Appropriate and/or Correct Words and Phrases (No offense!)

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Photo credit: Words by Kristina Krause of Redzenradish Photography

√ Use … × Instead of…

Mental Health:

√ Died by suicide

× Committed/Completed/Successful suicide

√ Suicidal ideation with a plan; suicide without a plan

× Active suicidal ideation; Passive suicidal ideation  

√ Alcohol use disorder/Benzodiazepine use disorder

× Alcohol dependence or use continuous

√ Person with a mental health disability; person who has/person diagnosed with depression/schizophrenia, etc.; Terminology varies throughout countries – “insane” and “insanity” are generally legal terms and reported as such in news programming

× Negative references to mental health and well-being such as: lunatic, mental patient, mental disease, neurotic, psychotic, crazy

Physical Abilities:

√ Hard of hearing; deaf; deafened or late-deafened; Deaf (uses sign language)

× Hearing-impaired; blanket term “deaf” used at the wrong time 

√ Person who uses a wheelchair

√ Wheelchair user

× Wheelchair-bound  

√ Non-disabled

× Normal

√ Person living with vision loss

√ Person who is blind

√ Person who has a vision impairment

× Blind; visually impaired  

√ Person with a disability

√ Persons with disabilities

√ People with disabilities

√ Individuals with disabilities

× Disabled, invalid, handicapped, physically challenged (challenges and handicaps are environmental conditions) 

√  Person born with a disability

× Birth defect, deformity/deformed, congenital defect

√ Person with a disability or a person with a/who has a motion disability;

√ Person with (e.g., a spinal cord injury)

× Crippled or lame

Medical Conditions:

√ Has (e.g., asthma, cancer)

× Suffers from (e.g., asthma, cancer)   

√ Person/people/individual with (a) dementia

√ Person/people/individual living with dementia

√ Person/people living well with dementia

√ A person with Alzheimer’s disease

× Dementia sufferer; demented; senile or senile dementia; burden; victim; plague; epidemic; living death (e.g., dementia is a living death)

♥ Re: “dementia patient” – okay to use when talking about people in a hospital or actually using a care service).

√  Person who has (a particular disease or condition). Ex: A person who has had a stroke.

× Suffers from; was stricken with; is confined to; or is afflicted by/with. These terms patronize, pity, victimize or insult.

Other Terms:

√ Older people; older person; older adult

× Elderly; old people; old person

 ♥ Seniors or senior citizens is an acceptable term for most.

√ Accessible parking

× Handicapped parking

√ Accessible bathrooms

× Handicapped bathrooms

√ Person with an intellectual disability or persons with learning disabilities

× Mentally retarded; retarded; mentally defective; mentally challenged

 √ Indigenous Peoples, First Nations Peoples, Inuit Peoples, Metis Peoples, Aboriginal Peoples. Note: Always go with what they are calling themselves. 

Eskimo, Indian, Native are less-used terms and can be taken as derogatory.

√ Black (as an adjective); African-American/African-Americans (as nouns) (both are acceptable, but not necessarily interchangeable.) In Canada, Black or Black Canadian.

× N-word 

SIMPLE RULE: It’s people first. The person comes first.

The disability or disease comes second.

REGARDING IMAGES: Use images that reflect the whole person, rather than a fading face or wrinkled hands. This is especially important when the article is about living a positive life or overcoming challenges.

Angela G. Gentile

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Angela G. Gentile  MSW, RSW is a clinical social worker and author of the book, “Caring for a Husband with Dementia: The Ultimate Survival Guide,” “A Book About Burnout: One Social Worker’s Tale of Survival,” “How to Edit an Anthology: Write or Compile a Collection that Sells,” and the “Dementia Caregiver Solutions” app for iPhone and iPad. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her husband and has two adult children. She is creator and administrator of many Facebook communities including “Aging Well for Women” and “Living Well With and After Cancer” For more information, visit: www.AngelaGGentile.com

 

Search terms: politically correct, political correctness, terminology, writing, speaking, sensitive, appropriate, modern, neutral, acceptable

 

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“The Memory Keeper” Will Touch Your Heart and Tickle Your Funny Bone – Book Review

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Five Stars *****

JESSICA BRYAN’S SWEET AND HUMOROUS ACCOUNTS of life with her 99-year-old mother who has Alzheimer’s disease will touch your heart and tickle your funny bone. Jessica states there is never a dull moment in the Bryan household, and you will be entertained as she writes about her experiences in an easy-to-read, conversational tone. Jessica believes “When things get too heavy, you just have to lighten the mood.”

