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Planet Cancer: The Frequently Bizarre Yet Always Informative Experiences And Thoughts Of Your Fellow Natives Paperback – September 1, 2010
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About the Author
Heidi Schultz Adams founded Planet Cancer in 2001 after her own treatment at twenty-six for a rare type of bone cancer. Planet Cancer, now a LIVESTRONG initiative, is a community of advocacy and support for young adults with cancer. Heidi is also the coauthor of Here and Now: Inspiring Stories of Cancer Survivors. Christopher Schultz is the founder of Start Here Project Development, which works with businesses and nonprofits to strengthen their communications. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Esquire, the New York Times, ESPN: The Magazine, and Men’s Journal, and he is the coauthor of The Yo Momma Vocabulary Builder. Planet Cancer is now a part of Lance Armstrong's LIVESTRONG.org.
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Top Customer Reviews
Every person in the field of Oncology should have boxes of this book in their office, house, car or somewhere - so that every time a native of Planet Cancer crosses their path, they can give them this book. It is a roadmap to the rocky terrain that is Planet Cancer. It provides VITAL (I will say that again, VITAL) information for people in the "lost generation" of cancer patients. In the most honest and forthright way, the contributors to this book tell it like it is. Whether it's about the early days of being diagnosed to how to deal with work, family, kids to fertility issues to how to keep one's sanity while living with cancer. I truly wish I had been given this book on December 22, 2007 when I was diagnosed with the first of the two kinds of cancer I've had.
There's one more reason why everyone should buy this book - because I wrote some things for the book. Yes, I wrote the section on "What it's really like to have a Colostomy." You can read about me and the adventures I've had with Vesuvius - my colostomy. I put it out there for all to read in the hopes it will help someone else who is going to lose their bunghole and poop in a bag hanging off their stomach! (told you the book was honest!)
As Gilda Radner said, "Cancer gave me membership to an exclusive club to which I'd rather not belong." That is so true. But I can say this, being a native of Planet Cancer has brought some incredible people into my life - several of whom are in this book. Reading this book will bring them into your life as well and your heart will be more full because of them!
Because of these experiences, I actually have an entire bookshelf dedicated to cancer topics. I can tell you that "Planet Cancer" is my new #1 pick for the newly diagnosed and their caregivers. Some books address specific kinds of cancer or specific issues like diet or sexuality, but Planet Cancer is my top pick because of its thoroughness and accessibility. It addresses social, emotional, physical, and sexual issues of cancer and its treatment in a comprehensive manner. The writing is breezy but not patronizing. It's funny, but it doesn't shy away from the tragedy of cancer. It's like having a big-hearted friend to take with you on a crazy, frightening journey.
I hope you don't need this book, because if you do, it means cancer is in your life somehow. But if you have been dealt this unlucky card, this is the book to take along for the ride.
The sections I find most helpful to open up conversation on difficult topics are patient anecdotes and "What it's really like to..." stories. My giving these to patients shows them that I recognize that these topics are out there, that they are not alone in facing them, and that I am ready for frank and honest discussions. The humor helps break the ice and the sincerity helps ensure my patients feel that they have friends.
A couple of weeks ago, during an exam with a young woman who survives lymphoma, she admitted to me that she is scared to touch her own neck or armpits for fear that she will find an enlarged lymph node. The fact that she would openly admit that to me and open up a conversation about recurrence fears led to us spending valuable time outlining statistical risks and how to distinguish real cancer warning signs from routine changes. That was far and away the most valuable part of our follow-up visit, but might never had happened with a level of comfort and trust that her concerns would be valued.
Handing patients a Planet Cancer Book helps me to build that comfort and trust.
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