When Cancer Strikes- A Book For Patients, Families, and Friends. John A. MacDonald, M. D. New Jersey. Prentice-Hall, Inc. 132 pages. $10.95 Hardback, $4.95 paperback.
When cancer strikes, living does not stop. That is the premise of When Cancer Strikes. In comprehensible language, the author shows how his and other people's appreciation for life increased with the diagnosis of cancer. The author points a change in attitude; one is no longer concerned with hostile emotions, and begins to consider plans for living the rest of life are made.
The experiences of the author qualify him to talk about cancer: a surgeon who treated cancer patients and was involved in cancer research; his wife died with cancer ad he went through the living/ dying process of cancer himself.
The book's content is based upon research and theoretical formulations and is presented in a language devoid of jargon, statistics, or a patronizing attitude. Part one deals with what is cancer, common cancers, and the asault of cancer. This section could be perceived as cold and impersonal, just like a medical textbook. However, this factual knowledge is useful to those participating in the process of living/ dying with cancer.
One gets the sense of sitting in the living room of the author and listening to him discuss the important issues of: Our Fear of Cancer; What it's Like to Have Cancer; Reactions of Family and Friends; Living with Cancer; Dying with Cancer; and the Aftermath: Grief, Bereavement, Acceptance. I agree with the author "that death is inevitable and may be the most important part of life." The use of this book with patients and theirfamilies and friends will certainly help nurses realize the author's quote of Frances Peabody- "the secret of care of the patient is caring for the patient."