Monday, December 29, 2008

In the Country of Illness by Robert Lipsyte 1998

From Publishers Weekly
Anyone who will ever have to negotiate the minefields of today's medical system while suffering from a serious illness or caring for a loved one will greatly welcome this outstanding guide to what the author calls the country of "Malady." Lipsyte, a prize-winning author (The Contender) and New York Times columnist, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1978. He presents here what he learned from that episode, and a later recurrence that helped him function within the world of illness. When his wife, Margie, who'd been his support during surgery and subsequent chemotherapy, developed breast cancer, he reentered Malady as her caregiver. Lipsyte provides highly useful material on how to elicit necessary information from physicians and nurses, ways to maximize hospital care and tips for coping with a managed care system that, according to the author, does not serve patient needs. Although the Lipsytes eventually divorced, the author remained close to his ex-wife during her long battle with terminal cancer, and his exquisitely written description of this period is deeply moving.

Can be purchased very cheaply from AbeBooks.