Reviewed By: Carolyn Vachani, MSN, RN, AOCN
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: June 17, 2007
As a patient, I feel the need to learn all I can about any new diagnosis. It helps me feel comfortable with my treatment decisions and what the diagnosis means for me. Most patients who receive a diagnosis of lymphoma have never even heard of it, let alone know that there are more than 30 different variations of the disease. Elizabeth Adler was one of those patients; setting out to learn all she could about lymphoma as soon as the diagnosis was suggested. Now deemed cured by her oncologist, she developed Living with Lymphoma , a guide for patients, family and friends or anyone involved in the life of a person with lymphoma.
The guide covers all the types of Hodgkin's and Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, symptoms and steps to diagnosis, treatments and an introduction to complementary therapies. Additional chapters introduce us to the immune system, basic cell biology, lymphoma classification and a glossary. Elizabeth was a neurobiologist and professor at the time of her diagnosis, giving the book a scientific background, but intertwining her personal story and humor helps make it more than a reference book. She takes the reader through symptoms, diagnosis and treatments on a level that isn't too scientific.
This is the most comprehensive book I have seen on the subject, short of a medical text. While 424 pages may sound like more than one can handle during a stressful time, the book is organized like the journey most patients will travel. Elizabeth notes that at different points on the journey, people need different information, hence the layout of the book. This allows the reader to refer to the sections as they pertain to them if they don't have a chance to get through the whole book at once. OncoLink highly recommends this guide.