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The Chemotherapy Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Get Through Treatment Paperback – Apr 15 2009

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The Chemotherapy Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Get Through Treatment + The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery + Beating Cancer with Nutrition (Fourth Edition) Rev
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 3rd Revised edition edition (April 15 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572246219
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572246218
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 14.6 x 22.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #35,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"The information presented is easy to follow and understand. The book gives readers a detailed look into the cancer treatment process. It will help ease patients' fears and their loved ones' anxiety and stress, especially at the beginning of treatment." --LC, oncology nurse

About the Author

Judith McKay, RN, OCN, received her degree from California State University, Hayward, and has been an oncology nurse involved in patient education for more than twenty-five years. She helped develop and taught chemotherapy orientation classes at the Alta Bates Summit Comprehensive Cancer Center in Berkeley, CA, where she currently works. McKay is coauthor of When Anger Hurts and contributed to the best-seller Self-Esteem. Tamera Schacher, RN, OCN, MSN, is an oncology-certified nurse and a board-certified family nurse practitioner. She trained to become a registered nurse at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and received her master of science in nursing and family nurse practitioner degrees at Sonoma State University. For the past five years, she has worked at the Alta Bates Summit Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard Duval on July 31 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very well written and I find it very thorough. It tells you step by step in a language that a person understands what to expect before and after treatment. Provides you with very useful tips and resources. Thank You
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kristina Levis on April 22 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My mom just underwent a double mastectomy last week. She will be starting chemo in about a month.
She read this book in no time and she said it was very informative.

She would recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Vrunk on Nov. 8 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Helped a lot with my discussions with my medical professionals. They treat you differently if you are informed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 67 reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
A practical road map for getting through chemo March 17 2010
By PT Cruiser - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Who could better write a book on chemotherapy than two chemo nurses from Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, one with over 25 years experience as a chemo nurse involved in patient education and the other with several years as an oncology-certified nurse and family nurse practitioner? These ladies are on the front lines, in the trenches, so to speak and they know all the questions and all the tricks you need to deal with chemotherapy. If you or a loved one are facing cancer treatment this is a good primer on what to expect and what you can do to lessen the effects and just get through the ordeal with your sanity intact. It starts with a short primer on cell life and cancer cells and goes into an explanation of some of the types of chemotherapy and treatments. They give you an idea of what to expect and how to cope with the side effects that may or may not occur. It's good to know what's normal and what isn't, when to check in with your doctor and when you can handle things on your own.

I liked that they wrote the book in easy to understand language and addressed a lot of practical issues like coping with hair loss, digestive changes, dealing with nausea, diarrhea or constipation and mouth and throat problems. Actually the anti-nausea medications are so good these days that a majority of people don't feel nausea at all. They name some of the common anti-nausea drugs and tell how each one works which I found useful. Another chapter that I really liked was the one on blood tests results and how to make sense of them. Looking these things up on the internet can be very confusing sometimes. Which ones are the most important, which one just follow some of the other values and which can be treated with drugs should they drop too low? This book explains all that. Oncologists usually provide some of this information but with so many questions and things to remember from a visit, it's nice to have it in book form where you can just go back and refer to it as different issues arise.

A few of the chapters were contributed by other experts such as the one on nutrition during chemo and the one on mind and body connection. These were very helpful and contributed lots of good ideas and suggestions. Stress, fertility, sexuality, the IV experience, relaxation techniques and finally life after treatments and being a survivor are all covered in this book. Just knowing what to expect, what to call your doctor about and what you can do yourself to address some of the issues can make the whole experience a little easier to deal with and a lot less scary. If you or a loved one is facing chemo, this book will help all of you get through it.
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Chemo Survival Aug. 1 2009
By Dr. Joseph S. Maresca - Published on
Format: Paperback
I would not worship exclusively at the holy grail of
chemotherapy. Having made that statement, the authors
accomplished much in explaining the dynamics of
chemotherapy and the requisite planning to be done by
patients and physicians. The information contained in
this book is not known to patients, generally speaking.
And so, the acquisition would have value for a person
or family member facing chemotherapy with little time
to investigate the dynamics of the treatment or the
extensive terminology of the protocol .

