A Very Important Book – by Dr. Kathleen Thompson
This book is simply brilliant, and I don’t say so lightly.
Let me introduce its creator – Jo Taylor. Jo got breast cancer at 38 yrs old. Despite a full whack of treatments, her breast cancer returned. Secondary breast cancer (SBC) – when the cancer comes back – is currently considered incurable and thus very scary. You’d think that dealing with the emotional and physical effects, the very uncertain future, caring for a young family, and juggling 3 weekly anti-cancer treatment cycles (for ever), plus several major operations, would be more than enough balls to keep in the air. But not for Jo. Since her diagnosis, she’s worked tirelessly to create a fantastic supportive website; campaigned relentlessly for more research (despite an estimated 35,000 women living with SBC in UK there are scant new treatments); set up, and runs, exercise retreats on Saddleworth Moor (exercise benefits both quality of life and survival); and co-founded BCCWW Twitter group and Met Up UK. This is just a flavour of Jo’s activities, all focused on helping current and improving future prospects for the growing numbers living with SBC. So maybe it’s no surprise that now she’s produced a book.
Whilst writing my own breast cancer help book, I was conscious that people needed to absorb copious complicated information to help them make critically important treatment decisions, whilst still in a state of shock. So what really struck me about the ABC Diagnosis book is, it’s concise, easy to read and yet contains a massive amount of key information, mainly imparted in one-page stories written by patients. Each patient gives a different aspect of breast cancer eg the (sometimes very young) women, who’ve been through treatment and regained a normal active life, either cancer-‘free’ or with SBC or those whose cancer propelled them into starting charities, or cancer-related businesses. But not all are superheroes – there are ordinary folk too, just getting through a pretty lousy deal, and showing that you can too. And let’s not forget men get breast cancer – they’re also featured. There’s a good chance any reader will find a story that resonates – showing they’re not alone, and they’ll absorb important information through the stories. Some will make you weep, but all provide hope and knowledge. Friends and family will learn from them too. Intermingled with the stories are one-pager information on numerous important topics – explaining the types of breast cancer, the treatments, side-effects, employment rights, complementary therapies, research, clinical trials, plus numerous resources – travel insurance, charity resources, books, support groups and much more.
So where do you get this book? Well follow this link, and guess what, it’s free. ABC Diagnosis can only continue this work with donations, so whilst ordering your book, check out the rest of this brilliant website and also consider donating through the Just-Giving page.
By Dr K Thompson, author of From Both Ends of the Stethoscope: Getting through breast cancer – by a doctor who knows