cover image After Cancer: A Guide to Your New Life

After Cancer: A Guide to Your New Life

Wendy Schlessel Harpham. W. W. Norton & Company, $23 (364pp) ISBN 978-0-393-03664-0

Harpham (Diagnosis Cancer), a Dallas internist diagnosed with lymphoma in 1990, is no stranger to the challenges, physical and emotional, faced by people who have had cancer and chemotherapy. In a poignant introduction describing her illness, the author tells of the changes one must confront after treatment. She makes it clear that there is no special formula for recovery, and that timetables are of no particular consequence because everyone is different. Her useful Q&A format candidly addresses many central questions: long-term side effects, probability of recurrences, diet considerations, coping with depression. Living with cancer and its aftereffects is an ongoing education in living, says Harpham, who advises how to cope between cancer checkups, when to call the physician and when not to worry. Post-cancer fatigue is discussed in depth. In addition to the facts cancer survivors must know to make the best possible recovery, the author provides readers with hope. This is ``must'' reading for anyone coping with the aftermath of cancer treatments, as well as for their families and friends. (Sept.)