Although it is heart-wrenching when she writes about her mother “disappearing moment by moment, memory by memory,” her stories will encourage you—knowing that caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s has its rewards and there is humour to be found in any situation. The photos sprinkled throughout add a beautiful, personal touch. Anyone who values the importance of love and caring for one another in difficult times (especially caregivers and family members) will enjoy reading “The Memory Keeper” (2018).

Available in Kindle and paperback on Amazon.

Angela G. Gentile

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Angela G. Gentile  MSW, RSW is a clinical social worker and author of the book, “Caring for a Husband with Dementia: The Ultimate Survival Guide,” “A Book About Burnout: One Social Worker’s Tale of Survival,” “How to Edit an Anthology: Write or Compile a Collection that Sells,” and the “Dementia Caregiver Solutions” app for iPhone and iPad. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her husband and has two adult children. She is creator and administrator of many Facebook communities including “Aging Well for Women” and “Living Well With and After Cancer” For more information, visit: www.AngelaGGentile.com

How to Edit an Anthology: Write or Compile a Collection that Sells

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How to Edit an Anthology: Write or Compile a Collection that Sells

NOW AVAILABLE!

It has been quite the journey. There is so much to learn with respect to writing an anthology. There are other words to describe this process – editing, coordinating, compiling. Anthology is a word not many have heard of before, but it means a collection of stories/works/poems, etc. The Chicken Soup for the Soul series is a popular example of an anthology series. It is very different than writing a book about one thing, by one author. While writing and producing my upcoming anthology, Cancer Up the Wazoo, I knew I had to learn a few things, but I didn’t realize how hard it would be to find information on how to do it.

Has this been one of the best-kept secrets in the book-writing world?

Why couldn’t I find a book written on how to write an anthology? Sure, there were a few good articles on the internet, but not one book on the subject!

I event made a trip to the library to see what was offered there. Nada. Nothing.

While I was waiting for my contributing authors to submit their stories and contracts, I decided to put down my experience and everything I learned into an ebook format. I love writing and helping people, so I thought this was a great way to put my two loves together. This book will be an invaluable reference tool and resource for those who want to publish a collection.

Buy the ebook for Kindle –

How to Edit an Anthology: Write or Compile a Collection that Sells(2018)

Coming in paperback, soon!

For updates on my author adventures, LIKE my author page on Facebook!

Cheers!

Angela

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Angela G. Gentile  MSW, RSW is a clinical social worker and author of the book, “Caring for a Husband with Dementia: The Ultimate Survival Guide,” “A Book About Burnout: One Social Worker’s Tale of Survival,” “How to Edit an Anthology: Write or Compile a Collection that Sells,” and the “Dementia Caregiver Solutions” app for iPhone and iPad. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her husband and has two adult children. She is creator and administrator of many Facebook communities  including “Aging Well for Women” and “Living Well With and After Cancer” For more information, visit: www.AngelaGGentile.com

 

How a Dog or Puppy Can Bring Joy and Companionship into Your Life

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When I was going through my cancer ordeal, my dog, Rocky (a senior), was my constant companion. He lay beside me on my bed, he followed me downstairs when I went to get something to eat, and on the days I was bedbound, he seemed to be aware of my plight. When my family went out to work or school, or attended family functions that I wasn’t well enough to go to, Rocky was there with me. He seemed to get me more than anyone else. We bonded in a special way. I was never alone.

After my treatments were completed (which were absolutely torturous!), my daughter Simone started talking about wanting a new puppy. She was saying how she was missing having a little girl-dog around, so I encouraged her to get one for herself. I told her we would help her look after it. It didn’t take her long to decide and she went for it!

Well, what a joy this little one has brought to our lives. The fun and excitement started when my daughter called us to say one of the breeders she called said she had puppies that were just a few days old, and she could come and take a look! Soon after, Simone and I made plans to go out to the country to see the puppies. They were purebred Havanese (like a small poodle).

Simone picked out a blond female and named her Berkeley. We visited her every week as she grew old enough to be weaned from her mother. I (we) had something fun, sweet and exciting to look forward to. This helped get my mind off my cancer ordeal. Rocky was still my trusty companion, and this little addition was going to bring a new dynamic to our household. The anticipation of the day we could bring her home was killing us! We were in love.

