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When Life Becomes Precious: The Essential Guide for Patients, Loved Ones, and Friends of Those Facing Serious Illnesses Paperback – January 1, 1997


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When Life Becomes Precious: The Essential Guide for Patients, Loved Ones, and Friends of Those Facing Serious Illnesses + The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages + The Invisible String
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reissue edition (January 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553378694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553378696
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #907,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

When someone you care about is diagnosed with cancer, what should you say? What should you not say? What are the best ways to offer help, or to help children understand what is happening? When Life Becomes Precious is an outstanding resource for answers to such uncomfortable questions. It includes specific tips for cultivating a support network, avoiding caregiver burnout, managing fear and anger (in both yourself and the cancer patient), finding the best doctors and other health care professionals to plan treatment, preparing for hospital visits, and, for the patient, dealing with cancer when at the workplace.

Written with tact and warmth, this book is filled with advice that's likely to escape your mind during this time of stress, from 14 questions to ask before surgery to the medical and legal documents to have handy at all times to 8 reasons for switching doctors. Babcock, who has 23 years of counseling experience, also offers guidance for what to do when the cancer patient refuses all medical care: "Someone who refuses treatment and understands the repercussions of his decision is not in denial," she says. "You will have to learn to respect and accept his choice, however, even though you disagree. No other stance will support him, even though you think it will."

Babcock also includes empathetic ways to discuss mortality, and tactics for making it through holidays and birthdays, along with contact information for more than 100 resources such as support organizations and networks, chronic pain centers, hospices, and newsletters and magazines. --Erica Jorgensen

Review

"When Life Becomes Precious is both practical and powerful; a sensitive, informative handbook and an inspiring guide to helping others who have cancer. I cannot recommend this book highly enough."
--Jack Canfield, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul

"An indispensable guide for the people most often forgotten when cancer strikes: the spouse, caregivers, and friends of the patient."
--Michael Korda, author of Man to Man: Surviving Prostate Cancer

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 27 customer reviews
Please read her words.
Matt Riley
I've had a number of opportunities to use its valuable advice and it's been a source of immense help, comfort and basic information.
Jack Shapiro
I highly recommend this step-by-step guide on loving a friend in need.
Gail Moe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J Long on September 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
My spouse had heart disease. At the same time, I was looking for a book for a friend with cancer. I found Precious and read it before giving it as a gift. I realized the suggestions applied to my family. I started using the author's ideas immediately and it helped us tremendously. I find myself quoting her often in my volunteer work at church (with patients) and with friends. One friend called and said she was having serious problem coping with her husband's diabetes. She read the book and called to tell me that after following the advice in Precious, she saw a dramatic change in the way her family communicated and supported each other. Another friend said she was in an argument with her daughter about the father's illness. The mother used the suggestions in the book to calm her daughter down. Later that evening, the daughter (in her 30s) came up to her mom and said, "Thank you. What you said and how you said it was wonderful!" This book should not even have cancer on the cover. It's practical, moving, upbeat and extremely helpful for patients and families coping with any medical challenge. J. Long, past president of a personnel agency
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Springer on February 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is absolutely the most incredible survivor and partner-support book I have ever read. Having had to deal with several close friends and relatives over the past couple of years who have been dealing with cancer problems, I just was at a loss as to the best way to handle everything. What to say, what to do, how were they REALLY feeling? Stuff like that. This book explains it all in a way that not only makes sense, but give you a sense of hope that you can actually help people deal with these health crises and major life transitions in meaningful, caring, and loving way. I have actually used the book way beyond just cancer support also. It was helpful with my own Mother, who passed away in November, in dealing with her heart and lung problems. It's just a great communications tool. Think of it almost like a Spanish-English dictionary: only this is a patient-supporter dictionary. The patient has things that they're thinking and feeling that THEY understand, but you don't. This book will translate all that for you. I have probably given 2 dozen of these books to my own friends who are dealing with these issues themselves either as patients or as patient-supporters. This book is a true gift to the world.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Erin Esposito on July 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
This truly is a fabulous resource! The information is quite straightforward and covers a wide array of areas/issues that are certain to be impacted by the news of a loved one being ill. The components of the book cover areas such as understanding your feelings, how our fears play out in the ordeal, how to have conversations regarding the illness and ramifications of the illness, how to find resourceful medical care and how to balance one's role in life given the situation.
I would highly recommend this book for people who are going through the challenge of a loved one being ill, as it applies to not only cancer patients - but all who have serious health issues.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jack Shapiro on February 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
Many of you know me as the host of the national healthcare radio talk show, "MEDI-POLITICS". In that role I get to review lots of books about medical subjects. One that truly stands out is "WHEN LIFE BECOMES PRECIOUS". This is a no-nonsense, step-by-step guide in how to relate to those with chronic disease -- probably the best one of its kind I've ever seen. It's like a crash course in sensitivity training for friends and family members as well as a source of inspiration to those WITH a chronic disease. I have proudly placed this one on my bookshelf as a "keeper". I've had a number of opportunities to use its valuable advice and it's been a source of immense help, comfort and basic information. If you buy just one book this year, THIS is the one to buy. I cannot wait for Elise Needell Babcock's next book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
I just read these Reviews on the inside of When Life Becomes Precious. I've given her book out many times but I just noticed these comments while I was visiting. Many are similiar to what my friends have said over the years. I am thankful that this book has been here when I needed to support my friends and this year when it hit my mother. Each time I read it, it gives me new insights, a new approach to helping those I care about; but these great writers describe her book better than I ever could!
"Elise NeeDell Babcock blends well-reasoned research with a practical commonsense approach to living a rich life...she adds the right dose of wit to balance serious topics with caring advice...a much needed chart in the seas of uncertainty." Dr. Steve Allen Jr., associate dean, SUNY and son of Steve Allen, my favorite comedy writer
"Sound and wise...it teaches us how to provide support and love when it counts the most. I recommend it enthusiastically." Dr. John Mendolsohn, president of MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Number One Cancer Center in the US (according to US News and World Report)
"Written with Love and Wisdom and is a Godsend..." Barbara Taylor Bradford, the NY Times Bestselling author
"I am grateful for this book--it is an umbrella in one of life's most difficult storms...it is wrought with love and wisdom and in the realm of sharing we and receiving comfort, we cannot ask for more than this." -Richard Paul Evans, The NY Times Bestselling author of The Locket, The Letter, The Christmas Box
"She focuses on the quality of life and teaches her readers about hope." -Henry A Porterfield, USTOO International, Prostate Survivors Support Groups
"Written in a warm and friendly manner...
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