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Everything Changes: The Insider's Guide to Cancer in Your 20's and 30's Paperback – February 1, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
After being diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of 27, Rosenthal, a choreographer and now a patient advocate for young adults with cancer, crisscrossed the country, interviewing other young cancer victims. Rosenthals text is part guidebook, part true confessions (including her own), as she segues between intimate conversations and sound advice on topics ranging from dating and parenting to working the health-care system and coping with pain. The interviews are riveting and reveal a youthful perspective on cancer (one girl goes to chemo wearing goth makeup; others worry about when to confide in a lover). As she talks with 25 young adults of varying backgrounds, the author points out that many are not diagnosed until their symptoms are advanced, often because theyve been dismissed by doctors who say they are too young to have cancer, or because they have lost their health insurance during the transition from college to jobs. Rosenthal notes that 70,000 young adults between the ages of 20 and 39 are diagnosed with cancer each year, and 25% do not survive. Though at times the volleying between Rosenthals own story and those of her subjects is disorienting, the work as a whole is poignant, raw and informative. The text will provide needed support and valuable resources for young adults, their parents, friends and caregivers. (Feb.)
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'Everything changes' is quite universal in approach, as rather than sharing just one cancer patient's experience like most other books on this topic, Rosenthal includes quotations and excerpts from many cancer patients she has interviewed; i.e. individuals who differ in gender,raceðnicity, type of cancer and stage, and socio-economic status. This is, in my mind, the greatest strength of this book, it is not limited in scope, nor is it overly optimistic. Instead, it is realistic yet hopeful. One does not feel as though they are being preached to while reading it, but instead, attending a support group of real people sharing their experiences. I would recommend this to cancer patients, their families, and friends. From my own experience I have learned that many friends my age have had very little exposure to cancer, Rosenthal's book paints a clear picture of what living with cancer is truly like--not the romanticized version portrayed on lifetime movies.
Through her unique writing style, Kairol Rosenthal seamlessly interjects soul-searching questions into her prose. These questions feel as though they had always been sitting quietly within waiting for the right time to sprout.
What does life look like when everything changes?
Ask a young adult cancer patient.
Dealing with thyroid cancer herself, Kairol Rosenthal decided to do just that.
Everything Changes arms patients with the knowledge and comfort that accompany realizing that others are on similar journeys, placing one foot in front of the other, negotiating a path that is no longer a narrow barren dark tunnel.
Everything Changes symbolizes a giant step forward for the young adult cancer community. And so today, as Kairol Rosenthal writes, Everything Changes. We are simply moving forward.
I wholeheartedly believe in this book and am grateful to Kairol for dedicating so much of herself in order to bring this book to the general public.