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When we went to get Berkeley to bring her back to her forever home, it was as if we had brought home a new baby! We had visitors, puppy gifts, even a “Puppy Shower” my daughter planned. Simone wanted to bond with the puppy so she made sure she looked after all the pup’s needs – such as comfort, food, water and a warm comfy place to sleep. She had to get up in the night to let her out to do her business. The household and family dynamics were changed. Even Rocky had to adapt to having a little one around. Heck, I am even called Gramma now!

I was house-bound for many months during my healing and recovery, so I was the main one helping with the house-training. Often I played with Berkeley as she had lots of energy and a playful spirit (when she was awake). When she started teething, we had to make sure she had lots of appropriate chew toys and made sure the house was “puppy-proofed.”

Berkeley has added so much joy to our lives. I can’t imagine what my recovery journey would have been like without Rocky and our new little one. Raising a puppy is hard work, but the rewards are tremendous.

Please share your dog (or pet) story.

Angela G. Gentile

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Angela G. Gentile  MSW, RSW is a clinical social worker and author of the book, “Caring for a Husband with Dementia: The Ultimate Survival Guide”, “A Book About Burnout: One Social Worker’s Tale of Survival” and the “Dementia Caregiver Solutions” app for iPhone and iPad. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her husband and has two adult children. She is creator and administrator of many Facebook communities  including “Aging Well for Women” and “Living Well With and After Cancer” For more information, visit: www.AngelaGGentile.com.

A Blessed Mother’s Day

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The Gentile Family

Shortly after I was diagnosed with cancer in May 2017, I quickly learned what was important to me. I immediately feared the future loss of the joy of watching my children live their lives and have children of their own. I felt the future enjoyment of motherhood and grand parenthood was potentially and imminently being snatched away from me. This Mother’s Day is very special to me.

On Mother’s Day, the tradition is to express your appreciation for your mother, or any mothers in your life. I was thinking about this and thought about how I came about to be a mother. I’d like to take a few moments to reflect on the people I want to thank for helping me to become the mother I am today.

I’d like to thank my mother for showing me how to be kind, loving, supportive, and how to offer unconditional love at all times (even when one of her children has passed from this world).

I’d like to thank my grandmothers (rest their souls) for being there for me and my mother. Their wisdom and mentor-ship helped tremendously on this journey of motherhood.

I’d like to thank my mother-in-law (may she rest in peace) for showing me unconditional love towards all others. I hear a lot of people complain about the “out-laws,” especially mother-in-laws, but I have nothing but respect for this kind-hearted, God-loving soul.

There are many to thank on this Mother’s Day.

My friends, who are mothers, supported me, advised me and encouraged me. They also act as role models as I walk down this journey of motherhood. Even as I move from mothering children to mothering adults, there is so much to learn.

I’d like to thank my husband Agapito for taking this parenting journey with me and allowing me to be a mother – without him I wouldn’t have the two wonderful children I have now. We blended out parenting styles and did what we thought was right for our family (sometimes it came with a bit of a fight, LOL).

I’d like to thank my children, Lorenzo and Simone, for allowing me to learn how to be a mother; to make mistakes; to be happy with my style of parenting; and for making me a proud mother. (Five years ago I wrote an article called The Five Keys to Raising Great Kids. Check it out if you are in the early stages of parenting, however, it’s never too late!)

I am thankful to the teachers, professors, guides and others who helped me along this path. The post-secondary education I obtained in social work (including psychology and family studies) also helped mold me into the mother I am today. I learned about healthy and functional parenting styles, and what dysfunctional families looked like (aren’t we all dysfunctional in some way? LOL) I learned how culture influences parenting styles and how generations of parenting rule-books change based on science, media and other outside influences.

Most of all I’d like to thank God for the wonderful blessing of being able to have children of my own. The caring and protective mothering instincts I was gifted with also helped me to get to where I am today. Thanks be to God.

I feel very blessed on this day. Happy Mother’s Day.

