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    Posted: Jun 26 2009 at 7:02pm
Hi all,

I have a bunch of flights this summer and maybe even a couple of days vacation...so I hope to do some readinglll

If anyone has read anything they really enjoyed would love to have your recommendations-fiction or non..just something you really enjoyed..a good book of poetry would be nice, as well..

My beginning list is very serious ...with a few more lighter ones to come as soon as my wife and I have finished reading them..

First off my daughter Sari has had a very tough time dealing with all her surgeries. She really got a lot out of this book that was recommended to her..I am hopeful that it accomplishes the same for others here..

"Full Catastrophe Living" by John Kabat Zinn.

................

Angiogenisis has been in the news quite a bit and there is an excellent bio of Judah Folkman, who is considered a pioneer in this field. This book is out-or-print but Amazon has some new copies for $5 each. I enjoyed this book when I read it a few years ago.

"Dr. Folkman's War: Angiogenesis and the Struggle to Defeat Cancer" (Hardcover)

http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Folkmans-War-Angiogenesis-Struggle/dp/0375502440

and for those of you going through days (my daughter wasn't able to concentrate so reading was out) but she really enjoyed old Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies..elegance from another era..so favorite movie suggestions might work as well..

any thoughts would really be appreciated..

all the best,

Steve





Edited by steve - Jun 27 2009 at 6:23am
I am a BRCA1+ grandson, son and father of women affected by breast/oc-my daughter inherited mutation from me, and at 36, was dx 2004 TNBC I am a volunteer patient advocate with SAGE Patient Advocates
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kirby Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 26 2009 at 9:02pm
Steve,
 
I am currently reading a book by TC Boyle, a prof at UCLA. the title is Drop City. It was highly recommended by a friend. I am thoroughly enjoying it.  At 2/3 of the way thru I am not sure where the author is going with all of it. It is a novel that takes place during the early 70's about a commune and all that was happening during that time period. [great for a bit of deja vu] Excellent points and discriptions are used. Great writing. I have read another of Boyle's books, Tortilla Curtain, that was written during the 90's but is still so pertinant today about illegal immigrant issues. That novel takes place in southern Ca.  In that particular book, the author does not close with a conclusion but cleverly presents each side. The style in Drop City seems quite different and am not sure yet whether it will be conclusive. The friend that recommended Drop City has loved him as an author and has read most of his books.
kirby

dx Feb. 2001. Age 44
Lumpectomy

2cm. no nodes stage 1 grade 3

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thanks Kirby..I will check it out..

all the best,

Steve
I am a BRCA1+ grandson, son and father of women affected by breast/oc-my daughter inherited mutation from me, and at 36, was dx 2004 TNBC I am a volunteer patient advocate with SAGE Patient Advocates
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dmwolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 27 2009 at 5:33am
Kirby, I love TC Boyle, and Drop City in particular.  I've read all his novels. 
d
DX 2/08@43 stg II IDC; gr2,0 nodes. Neoadj chemo, first ACx2 (fail) then CarboTaxotereX6(better). Lump, Rads done 11/08; Clodronate. False alarm queen: PetCT lung & TM marker. NED. PBM w/recon 9/10.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote krisa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 27 2009 at 7:41am
I love TC Boyle!



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BrendaF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 27 2009 at 2:14pm
I just read The Story of Forgetting, about early onset Alzheimers.  It was well written, and a great story.  Sorry I don't remember the author.  It was a first novel by him, I believe.
.
Dx 2005 2 cm, 5/12 nodes, A/C + T, 28 rads.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SagePatientAdvocates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 27 2009 at 9:19pm
Thanks all,

I just ordered Drop City and also Brenda, it's Stefan Merrill Block...ordered that as well...

My memory has been deteriorating....doc told me to try to keep my mind as busy as possible...says, for now, they have nothing for AD.

any good poetry out there? good non-fiction or auto/biography?

all the best,

Steve
I am a BRCA1+ grandson, son and father of women affected by breast/oc-my daughter inherited mutation from me, and at 36, was dx 2004 TNBC I am a volunteer patient advocate with SAGE Patient Advocates
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BrendaF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2009 at 3:26am
Steve, do you read Mary Oliver's poetry?
Dx 2005 2 cm, 5/12 nodes, A/C + T, 28 rads.
Dx mets 12/07 mediastinal and supraclavicular nodes, carbo + taxotere X 6.
brain, lymph, pleura, bone mets. Started Xeloda 8/24/09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dmwolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2009 at 6:28am
Brenda, there's a joke in there somewhere (forgetting the author's name). ;)
love,
d (who never remembers new author's names)

*speaking of which, i'm reading a WONDERFULLY inventive and funny book called 'The Cardboard Universe of Phineas K. Dank' by ______.  It's fabulous.
DX 2/08@43 stg II IDC; gr2,0 nodes. Neoadj chemo, first ACx2 (fail) then CarboTaxotereX6(better). Lump, Rads done 11/08; Clodronate. False alarm queen: PetCT lung & TM marker. NED. PBM w/recon 9/10.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SagePatientAdvocates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2009 at 6:59am
Dear Brenda and Denise,


do I detect a trend of omitting author's names to make my search a bit more difficult?...although I doubt that 'The Cardboard Universe of Phineas K. Dank' does not have too many folks claiming authorship.

what next...'The ......... Universe of ........ .   .....' ?   

