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Topic: A book suggestion for a chemo patient?

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Subject: A book suggestion for a chemo patient?
Date Posted: 7/2/2008 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 5/21/2008
Posts: 107
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Okay, so my aunt has cancer and is undergoing chemo/radiation. She's been having a hard time with it (who wouldn't?!), and I'd really like to find her a few books to read while she's in the hospital.

Any suggestions on some good books for her? I don't think she's into romance, sci-fi, fantasy, or classical literature. I do think she likes mysteries, but I'm not positive. She does like poetry (I saw her reading a poetry book today!), and she has been reading some "cheer yourself up" and "live healthy" kind of books. Please help!

Thanks!

Date Posted: 7/2/2008 9:20 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,488
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I don't know if this would interest your Aunt but has she read Love, Medicine, and Miracles by Bernie Siegal.  It's about his work with cancer patients and how he changed his whole approach to medicine.  There are also some life lessons in for people going through cancer.  (You might want to read it first before seeing if she would like it)

If she is looking for light reading, the Bed & Breakfast mysteries by Mary Daheim are very entertaining.  Suspenseful and funny.

Date Posted: 7/3/2008 8:06 AM ET
Member Since: 3/28/2007
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How about that new book "The Last Lecture" ?? The guy in there is dying of incurable pancreatic cancer, but his message is so powerful, so positive that it has inspired millions.  I saw him on 20/20 and his lecture is being broadcast on YouTube.  People are changing their lives over this.

Date Posted: 7/3/2008 8:26 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,709
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She may not want to read much about cancer right now; my girlfriend is in treatment and she wants humor....anything that makes her crack up, or takes her somewhere else.  If she likes mysteries, there are tons to choose from....and anymore, cozy mysteries are sort of tailored for peoples' interests: knitting, cooking, running a B&B, even cross stitching and candlemaking!  Does she have any hobbies like that? 

Oh...and for poetry....I hate the stuff, myself, but I've read a book recently that I loved: Ludie's Life, by Cynthia Rylant.

I think you're a good niece to be looking for books for her!

Date Posted: 7/3/2008 8:30 AM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 830
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For a funny read, I loved Little Bitty Lies: A Novel by Mary Kay Andrews.  Laugh out loud parts!  I think one character has cancer at the end of the tale, but that's not the premise of the story.

Date Posted: 7/3/2008 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/21/2008
Posts: 107
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Thanks for all of your suggestions! I think a funny book is just what she needs!

Date Posted: 7/3/2008 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2008
Posts: 364
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I agree that she needs some humor.  What about I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron?  Since she likes mysteries she might like Laura Levine's Jayne Austen books.  They short, funny mysteries.  :)

Date Posted: 7/4/2008 8:47 AM ET
Member Since: 5/21/2008
Posts: 107
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It's a shame that most of these suggestions are wishlisted! I guess I'll be making a run to the UBS! : ) Keep them coming guys!

Date Posted: 7/4/2008 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 830
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Nicki, if I had something on my shelf that was appropriate, I'd recommend it. Alas, many of the best reads are WL. 

I also thought of Here If You Need Me, which was recently published in paperback.  It's sad (The author's husband is killed in an automobile accident while he is on duty as a state patrolman. She goes on to become a universalist unitarian minister and raise their children while serving as pastor for Maine's wildlife dept.  VERY UPLIFTING and INSPIRATIONAL).  Just another idea, but not funny. 

Date Posted: 7/4/2008 8:53 PM ET
Member Since: 5/21/2008
Posts: 107
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Jan, I'd love to read that book for myself!! I think I'll make a special trip to the UBS this weekend and pick up a few suggested books.

Date Posted: 7/4/2008 9:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2005
Posts: 2,030
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Does she like funny poetry?

I recommend books by Billy Collins, the former U.S. Poet Laureate. There's also an audio book out there of him reading his work which is quite good -- like hearing a standup comic. I really, really recommend it:

http://www.randomhouse.com/audio/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780739320112

 

 

Date Posted: 7/5/2008 11:22 AM ET
Member Since: 5/21/2008
Posts: 107
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Funny poetry sounds good! I'll add that to my list! Thanks!

Date Posted: 7/5/2008 11:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2008
Posts: 4
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One of my friends is going through chemo and he recommends books by Chris Crutcher. They are such  journey and helps me when I'm always in the doctors office in dealing with illness. I read some amazing books by Chris Crutcher. My favorite is called Deadline. It was an emotional journey but it really helped me put things in perspective.

