A personal, conversational, and positive perspective on handling the ups and downs of cancer treatment and survival.


8 Steps to Getting Real with Cancer


In this debut guide to thriving through a cancer diagnosis and the healing process, the author gives intimate, friendly, and firm advice about handling family, medical providers, fear, and decision-making.

Cancer can shock and rattle even the strongest of families, and McDonough is no stranger to the changes that take place immediately after the diagnosis is delivered. In her guide, the author reaches out to readers grappling with their own struggles and offers focus points in the form of myths and truths. Her advice is holistic, presenting strategies of faith and perspective to reconcile what really happens emotionally to the person coping with the diagnosis and what is expected, externally, from friends, family, and medical providers. For example, in one section, McDonough describes firing an oncologist to choose a different doctor she felt was a better fit. The “myth,” she asserts, that a cancer sufferer should be a “good patient” who cooperates and pleases all of the nurses and doctors is simply not the first priority of the individual undergoing treatment, regardless of what society seems to expect. As she puts it, “Perfect patient? No way, nor did I aspire to be that. Perfect doctors? Just as unrealistic and, I might add, unfair.” While McDonough stresses that no one is perfect in this process, she describes one doctor who came in on a weekend day off to sit with her and explain her diagnosis more fully to ease anxieties. Another point of emphasis is patient autonomy. The author cites the importance of patients involving and informing family members yet making clear their intentions to control decisions about their own health. This, she explains, is one of the most important things for the patient to preserve. One aspect that likely sets this book apart from other similar guides in the genre is McDonough’s experience of catching cancer early. This title may carry the advantage of reaching those readers who were fortunate enough to receive an early diagnosis but still endured the fears and unknowns of procedures like lumpectomies and radiation. But the author presents all cancer patients with an important message: you are a warrior and survivor, regardless of how early you were diagnosed or the duration and complexity of your treatment.

A personal, conversational, and positive perspective on handling the ups and downs of cancer treatment and survival.

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9966977-0-5

Page Count: 102

Publisher: Sapphire River Publishing Services

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2016

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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