I hope this thread doesn't turn into a giant Wheel of Fortune with Vanna White.

Brenda, I am not familiar with Mary Oliver.

and Denise thank you...I think I am probably up to late August with your recommendation but I will pick it up...if you think it's WONDERFUL that's enough for me..

all the best,

Steve



Edited by steve - Jun 28 2009 at 7:00am
I am a BRCA1+ grandson, son and father of women affected by breast/oc-my daughter inherited mutation from me, and at 36, was dx 2004 TNBC I am a volunteer patient advocate with SAGE Patient Advocates
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BrendaF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2009 at 7:25am
Just ordered A Cardboard Universe: A Guide to the World of Phoebas K. Dank by Christopher Miller from the library.
 
I had to switch back over twice between that page and this to get the complete title and author.
 
Steve, Mary Oliver is a naturalist, writes a lot about nature and spirituality, and she's very popular around here because she's a local.  I mostly read her on the web, I don't have a volume.
 
This is one of my favorites:
 
 

The Summer Day

 
Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean--

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down--

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don't know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

Dx 2005 2 cm, 5/12 nodes, A/C + T, 28 rads.
Dx mets 12/07 mediastinal and supraclavicular nodes, carbo + taxotere X 6.
brain, lymph, pleura, bone mets. Started Xeloda 8/24/09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mefowler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2009 at 9:35pm
Dear Steve,
 
One of the best books I have ever read is called Grace and Grit by Ken Wilber.  It is the story of he and his wife, who was diagnosed with cancer just after they got married.  It is a wonderful book, and it integrates philosophy and science and a love story.
 
Another incredible book I recently finished is called Kitchen Table Wisdom by Rachel Naomi Remen, who was a pediatric oncologist and now does counseling and therapy for people who have cancer.  An amazing book.  It is too bad more doctors are not like her.
 
I have read the Jon Kabat-Zinn book, it is excellent.
 
Have fun reading this summer, and thanks for all you do here on this site.
 
Maire
53 yo, dx'd 11/08 at 51, 2.9 cm IDC, node-neg, neoadj chemotx with Taxotere/carboplatin q3wks x 6, lumpectomy 4/09, path showed pCR, margin reexcision 5/09, rad'n 6-8/09, intermittent Tarceva, dc'd
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SagePatientAdvocates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 29 2009 at 7:21am
Thanks Brenda...

lovely poem..

thanks Maire..

I think I will add these to the list but probably won't read them back to back..

really appreciate your input..

has anyone seen the movie "The Namesake"....good movie about how a book influenced a family...I will say no more...Indian film...I really enjoyed it..

all the best,

Steve
I am a BRCA1+ grandson, son and father of women affected by breast/oc-my daughter inherited mutation from me, and at 36, was dx 2004 TNBC I am a volunteer patient advocate with SAGE Patient Advocates
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dmwolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 29 2009 at 8:56am
Hey, Maire.  I loved 'Grace and Grit' also, though for me the last chapter was tough going.   Even though I of course knew how it turned out, reading about her death - the pain and disability of her path as she moved toward it - was really painful and frightening for me.  How did it strike you?

-Denise (wow, I just read the rest of your message.  I read 'Kitchen table wisdom' right after 'Grace and Grit'.  Are we related?  (certainly by temperament, I'm guessing).  If you are still in a 'making friends with death' kind of mood, I'd suggest Byocks book on 'the good death'. Another keeper.)
DX 2/08@43 stg II IDC; gr2,0 nodes. Neoadj chemo, first ACx2 (fail) then CarboTaxotereX6(better). Lump, Rads done 11/08; Clodronate. False alarm queen: PetCT lung & TM marker. NED. PBM w/recon 9/10.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote krisa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 29 2009 at 10:11am
My favorite priest uses Mary Oliver's poetry in his sermons.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Terry3N Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 29 2009 at 11:08am
I am crazy about the wonderful poem by Mary Oliver.  I just sent it to a friend and am going to see if I can get a volume from my library.