The volume explains how cells are nourished with blood
and oxygen. Additionally, the immune system protects
against foreign organisms. Simply put, cancer cells
lack a growth control mechanism. To compensate,
physicians have various strategies in the toolbox.

For instance, surgery, radiation and a combination
may be utilized to rid the body of cancerous tumors.
Chemo interferes with the cell cycle specific to
preventing cancer cells from reproducing.

A strength of the work is that the authors direct the
patient to understand the pathology report, as well as
the treatment plan. Specific strategies deal with the
dynamics of the blood chemistry. For instance, a
decreased red blood count calls for eating a balanced
diet, more iron (Fe) and rest. Erythropoetin stimulates
red blood cell production. A low white count calls for
a strategy of limiting exposure to places where many
people gather. Skin should be kept clean at all times.
Teeth should be cleaned often (brushing and flossing).
Fluids should be consumed often.

The authors provide specific blood test markers of interest
to the patient; namely, CA15-3 for the breast tumors,
CA125 for ovarian cancer and the PSA for men. A Nurse IV
specialist should be employed for the infusion of vitamins
and medicinal preparations for chemo patients. This book
would be helpful for anyone on chemo or contemplating it.

The book is written in a format easily understandable to
the layperson.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Good book for thoes going through Chemotherapy Jan. 9 2010
By T. Boisvert - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think like most people who are diagnosed with cancer it is scarey feeling and not knowing what to expect from Chemotherapy can be overwhelming to deal it. I know this is how felt when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer.

This book was great because it was easy to understand and gave a lot of great information about the experince of going through chemotherapy and understanding cancer. At first I thought I was going to read this book cover to cover but for me as I have gone chemotherapy certain chapters have been important for me read depending on my symptoms at the time.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is diagnosed with cancer and needs to go through chemotherapy. I know that it has been a great book for me to reference when I had questions about cancer or chemotherapy.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
You're not alone -- everything you need to know about your Chemo treatment in plain English... Sept. 15 2011
By RNS - Published on
Format: Paperback
From my own experience I can say, cancer is a mean beast and you need every bit of information you can get your hands on to help you understand what your treatment plan is going to put you through. If you can gain a good understanding of what you're up against, you'll feel much less anxious and better able to cope with whatever side-effects crop up in your particular case.

Both authors -- Judith McKay and Tamera Schacher -- are seasoned oncology nurses. They've been there, done that -- and they've written this book as if it were intended for their own brother, sister, mother or best friend. I read it from cover-to-cover while sitting during my chemotherapy sessions. I've got excellent doctors at one of the best hospitals in the world, but the appointments are typically in 15-minute sessions and -- though I'm a fairly bright guy -- my doctor often reverts to medical-gibberish techno-talk, with words from an alien planet. As such, this book should have been titled, "The Rest of the Story: Details the Doctors Don't Tell You." (smile)

The best part is that it's written in plain English, it's got a logical format, and will have a calming effect on readers in treatment in that it explains what to expect at each stage of chemo and how to deal with the side effects.

I keep this book, along with "What to Eat When You Have Cancer," by Maureen Keane and Daniel Chace (Updated 2nd ed. McGraw Hill, 2007), close by and -- while in treatment -- read portions of each nearly every day.

R. Neil Scott
Middle Tennessee State University
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Book helped my mom and others during chemo June 20 2011
By Erin R. Crouch - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When my mom was going through chemo for ovarian cancer, we read a LOT of books on the subject. This was the best book for explaining the process of chemo and helping us understand what she would be going through. Since her chemo has been over, she has passed this book along to other ladies going through chemo for breast cancer. One good thing about this book, is that it can be used by men and women and people experiencing a vast variety of chemo treatments.

I would recommend this book for anyone who is anticipating going through chemo. This book helped us to understand what my mom would be going through and helped ease the fears. I believe that we need to believe for the best and plan for the worst. This book will help you do that if you are going to be be experiencing chemotherapy in the near future.