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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Coping: Restructuring Life with Cancer
WHEN CANCER HITS is a book the public has been waiting for. Author Britta Aragon (who was diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease at age 16 and treated both surgically an radiologically for it may not realize it yet but she has added a textbook for Medical School students that should become part of the reading lists for all those preparing for a life in Medicine. At the same...
Published on October 7, 2011 by Grady Harp

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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad Science
I am loathe to give out bad reviews because I honestly want to like everything I read. So I will start out with all the things I like. Britta Aragon is a two time survivor of cancer and has also lost her Dad to the disease. So I do not doubt for a second her sincerity or her personal experiences. She has been there, and she has gotten through it. She is a remarkable...
Published on October 30, 2011 by Book Him Danno


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Coping: Restructuring Life with Cancer, October 7, 2011
By 
This review is from: When Cancer Hits: Your Complete Guide To Taking Care of YOU Through Treatment (Paperback)
WHEN CANCER HITS is a book the public has been waiting for. Author Britta Aragon (who was diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease at age 16 and treated both surgically an radiologically for it may not realize it yet but she has added a textbook for Medical School students that should become part of the reading lists for all those preparing for a life in Medicine. At the same time she has provided one of the best researched manuals as well as one of the most genuinely supportive and imperatively useful books that should be part of the libraries of people who have been diagnosed with cancer, people who are in the process of dealing with the surgical and medical aspects of cancer treatment, and for caregivers and families and friends of cancer patients. In short, this is a book that deserves wide distribution: there are few who do not fall into one of these categories.

What Aragon does in this book is to provide a comfort zone for thinking about, planning ahead, coping, and being proactive in dealing with the rarely discussed accompaniments of having cancer. As she states 'Cancer changes you - how is up to you' and from there she details management of changes in the body - both internal including psychological and external meaning appearance - to facilitate returning to the world in as state that is perhaps not pre-cancerous, but at least appearing, feeling, and functioning in a healthy way.

Her chapters address issues that non-cancer people probably never consider - how to deal with skin changes, respecting the new quality of skin caused by chemotherapy, reducing the toxins in the home that threaten healthy skin and body, the various techniques to be kind to your integument, what to do about losing hair - not only from the scalp but from the eyebrows and lashes - solutions for nausea, itchy skin, dry eyes, nights sweats, being particular about makeup products, etc. She also provides information about diet and nutrition, care for the assaulted boy through exercise, meditation, massage, reiki,yoga, tai chi, and simply walking - a preventative measure that treats both the body and the mind and the quest for release from the side effects of the disease (and treatment!) of attack.

Some may find this book 'homespun' in the style of writing, but those people should place themselves in the shoes of a cancer survivor. Life is precious and we are the guardians of our castle. This fine book by Britta Aragon draws the reader into the areas physicians often forget to address - life beyond cancer. Aragon shares her wisdom openly: it is practical, well researched and experienced, and pleasure to read. Grady Harp, October 11
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stranger to Cancer, September 8, 2011
This review is from: When Cancer Hits: Your Complete Guide To Taking Care of YOU Through Treatment (Paperback)
My friend is recently diagnosed with cancer. I don't have cancer. I can provide a shoulder to cry on but I CAN'T HELP HER. This book gives all the advice and need-to-know information someone with cancer needs. The information is thoughtfully written by someone who clearly knows what it's like to go through such a devastating disease. From the first time they are told they have cancer all the way through remission, it's a wonderful guide. Kudos to you Britta Aragon. Thank you from someone who wants to help a friend and now really can.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative, October 26, 2011
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This review is from: When Cancer Hits: Your Complete Guide To Taking Care of YOU Through Treatment (Paperback)
"When Cancer Hits" is a guide for cancer patients about the various changes your body and mind go through after a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment. The book covers topics such as how cancer changes you; how your skin becomes fragile and the best products to use; five ways to lighten your toxic load; emotional coping; your face (acne and dryness); makeup; solutions for a body under stress; complementary therapeutic (for example massage and yoga); hair, wigs, and scarves; hand and foot issues; what happens when treatments are over; and tips to lower risk of recurrence. Also included at the back of the book are further books to read; ingredients to avoid in personal care products; ingredients to avoid in food; and where to find safe products.

