an all-out commitment to cutting-edge, new cancer therapies. Oncology physicians at these centers do not merely read about and indicate treatment protocols for their patients, they are in the laboratories developing and perfecting them. These physicians are educated at the best-known colleges and universities worldwide. They teach, lecture and are actively and aggressively attempting to make a difference in the lives of people victimized by cancer. I am not sure that this is part of CTCA's approach to cancer treatment.
Vickie's story is remarkable and should be shared with everyone - not just those touched by cancer. She is an inspiration to all people, everywhere. My advice to readers of Vickie Girard's book is to look beyond the marketing ploys of CTCA and revel in the wisdom, humor and real-life coping strategies which Vickie so thoughtfully and eloquently puts into words.....
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on June 10, 2001
Best book I've read for dealing with cancer. I think all cancer patients should read it - wish I'd had it five years ago when I was taking treatments. All cancer centers should have a copy of this book in their library and/or should give a copy to each patient. The American Cancer Society should recommend this book. Can't begin to say enough good things about it.
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on November 11, 2010
As I read through as these reviews about Vickie's book I cannot help but swell with pride about my sister. Yes Vickie was my sister and I was her little brother and there is not a day that goes by that I don't miss her immensely. The amazing thing is that after reading all of your wonderful comments about her and her book I see all of you have been able to get a glimpse of what made Vickie so very special in reading her book. Her tireless work towards helping others, all the late nights talking to cancer patients, trying to ease the fears, preparing fellow travelers for this journey and for the fight ahead and just being there when they needed a shoulder to cry on. I often think her title of the book was one of her strongest gifts not only to others but herself...the gift of hope.
As you may or may not have known Vickie passed away on February 10, 2007. At the time I could not speak at her funeral, the words never did come that day and if they would have I know I would have never got them out. So it is now in this forum that I can say at least a little of what I wished I could have said then. I do not and will not ever say she lost her battle with cancer due to the fact that her words live on and she is still battling the disease through all of you and with the power to still provide encouragement to all that hear her story or read her book in my mind she will always be triumphant against this terrible disease.
I just wanted to put this out there and say thank you for all the kind words about my sister and for letting me know all the good work she continues to do to this day.

All my love,
Jeff
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on November 29, 2002
This book was so uplifting and informative. I sat down to read it and didn't stop until I was finished with the entire book. My Sister has breast cancer and I found so much "HOPE" inside this little book. I bought the book for my Sis and sent it to her after I read it. Hopefully, she was as impressed with it as I was.
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on August 27, 2005
Although Vickie Girard's advice and information is, for the most part, sincere and helpful, this is too obvious a PR vehicle for the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. While the CTCA may offer more hugs and limo rides for patients when compared to other cancer centers, they still use standard cancer treatment therapies that are available elsewhere. You don't have to go to one of the CTCA hospitals to get top-rate care or find an understanding and competent physician. Most major cancer centers now have integrated medicine departments, so the idea that only CTCA is engaged in treating the whole person is erroneous. As a cancer patient, I have come to realize just how many people want to persuade you to spend your money on this treatment, that facility, or some alternative juice or pill they happen to be the "network distributor" for. In my opinion, this book would have been much more credible had it not contained so many references to the CTCA.
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on March 21, 2006
My mother was diagnosed with Cancer one week before Christmas.

We are still battling this horrible disease, but we do see light at the end of the tunnel. This book was inspiration to everyone

in my family. My mother, her daughters, her grandchildren....we each benefited in some way from reading There's No Place Like Hope. This book is amazing.....don't hesitate.
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on July 26, 2005
I stumbled on this book in a bookstore about 3 weeks into what would become 6 months of chemotherapy for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. It at once made me smile and cry - smile to know I wasn't the first person who felt selfish as a patient, or unapologetic that losing my hair was the hardest part of my treatment - and cry, because the thoughts and feelings she expressed were so real and present in my life at that moment.

I have recommended this book to every single person who has shared their experience of cancer with me - both patients and their friends and families. My mother, who has never been sick, bought herself a copy and has given it to many friends.

I finished my treatment in November 2004 - eight months later, this book is still on my bedside table, because, as the book so smartly notes, nights are darker and scarier and lonelier when you're up thinking about cancer. Sometimes it helps to turn on the light, and flip through this book.
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on November 26, 2001
I am a Breast Surgeon. I found the thoughts that Vickie Girard had helped me to look at breast cancer differently. Patients can obtain significant support and great advice from someone like the author who has been through metastatic breast cancer treatment and has survived. It has changed my way of practice and will change the way women choose to receive their care.
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on April 17, 2001
So many times we experience loved ones going through something that they or we are having a hard time understanding, imagining or communicating - we want to help, understand, be there - but have no idea how....This book has helped put me in my loved ones with cancer's shoes and guided me to be a better friend and support system. What a wonderful gift of HOPE. I am so glad I have found this book and am thankful that Vickie Girard has had the courage to share her experience with the world. Thank you!
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on January 10, 2002
Vickie Girard's ability to share her cancer experiences with optimism and humor will inspire anyone who has cancer. There's No Place Like Hope is written in very short sections, making it easy to read a little at a time. I highly recommend this book, not only for people who have cancer, but for their families and health providers as well. The only drawback is her bias toward one health care organization. However, other health care providers would do well to emulate what the author liked about that one. Patricia Anderson, RN, MN, Author: Breast Cancer: A Patient Guide
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