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Helping you through breast cancer treatment

Breast cancer book reviews

Ticking Off Breast Cancer by Sara Liyanage (September 2019) Yes this is my book, but I’m recommending it because I genuinely think there’s something for everyone in it – those going through breast cancer, those who’ve been through it and friends/family of people with breast cancer.

The Complete Guide to Breast Cancer: How to Feel Empowered and Take Control by Professor Trisha Greenhalgh and Dr Liz O’Riordan (September 2018) Liz and Trish are breast cancer medics who have had breast cancer. This is a practical manual to help you through each step of breast cancer treatment from diagnosis onwards. It really is the go-to manual for anyone going through breast cancer.

Braving Chemo What to Expect, How to Prepare and How to Get Through It by Beverly A. Zavaleta MD (November 2019) This is the ultimate guide to undergoing chemotherapy (for all types of cancer). It is the book that I wish I’d had when embarking upon chemotherapy. It’s set out in short easily digestible chapters, which are easy to read for anyone going through it and not able to concentrate for long. Beverly writes with calm compassion and the fact that it’s a medical book written by a medical person where that person is writing from their experience of cancer and chemotherapy means it covers everything you need/want to know. As well as covering chemotherapy itself, she explains how the drugs cause each side effect – which is helpful to know when you’re wondering why strange scary things are happening to your body. There are so many brilliant tips about dealing with every possible side effect. It doesn’t just cover the practical and physical side of chemo, but importantly covers the mindset of getting through chemotherapy and mental heath issues. It is the ultimate guide to undergoing chemotherapy (for all types of cancer). It is the book that I wish I’d had when embarking upon chemotherapy. It’s set out in short easily digestible chapters, which are easy to read for anyone going through it and not able to concentrate for long. Beverly writes with calm compassion and the fact that it’s a medical book written by a medical person where that person is writing from their experience of cancer and chemotherapy means it covers everything you need/want to know. As well as covering chemotherapy itself, she explains how the drugs cause each side effect – which is helpful to know when you’re wondering why strange scary things are happening to your body. There are so many brilliant tips about dealing with every possible side effect.
It doesn’t just cover the practical and physical side of chemo, but importantly covers the mindset of getting through chemotherapy and mental heath issues.

Some of my favourite parts of the book are:

  • The simple relaxation exercises which can help to deal with the stress/mental health side of going through chemo.
  • I wish I’d had the list of questions for the oncologist when I was at that stage.
  • The chapter on fertility will be invaluable to people who have yet to start a family or still planning to have more children.
  • She gives an excellent social media tip about telling people and great advice about telling the children.
  • There is plenty of helpful advice about dealing with the stress to which I could totally relate and in fact, share many of the same feelings as Beverly.
  • There is loads of helpful information about preventing infection. * The section on personal appearance is great – realistic and helpful.
  • There is an entire section on recovery – explanations as to why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling and tips for dealing with these emotional and physical feelings.

This book is written by an American doctor but the information is equally applicable in other countries – it just means that most of the resources are U.S. based (a few U.K.).

Tea & Chemo: Fighting Cancer, Living Life Jackie Buxton (November 2015). Jackie talks about her experience of breast cancer and gives lots of tips for someone going through it. An excellent book – easy to read and easy to relate to Jackie.

Dear Cancer, Love Victoria, Victoria Derbyshire (September 2017). This is Victoria’s diary from the day she found the lump in her breast. She gives an honest, heart felt account of life during breast cancer treatment. Another excellent book for someone with breast cancer.

Love and Remission: My Life, My Man, My Cancer Paperback (Jun 2018) This is Annie’s account of being diagnosed with breast cancer in her mid-twenties and the enormous impact on her mental health. Moving and funny, it is a must read, especially for younger women.

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