Full Disclosure: I do not have cancer but far too many people in my family do and I read "When Cancer Hits" so I will know what changes they are going through and how to potentially care for them. Plus, there are a lot of lifestyle tips in the book that are helpful for both those who have cancer and those that don't. Author Britta Aragon is not only a cancer survivor herself but she watched her father battle different types of cancer for several years before he finally lost his battle. She clearly knows what it is like to not only battle cancer herself but to watch someone she loves battle it and the book is full of useful information for not only the person with cancer but his/her loved ones. Aragon not only talks about the effects chemotherapy, radiation, and various medications can do on your body but on your mind. I had no idea how treatments could affect your hands, feet, skin, etc. It is scary to read about harmful chemicals in products we use every day (like deodorant and shampoo. Again, this is useful information for both people with cancer and those who don't have cancer.) Aragon not only talks about what she and her father went through but the book is filled with quotes from people that have battled cancer. There is a lot of advice in the book that will be helpful to many. I think one of the things that make this book so valuable for readers is that Aragon is not a doctor speaking in clinical terms about cancer - she is not giving medical advice. Instead, she is simply a person who battled cancer as a teenager, watched her father fight cancer for years, and now wants to help others in their fight.

"When Cancer Hits" is a very informative guide for all the changes you (or a loved one) may experience when they have cancer.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Present For A Just-Diagnosed Cancer Patient, September 16, 2011
By 
LizHartMcM@aol.com (New York, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: When Cancer Hits: Your Complete Guide To Taking Care of YOU Through Treatment (Paperback)
Two days ago, I celebrated my 5th cancer-free year. This was the book I was dreaming of when I was being treated for cancer and couldn't find much help. I always had skin that could take anything but, boom, the moment I started chemo, my face and other parts of my body became very sensitive and didn't like many of the products that were part of my routine. The docs and nurses had boring, standard and ineffective advice for dealing with many side effects and no advice on coping with dry, flaky, blotchy, rough, irritated skin that even hurt sometimes. :( Cancer is hard enough without feeling miserable and unattractive, too. With a warm, genuine tone and positively delivered tips and encouragement, this is a healing book. 'When Cancer Hits' gives such great, safe advice on soothing your body and your spirit during the rough ride of cancer treatment. This smart book is a blessing. Thank you, Britta!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helped in every way, September 15, 2011
This review is from: When Cancer Hits: Your Complete Guide To Taking Care of YOU Through Treatment (Paperback)
When Cancer Hits was an invaluable source of information and support for me when my mom was going through a bone marrow transplant. From sage advice about safe products to understanding the side effects of many chemotherapy medications, When Cancer Hits was like turning to an old, kind friend for guidance. It was even more poignant and relevant since the author, Britta Aragon, is a cancer survivor herself, and then cared for her father when he was diagnosed with cancer. Not only did the book contain information on what my mom could expect, but it also gave comprehensive advice on how caregivers can help alleviate side effects.
I would recommend this book to anyone experiencing cancer, caring for someone going through cancer treatments and even survivors looking to understand the after-effects of treatments. When Cancer Hits is a well-written and thoughtful go-to guide.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Cancer Patients, Friends and Family, September 15, 2011
This review is from: When Cancer Hits: Your Complete Guide To Taking Care of YOU Through Treatment (Paperback)
There were so many great ideas and insights in this book - not just for cancer patients, but for the people who care about them too. I found the information on skin care, and on avoiding chemicals to be of particular importance. Since most of us will personally encounter cancer and cancer treatments, either ourselves or with people close to us, it is vital to have the information that the author presents. Her compassionate and practical suggestions help take some of the fear factor of cancer away, and give useful guidelines for dealing with the difficult side effects of cancer therapies. I highly recommend this book to everyone!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Guide for Anyone!!, September 27, 2011
This review is from: When Cancer Hits: Your Complete Guide To Taking Care of YOU Through Treatment (Paperback)
As someone who has experienced seeing friends and family go through cancer treatment, I can honestly say that I wish I had been able to give them this gem of a book. Ms. Aragon's book is intelligent and honest, thoughtful and thorough and written with love. The language is easy to understand, whether you are reading it cover-to-cover or in bits and pieces. While the book is definitely written for those living with cancer, there is so much about health and wellness that is relevant to anyone living in today's society. If it is possible to be best friends with a book, I would chose this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read and Great Resource, November 3, 2011
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This review is from: When Cancer Hits: Your Complete Guide To Taking Care of YOU Through Treatment (Paperback)
I am a cancer survivor, one month in early remission. I found this book to be informative as well as compassionate. When you are a mother, grandmother, aunt and sister as I am; it is hard to focus on yourself instead of family. This book taught me how to take care of me at the most difficult period in my life. I continue to use this book as a resource. This is a must read for anyone who is going through cancer treatment and anyone who has a friend or family in treatment. Roberta J Steele
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely well-crafted, thorough, magnificent resource, September 30, 2011
This review is from: When Cancer Hits: Your Complete Guide To Taking Care of YOU Through Treatment (Paperback)
I encountered a copy of Britta's book when it was given to me to review for a friend's blog, and I was amazingly impressed. As an adult survivor of childhood cancer, I can't tell you enough how much I appreciated the realistic tone and practical nature of the book--it focuses on what those going through treatment *really* need to know about how to make themselves feel and look better. During cancer treatment, "normal" life is completely disrupted, and it's so great to have a resource that acknowledges that but offers useful, and again, realistic suggestions to make one, for instance, feel a little more womanly :) after one has lost her hair. Another of my favorite parts of the book was the section detailing harmful ingredients hidden in everyday bath products--which is something applicable to anyone, not just those who have dealt with cancer. Finally, the book is great because Britta has thoroughly researched her material and has consulted with a number of professionals--this is not just a biography of her cancer experience...she has sought guidance from a number of experts in various fields order to provide helpful information. Overall, truly a great book and highly recommended!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad Science, October 30, 2011
This review is from: When Cancer Hits: Your Complete Guide To Taking Care of YOU Through Treatment (Paperback)
I am loathe to give out bad reviews because I honestly want to like everything I read. So I will start out with all the things I like. Britta Aragon is a two time survivor of cancer and has also lost her Dad to the disease. So I do not doubt for a second her sincerity or her personal experiences. She has been there, and she has gotten through it. She is a remarkable person for that alone.