Angela G. Gentile

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Angela G. Gentile  MSW, RSW is a clinical social worker and author of the book, “Caring for a Husband with Dementia: The Ultimate Survival Guide”, “A Book About Burnout: One Social Worker’s Tale of Survival” and the “Dementia Caregiver Solutions” app for iPhone and iPad. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her husband and has two adult children. She is creator and administrator of many Facebook communities  including “Aging Well for Women” and “Living Well With and After Cancer” For more information, visit: www.AngelaGGentile.com

The Path to Mending a Broken Heart

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I have assessed and treated a lot of broken hearts in my career. There are many causes of a broken heart, and the main ones being the loss of a loved one, or the loss of your own own health (and the anticipated loss of the future).

When a person breaks a limb, such as an arm or leg they immediately receive medical attention. The motivation is to get the broken pieces to heal back together so it can be functional again. The broken limb is promptly given a very snug-fitting, long-lasting hug in the form of a cast. Sometimes a brace. There are instructions to wear this cast for about six weeks. For some, that’s the longest six weeks of their lives. Everything changes. The way they do things changes. How they look changes. They are looked at as being somewhat disabled…broken.

When someone’s heart is broken, if they are lucky, they are given a nice warm hug. The hug doesn’t last for weeks, however, but many doses are recommended over the coming weeks and months. There is no specific doctor’s orders given on how many hugs, how long, what to expect, etc. There will be lots of tears, sadness and possibly self-isolation. I believe this is the equivalent to the cast for the broken limb. It’s a way of protecting and immobilizing the broken parts so it can heal.

Much like a broken arm or leg, the heart takes time to heal.

Although the outward signs of brokenness are not there (you can’t see the hole left in the heart, or the crack in it), there is a real, bonafide injury. I consider the spirit, soul and “heart” of a person as one and the same. When we’ve had an emotional trauma or injury to our spirit, it takes a very special form of healing. It’s something that can’t be rushed, and there is no specific time frame on when it will be healed.

A broken heart will never be the same. Neither will a broken arm or leg. For some, the heart will have permanent scarring, emptiness, or pain. For others, the pain will eventually subside, and the emptiness will eventually be filled. But we know this is not something that can be rushed. And it’s different for everybody.

If you or someone you know is healing from a broken heart, make sure you take your time.

  • Don’t force it or use pressure.
  • A broken arm can’t heal any faster if you try to use it.
  • The broken leg may become more damaged if you try to walk on it before it’s strong enough.
  • The broken heart will only get worse if you ignore it and try to push it.

When the time is right, you will start to try things that won’t emotionally or spiritually hurt you. For example, you may be encouraged to “get out” more, but you may feel it’s too soon to be around others. Answering questions such as “How are you?” may be too much for you to handle. When you feel you are strong enough, and you are ready to start getting back into “real life,’ you may want to try rehabilitating your heart first. Baby-steps towards repairing the soul can help. Do things that make your heart feel good. The soul knows what it needs. Listen to that. The practice of self-compassion is so important on this path to healing a broken heart.

Bottom line is, don’t rush and don’t push. Any broken bone or heart takes time to heal. Give yourself that time and honour your body’s natural process of healing.

 

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Angela G. Gentile  MSW, RSW is a clinical social worker and author of the book, “Caring for a Husband with Dementia: The Ultimate Survival Guide”, “A Book About Burnout: One Social Worker’s Tale of Survival” and the “Dementia Caregiver Solutions” app for iPhone and iPad. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her husband and has two adult children. She is creator of the Facebook communities – “Aging Well for Women” as well as “Living Well With and After Cancer” For more information, visit: www.AngelaGGentile.com

 

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Cancer Up the Wazoo – Upcoming Book Announcement

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Cancer Up the Wazoo – Potential book cover.

I have been working on a new book! It’s an anthology for people who have been affected by a rare form of cancer – anal cancer. I have a great group of writers who are putting together their experiences and thoughts and I am editing it and putting it all together. It will be professionally copy edited and I will be self-publishing through CreateSpace. It will be available on Amazon. We are planning for a paperback copy. An electronic version will be provided if there is a demand for that.

The target date for release is in Fall 2018. If you want to be advised when the book is available, please contact me and I will put you on my notice list!

The book is inclusive and diverse and will have stories written by men and women. Friends and family members of those affected also have some advice and experience to share. We have contributions by teachers, professors, nurses, social workers, technicians, clinicians, principals, counsellors, personal support workers, and so many more! It will be helpful to anyone who is affected with cancer, especially anal cancer. Professionals, family members, caregiver, patients and survivors will enjoy this book. It will include almost everything you need to get through!

