Listen With Your Heart - Talking With the Cancer Patient
Reviewed by Pati Lanning
How many of us worry about saying the right thing when someone we know has cancer? Since cancer now strikes one out of three people in the United States, the American Cancer Society has published a timely booklet entitled, "Listen With Your Heart - Talking With the Cancer Patient." Sadly, at some point in our lives, most of us will need to know some tips on how best to do this.
For starters, this booklet dispels the myth that ‘cancer equals death,' There is a brief section about the science of cancer, including hope for new research improving treatment for all cancers. The booklet gives advice about sometimes difficult situations such as a confiding in another person before test results are in, and how to deal with the news if it is indeed cancer.
The Ways of Coping section gives insight into some common reactions in people who have been diagnosed with cancer. Since everyone reacts differently to such news, this is helpful information.
Communication, living with cancer, and rehabilitation are nicely addressed. A section called Sources of Support is very informative and offers many options for support. This booklet also discusses the need for families of the cancer patient to have some breaks for their own well being and offers some possibilities to achieve them.
The booklet also covers how to obtain help and information, visiting, and facing the final stage, and a section called You Can Help. In each case, the booklet offers lots helpful suggestions to deal with situations we may all need some guidance with. I highly recommend this booklet for anyone who seeks insight into communicating with cancer patients. Surprisingly, a mere ten pages can help tremendously.
Pati Lanning is a colorectal cancer survivor and member of the Colon Cancer Alliance.