Sunday, October 24, 2010

Making Miracles Happen (1997)

by Gregory White Smith and Steven Naifeh

From Booklist: "When you live with a brain tumor for 20 years, you learn a lot about medicine and about yourself. Smith ( and Naifeh, his twenty-two-year partner and coauthor; their Jackson Pollock [1990] won a Pulitzer Prize) learned how to keep searching until he found the right doctor and the right treatment. He also discovered the importance of the right attitude and of companionable support: be persistent, he says, and when seeing the doctor, have a companion to help in asking questions and remembering instructions. To find the best doctor for your problem, he says, ask other doctors, not their patients; search always for opinions and developing options, not a single right answer; and keep mutual respect between doctor and patient as a goal. Above all, Smith counsels, don't let a disease or an impairing condition turn you into someone different from what you have been."

This is an important book that will be a guide to anyone facing a serious illness.  Gregory White Smith is the prototypical "Akamai Patient."

The Council of Dads (2010)

My Daughters, My Illness and the Men Who Could Be Me
by Bruce Feiler

From Amazon: In 2008, bestselling author Feiler learned he had osteogenic sarcoma, a rare, life-threatening tumor in his left leg . Fearing what his absence would do to the lives of his young daughters, Feiler asked six close friends ("Men who know my voice") to help raise them. Feiler chronicles his battle with cancer, from diagnosis to recovery, as well as his sentimental but moving journey to recruit friends who can carry out his wish to teach his daughters to travel, dream, and live life to its fullest. Feiler's intimate bond with his friends makes them unusually expressive and communicative, and their own biographies lend further inspirational dimensions to the story. It's hard not to get swept along and cheer Feiler on as he fights for his life and his daughters'.

I am indebted to Linda Welsh for sending me a copy of this inspiring and important book.