Topics in Cancer Up the Wazoo to include:

  • Anal Cancer – The Basics
  • For the Newly Diagnosed
  • Mental Health and Coping
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Advocacy and Awareness
  • List of Supplies You May Need
  • Positive Affirmations to Help You Get Through
  • A Transformational Journey Through Cancer
  • When a Close Friend Has Cancer
  • The Power of a Mother’s Love
  • Cancer Blessings
  • What Cancer “Taught” Me
  • Overcoming the Shame of Anal Cancer
  • The Seven Phases of the Cancer Journey
  • Moving On After Cancer
  • Etc.

There will be tons more! This book will have tips, support, resources, advice and especially HOPE for those who are going through this cancer experience. There are references to God and faith. There will also be some humor sprinkled throughout!

Warm regards,

Angela G. Gentile

P.S. There is still time to contribute if you want to have your voice heard!

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Angela G. Gentile  MSW, RSW is a clinical social worker and author of the book, “Caring for a Husband with Dementia: The Ultimate Survival Guide”, “A Book About Burnout: One Social Worker’s Tale of Survival” and the “Dementia Caregiver Solutions” app for iPhone and iPad. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her husband and has two adult children. She is creator of the Facebook communities – “Aging Well for Women” as well as “Living Well With and After Cancer” For more information, visit: www.AngelaGGentile.com

 

 

 

 

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The Truth Is – Alternative Therapies Provide Nothing More than Placebo Effects (Book Review)

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Trick or Treatment by Singh & Ernst

Dr. Simon Singh and Professor Edzard Ernst team up in Trick or Treatment: Alternative Medicine on Trial (2008) to bust the myths of the effectiveness of some of the most popular complementary and alternative treatments. Ernst’s impressive occupational and education history make him far more than qualified to be the one to take on this task. He was formerly a clinical doctor and studied homeopathy. Singh has a Ph.D. in particle physics and is a New York Times bestselling author. Trick or Treatment was written in response to His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales’ request to have alternative treatments examined closely for their efficacy based on scientific testing. Ernst and Singh put together an impressive lineup of reasons why unorthodox and ancient treatments such as acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic and herbal medicine are mainly nothing more than a placebo and also come with risks.

This controversial stand on alternative treatments has me convinced, as I am a scientific-based kind of believer – especially when it comes to healthcare, risks and providing false hope. I am a cancer survivor and have done my due diligence of researching treatments and cures, both orthodox and integrative. I do sway sometimes into the “fantasy” and “wishful thinking” camp when it comes to some of the energy healing modalities, such as Spiritual, Reiki, Chakras and Pendulum (or dowsing) healing. I consider myself very open-minded, and if there are little costs and little risks involved, I am willing to give anything a try.

The book is quite repetitive on some points, mainly, that alternative therapies don’t work. It also seemed to be one big advertisement for St. John’s Wort, an herbal medicine that has been proven to treat mild to moderate depression. There was also some support for “fish oil” to combat inflammation in arthritis.

I liked the fact that Ernst has a history in homeopathy and he took the time to research many of the alternative and complementary therapies according to scientific-based evidence. Many of these therapies have been studied and he has dug up the dirt and given us a couple quick reference tools to refer to. For example, he has two pages of “Herbal Medicine Ratings” and cautions people that even though these are categorized as “natural” remedies, they are not always safe. He also strongly urges people to let their doctor know what herbs they are taking as they can interfere with pharmaceuticals. His second guide will be discussed below.

There are many references throughout the book giving examples of how people with cancer often seek alternative therapies (or at least are recommended by others to seek them). For example, the often-recommended “natural anti-cancer” treatment of laetrile (apricot pits) has been used and promoted since the nineteenth century. Due to scientific rigors, laetrile has since been labelled as “quackery” due to its ineffectiveness and risky side effects. Although this information is out there, people continue to use it to this day. This is true for many other alternative treatments.

The authors list ten culprits why these unproven and disproven treatments continue to be used, promoted and wrongfully touted as effective. It is an actual eye-opener, especially when we realize the power of the media, universities and alternative gurus such as Deepak Chopra and Dr. Andrew Weil.

There is an impressive “Rapid Guide to Alternative Therapies” which has about 35 different modalities covering many popular and not-so-popular techniques and gadgets people are using (e.g., crystals, magnets, special diets). The authors include a definition, background, evidence and conclusion and reassure the reader these therapies have been rigorously investigated against scientific evidence and meta-analyses where available.