I do a lot of reading from the library lately, but some books make it onto my list of books I want to own.  One of the latest is "The Biology of Belief" by Bruce Lipton.  Dr. Lipton is a cell biologist and former professor at Stanford as well as other places.  The books describes his journey of how the newest scientific discoveries in cell biology have changed his beliefs about the world.  Sadly he states that even though the scientific discoveries he is explaining have been around for decades they are not being taught in medical schools because it is so hard for scientists to give up their entrenched belief systems. (think about when the "world" knew the earth was flat).  The part that is of interest to us is that these outdated beliefs about how cells and our bodies work which are still being taught in medical school also influence MEDICAL RESEARCH.  My personal belief is that a cure for cancer already exists in the world, we just don't know what it is yet.  We are going to uncover it faster if our scientists are looking with the most current research to guide them. 

He also talks about his own personal spiritual conclusions which are his and have nothing to do with the research he is citing.  You can agree with his personal conclusions about spirituality or not, it doesn't change the reality of the science he is using.

The book is very easy to read and understand, maybe because he was an award winning lecturer in medical schools for many years.  He does know how to get an idea across.

Also on my list to buy is "The Way of Peace" by Deepak Chopra. 

 
dx 02/07 3N Inv Lobular mets/spine, 4 FEC, 12 Taxol, Dbl Masect 11/16, 28/28 nodes pos., radiation, Xeloda 8months, Abraxane June 09 - Oct 09, Arimidex Oct 09 - Jan 2010, Xeloda & Curcumin Jan 2010
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote beachgirl6 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 29 2009 at 5:39pm
If you are interested in a light read in the mystery book line try the Janet Evanovich series with Stephanie Plum.  The one that are numbered.  Starts with "One for the Money" and now goes up to "Finger licking 15".  They require no thought.  Are extremely funny and at times outrageous about a bounty hunter in NJ who is always getting into trouble.  Always pictured Sandra Bullock playing Stephanie Plum and Estelle Getty playing the grandmother.  Light, fast, easy reads. 
 
Hope all enjoy. 
Beachgirl
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kcsacco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 30 2009 at 2:59am
Hi guys,   Love the suggestions.  Reading is about all I can do this summer.   Fatigue from Radiation really socking it to me.
I read "Secret Lives of Bees"......another really good book.
and I loved "Kitchen Table Wisdom"!
For light quick reading (any fantasy buffs out there?)......the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris.    Can't remember the name of the 1st book, but its the basis for the True Blood series on HBO.
Alisa
DX 3/07 7cm tumor L breast, Neoadjuvant Chemo
L Mastectomy 8/07
Radiation and more chemo
Finished 12/08   NED 3/08
Reconstruction 9/08
Recurrance 1/09 Multiple chemos
3/10 Parp with chemo
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SagePatientAdvocates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 30 2009 at 6:02am
Dear Alisa,

thanks for sharing...

if you get a chance the movie version of "Secret Life Of Bees" with Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah and Jennifer Hudson is wonderful, as well.. Dakota Fanning did a masterful job...

I have so much cancer in my life these days that I find reading, music, going to movies really helpful to help maintain my equilibrium. I also fully understand that having cancer and having relationships with folks who have cancer but being cancer-free myself (I pray) is entirely different but I can tell you that, especially recently, I have been totally drained, at times.

I am very happy about this thread. I feel you get to know someone better by the books, poetry, etc. they enjoy and I am looking forward, probably fairly slowly, to experiencing them as well. Hopefully there will be more responses, as well..I have really enjoyed getting to know some of you through your posts.

There have been several mentions of very serious, possibly terminal, illness recently on TNBCF. I have mentioned it before, and probably will again, but I recommend "Graceful Passages" to those of you in need and that includes loved ones of folks who are failing. I was at a kidney transplant center, yesterday, in Los Angeles and attended an orientation session and then met with my friend's case manager...a young RN who is under tremendous stress(she has a case load of 900 people..there are 80,000 people waiting for a kidney transplant in this country and only 6000 people a year who donate..the wait is normally 4-10 years while the person is on dialysis) because sometimes, after working with families for years to get them on the list, monitoring the wait and then finally the transplant-the procedure, for a variety of reasons, is unsuccessful. She has experienced very painful losses and has seen several families deeply suffer and has been asked "what can we do?" when things are bad.

I gave her a copy of "Graceful Passages" and we talked about why it may be helpful to her personally and why she felt certain families would benefit from one or more of the passages. She agreed with my statement
"it is very rare that someone helps teach you how to die. The medical profession is generally all about healing not about how to handle things when more treatment is futile."

We also talked about the marvelous Hospice nurses and she said "I couldn't do that" and to be honest I don't think I could either, as much as I care about people. I believe the Hospice nurses are sent by G-d. I have a friend who is a Hospice nurse and helped me wade through their regulations when I was helping a loved one a few years ago. We had a memorable meeting in Napa Valley and she explained to me why she left her regular nursing career to join Hospice, losing 50% of her income in the process. "Steve, it is such a privilege to help people in their last days." My words of response stuck in my throat and all I could say after about an agonizingly intense minute, when I literally could not get any words out, was a whispered "G-d bless you."