Date Posted: 7/6/2008 12:11 AM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 1,194
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when I was undergoing chemo last year I didn't really want to read all that much. I much perferred audio books, music and /or movies. I enjoyed things that I could relax to or that could take my mind off what I was going through. I definitely didn't want to read,hear, watch anything that was related to cancer, dying, illness, etc.  

Date Posted: 7/6/2008 12:47 AM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2007
Posts: 62
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I doubt that I have anything on my bookshelve that would interest your aunt, but if I do, PM me and I will send it to you or her without credit.

 

susan

Date Posted: 7/6/2008 9:12 AM ET
Member Since: 5/21/2008
Posts: 107
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Thanks again everyone! The advice really helps me decide what to get her!

Diane, I was thinking about audiobooks, but I was worried that they wouldn't let me bring in a tape player (with headphones). I'll have to ask because I'm sure it would be easier for her to listen than to read on her bad days.

Susan, thanks for the offer! It's so nice of you! I ordered something from your shelf that I think she might like! I don't mind spending a credit if it will make her happy. : )

Date Posted: 7/6/2008 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 1,194
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The only thing I wasn't allowed to have was flowers and some food items so the tape player probably won't be an issue. Send me a PM of the authors that your aunt enjoys and I'll see if I have any audio books she'd enjoy.

 

Date Posted: 7/9/2008 5:00 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2005
Posts: 54
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Nicki, I'm going through chemo right now.  I'm reading a variety of books, just like I always have.  I have started listening to audio books and am really enjoying them.  My sister bought me an Ipod and that's how I listen to the books.   

One book I really enjoyed was Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips.  It's very upbeat. 

Date Posted: 7/9/2008 8:48 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 830
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If there's a Cracker Barrel near you, they rent audio books by the week and rather inexpensive.  I think it's about $3. 50 or something close.

Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips sounds like a winner!

Nicki, Here If You Need Me was also highly recommended by Les.  He wrote a review, if you want to check it out.

Date Posted: 7/9/2008 9:25 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2007
Posts: 62
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Many, if not most, libraries have a selection of recorded books you can check out.

susan

Date Posted: 7/9/2008 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2006
Posts: 204
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Cancer on $5 a Day* *(chemo not included): How Humor Got Me Through the Toughest Journey of My Life
Author:
Robert Schimmel, Alan Eisenstock
Rating:

This is a very funny / sad book about Robert Schimmel a comedian who got cancer just as he was getting his own primetime TV show.  He was able to beat cancer in the end.  It tells about going through chemo and dealing with his cancer.

He is also a stand up comedian, very funny but there is a lot of bad language in this book, just a warning if this would offend her.

Mike

Date Posted: 7/10/2008 3:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2005
Posts: 2,030
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How could I forget Marisa Acocella's "Cancer Vixen"?!

It's an autobiographical graphic novel about a young woman cartoonist/fashionista with a "Sex in the City" kind of life who finds a lump in her breast a few weeks before her wedding & just as her health insurance has lapsed.

http://www.amazon.com/Cancer-Vixen-Marisa-Acocella-Marchetto/dp/0307263576

I admit to not having read it, but hearing a friend who'd had a double mastectomy telling me she'd enjoyed it.

Date Posted: 7/11/2008 9:42 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Hi Nicki--

You don't say how old your aunt is, but Erma Bombeck's humor is fairly classic, clean and appeals to women.

I'm inclined to agree with the folks saying that she's already been smacked in the face with cancer, she probably doesn't want to read about it as well (at least, that's how my mom and aunt felt when they had breast cancer).

Cheers,

Catt

Subject: God Laughed
Date Posted: 7/12/2008 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2008
Posts: 1
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Actress Julia Sweeney's book about her cancer (and her brother's, who was diagnosed at almost the same time) is quite funny. Title is "and God Laughed."

I would also suggest anything by Jane Austen or the novels featuring Bertie Wooster and his man Jeeves. The author's name escapes me right now, but, they are hilarious.

Date Posted: 7/14/2008 9:58 PM ET
Member Since: 5/21/2008
Posts: 107
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Thanks again guys! I really appreciate the suggestions. I've ordered a few books on here, and I've got a few at the UBS.

 

Elizabeth, she's in her early 50s.

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