50 Essential Things to Do When the Doctor Says It's Cancer
by Greg Anderson
Reviewed by Gail Henson
Originally published in 1993 and revised and updated in 1999, "Cancer, 50 Essential Things to Do", by cancer survivor Greg Anderson is a 180-page easy-to-read book. Anderson presents the information in a clear, concise manner that does not get bogged down in medical terminology. The focus is on the holistic approach to living with cancer — with the emphasis on living.
While not providing specific medical information, Anderson's book offers you tools and techniques for maneuvering through the strange new world of doctors, hospitals, treatment choices, etc. The development of a Wellness and Recovery Journal as a repository for questions and answers regarding treatment, side effects and concerns is encouraged. The journal is a place to reframe your lifestyle with questions about how you view cancer, what can you do to increase your survival and questions to ask your health care team. The journal is a tool for recording positive thoughts as you move through the recovery process.
Chapters in the book include Determining your Treatment Program — focused on ensuring you, as the patient, are in charge. This section encourages you to take charge, ask questions and research alternatives. It provides sample questions to guide you in the process. A section on Healing your Lifestyle includes tips on exercise, diet, sleep, and social support. After you have taken charge of your cancer and worked on changing your lifestyle, the emphasis moves to Healing with your Mind. In this section you are encouraged to reframe your cancer and the author offers tips and techniques to eliminate stress in your life.
An important section of the book focuses on Total Wellness and the importance of living each moment and not in the past or future. This section also discusses self-discipline and the importance of following through with your lifestyle changes. The last section provides tips and techniques for opening yourself to your spiritual side and encourages awareness of the wonderful gifts we have been provided with on earth.
Mr. Anderson provides a list of books, websites, and other resources to assist you in moving forward with your life.
The best approach for reading "Cancer, 50 Essential Things to Do" is to allow yourself time — the book is designed to be used as a tool through your recovery process. It is beneficial to return to the various chapters to be renewed and reenergized.
"Cancer, 50 Essential Things to Do" will assist you and your support circle in understanding that cancer is not a death sentence, but an illness that you can fight.
Gail Henson is the wife of a colon cancer survivor and a member of the Colon Cancer Alliance.