I mentioned in another post that if anyone would like a copy of "Graceful Passages", as a gift, please send me a PM with your address. That offer is still open. If you are uncomfortable doing that you can go to www.wisdomoftheworld.com and order one. Amazon has it for a lower price but I am not certain it includes the CDs. For full disclosure purposes, I have no financial interest in the publisher or relationship with any of the authors and I discard the name/address as soon as I mail it out. Several years ago I lost my best male friend on the planet to mesothelioma, a rare lung cancer caused by asbestos. As he was failing I contacted a bereavement counselor who recommended "Graceful Passages" and I found it helped me a lot and I have been giving it out to folks ever since. My best friend's daughter who I love dearly and vice-versa was infuriated with me when I gave her a copy. "How dare you give up on my father", she said angrily.
I tried to explain why I felt it was important for her and possibly for him.

An hour later my friend called me into his bedroom and asked me to close the door behind me so that we were alone..At that point, he had been sinking for about six months..and weighed 80 lbs vs his 165 at the start of the ordeal. "Steve, I just had blood tests and no one is telling me what is going on...not the doctors, not my family..I want to know what is happening..I want the truth. Please tell me the truth." He handed the lab reports to me and said "what does this mean?". I am not a doctor but have enough of an understanding of the CBCs and cancer markers he showed me. For a second I did not answer him but then he very gently took my hand (I swear I can still feel his touch at that moment) and looked me straight in the eye and said with a surprisingly strong squeeze.."please." I then told him, with a remarkably clear steady voice, that he was dying and he said "thank you..I thought so. thank you for telling me. You can open the door now." I embraced him before I did and he whispered "thank you" to me again.

Later that night, after my friend went to sleep, his son came to me. "I understand you were with my father today and I wanted to thank you."
"why?".."well I know you know that my father and I have had a very difficult relationship these last ten years." I said nothing, even though I knew. He continued "an hour ago my father called me into his room and asked me to close the door and he told me he loved me" and now, weeping, he told me "I can't tell you what that means to me..Thank you."
I gave him a hug and just held him.

And still later that evening the daughter I mentioned before, told me that she was even more angry at me because she had hired a physical trainer to work with her dad to "build up his legs" and her father told her he did not want to see the trainer."What did you tell him..why is he refusing?..how will he get better if he doesn't build up his strength?" I didn't answer and just said "this is so very, very hard...I am so sorry"..My friend died two days later and it was almost two years later when his daughter told me "I have finally found the strength to listen to 'Graceful Passages' and it is helping me. I recognize now that I was i denial. I am sorry I gave you such a hard time."

in any event I did not think of mentioning this book/CDs as part of this thread but I have learned, through reading this thread that some of you have been reading similar books on your own and others, I feel, may be in situations themselves or are loved ones of people struggling so please understand that I have mentioned it again for those who might benefit from it.

and it is very complex that I write about this because I am a fighter and I encourage people with cancer to fight through their chemo and radiation therapy, etc. I think a positive attitude is crucial but at times...
Hopefully, you all understand and are not angry with me..

you are all in my heart...

Steve

p.s. by the way it was my daughter's bereavement counsleor who told her about the John Kabat Zinn book and she has the same opinion as Denise and found that it really has helped her. Especially for my daughter, and I imagine others here as well, it is not just the healing from the surgeries and chemo that is important-it is the healing of one's soul that is perhaps, most important and at least in her case, not easy to achieve...but she is working hard at it and she tells me that yoga has helped her a lot as well.
the only thing for sure in all of this is that cancer truly sux.



Edited by steve - Jun 30 2009 at 6:09am
I am a BRCA1+ grandson, son and father of women affected by breast/oc-my daughter inherited mutation from me, and at 36, was dx 2004 TNBC I am a volunteer patient advocate with SAGE Patient Advocates
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dmwolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 30 2009 at 8:55am
Steve, I'm really moved by what you wrote.  Thank you so much.  This coming Sunday I'm having some friends over from Commonweal, one of whom is dying of cancer sooner rather than later.  I love this man very much, and will be really sad to miss his 'bon voyage' party while we are in Bali.  The dinner is our goodbye, should he no longer be with us by the time we return from our travels.  I'll have to ask him if he has Graceful Passages, and if not give it to him as a gift.  He recommended Staring Into the Sun to me (Irving Yalom) during a time I was very afraid of death, and it helped enormously. 
Love,
Denise
DX 2/08@43 stg II IDC; gr2,0 nodes. Neoadj chemo, first ACx2 (fail) then CarboTaxotereX6(better). Lump, Rads done 11/08; Clodronate. False alarm queen: PetCT lung & TM marker. NED. PBM w/recon 9/10.
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