First of all, the treatment for cancer is highly damaging to the human body, especially the skin. Ms. Aragon spends a lot of time focusing on this aspect of the treatment. Her main point is these changes are going to be radical, and for most people it will be the one side effect that affects their mental well being the most. Furthermore, your mental well being is extremely important to beating the disease. With all these changes all the products you use for your skin, hair, nails, and teeth can really interact with you in highly negative ways that are unexpected. The best example is your usual moisturizer you use for dry skin may contain certain reactive agents to your chemo altered skin that will actually exacerbate your condition, if not permanently damage it. With that in mind you should spend a lot of time relearning what affects you and how; it can go a long way to making your treatments a lot less painful.

Second, you need to focus on recovery both during treatment and after. Such things as massage, meditation, and yoga (and many others) can go along way to helping your mind through this tough journey, enabling you to get through the worst times. She spends some time going through a multitude of options and providing information of all the good they can do. Always remember an attack on the body, and that is what cancer and chemo are, is also an attack on the mind. And if you cannot keep your mind strong you will not be able to keep the body's defenses going. The mind plays a lot larger part in our physical well being than a most people give it, to their detriment.

Finally, her chapter on wigs and other head covering options is the most concise comprehensive information you could ever want on the subject. She delves into every aspect that I could think of and I would not hesitate for a second to pass this on to anyone I knew going through chemo hair loss. It is that good. She even has you covered for when your hair grows back, because most time it comes in different.

Unfortunately these parts could not overcome the rest of the book. Mainly it was the lack of, or the extremely bad science that was contained on every other page. The wild jumps in logic were atrociously bad that they tainted everything she had to say. For the most part Ms. Aragon makes assumptions and states them as facts without any real evidence to back them up. She makes the age old mistake with believing the plural of anecdote is data, and presents personal opinion as proven. This reminded me very much of Jenny Mccarthy and her blindingly misguided campaign to prove that immunizations cause Autism. Science and tested theories have no room here.

Just to mention a few things that really jump out. Modern companies knowingly put toxic chemicals in their products that will hurt and/or kill their customers because they can make a bigger profit. As someone who actually knows the organic food policy of the FDA/USDA her statement that it is a sound regulation and the drug side of the FDA should follow suit is extremely naïve and shows her lack of education in this field. Basically you should avoid any product that contains any ingredient that is a chemical; she present that throughout the book as a panacea for all illness. That is just amazingly dumb, and possibly damaging.

But to end on a positive note, this book does speak (unintentionally) to the power of placebo. It comes back to that mind power I spoke of earlier. If you believe this unproven opinion is going to work for you, it probably will. In the end the most important thing you can do is have a definite plan and stick with it. That belief will get you through a lot of things, or at least make them bearable.
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When Cancer Hits: Your Complete Guide To Taking Care of YOU Through Treatment
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