This is a well-written book which has helped me open my eyes to the reasons why these alternative therapies are still around, despite the truth, that they are nothing more than placebos (and some come with risks that are rarely talked about). Placebos that are harmless offer nothing more than psychological benefits. Where there is belief and hope that something will work, it most likely will. That’s the power of the mind at work. If nothing else, it will provide the person with a sense of hope for the future, a feeling of wellness and a certain level of comfort that there is something “magical” at work. As long as there are little risks, little costs and big rewards, people will continue to seek out these treatments. Unfortunately there are some very expensive “treatments” as well, and charlatans and quacks are taking advantage of people when they are vulnerable.

Some people feel that doing something is better than doing nothing – as the placebo effect works in mysterious ways.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know the truth about alternative medicine and would rather put their efforts, resources and hope into reliable, scientific-based, effective medical treatments and cures.

The other book I read on this topic came up with the same conclusion about the placebo effect – Do You Believe in Magic? The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine by Paul A. Offit.

Angela G. Gentile

 

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Angela G. Gentile  MSW, RSW is a clinical social worker and author of the book, “Caring for a Husband with Dementia: The Ultimate Survival Guide”, “A Book About Burnout: One Social Worker’s Tale of Survival” and the “Dementia Caregiver Solutions” app for iPhone and iPad. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her husband and has two adult children. She is creator of the Facebook communities – “Aging Well for Women” as well as “Living Well With and After Cancer” For more information, visit: www.AngelaGGentile.com

Surviving and Thriving – Before, During and After an Anal Cancer Diagnosis (Book Review)

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Kicking Cancer in the Butt by Theresa Mayhew

4/5 Stars

Theresa Mayhew’s part memoir, part self-help book, “Kicking Cancer in the Butt: A Guide to Thriving in Spite of Anal Cancer” (2010) is an account of her experience with a rare form of cancer. She speaks highly of her involvement with the website and online community called “Blog for a Cure” and some of her female blogging friends also share parts of their experiences and advice. They have all been diagnosed with anal cancer.

Mayhew’s book is quite short, and there are lots of empty pages and white space (perhaps for notes?). The layout and formatting came with a couple of errors (such as a small gutter on the left page and page numbering format at the bottom suddenly switches at page 10.) All in all, 66 pages and a bigger font, makes for a quick read. I was able to complete it in two sittings.

Mayhew divides the book into three parts – Before (Diagnosis), During (Treatment) and After (Post-treatment). She comes from a spiritual background, called “Eckankar – Religion of the Light and Sound of God.” I had to look that one up and found out that this religion believes in karma and reincarnation. She also believes in and subscribes to non-traditional forms of healing such as “The Healing Codes” (another topic I had to look up.) She claims her spiritual and healing code practices “helped keep her in balance emotionally.” She also spoke of “MindMovies” and practicing “The Five Rites” which were all topics I was unfamiliar with.

Mayhew provides very basic information on anal cancer and a very long list of questions to ask your doctor (this list would take a long time to discuss!). She provides a list of things you may want to have on hand before your treatment starts, like ointments and baby wipes. There is a very short chapter on financial assistance.

In the first section of part two, “During”, she chronicles her own treatment, week by week, which included chemotherapy and radiation. She also includes some photographs to help the reader envision her and her experience. In this section of the book, her online blogging friends who also have cancer share some of their own experiences. Nova Sprick’s writing is very impressive throughout the book, and she shares some interesting concepts such as “Yoga Nidra” which means sleep yoga. I looked this up on YouTube and found some great relaxation guides (learned something else new!).

Mayhew and her friends at Blog for a Cure include all kinds of tips and terms, side effects, after effects and suggestions of how to navigate and cope with the diagnosis, treatment and how to “thrive” after the treatment of anal cancer. I wish they had talked more about the need for professional help in terms of depression and/or anxiety as I know this is a troublesome area for some (myself included).

The last pages of the book include a page “About the Author” and a page of “Resources.” It was an enjoyable read and I added many of my own notes, as I have been through anal cancer treatment myself. I tried to look up Mayhew via her website as noted in her “About the Author” section, but her page is no longer in service. I later found out that she passed away in 2011.

This book would be a good read and reference tool for anyone who has a diagnosis of anal cancer and it would also be of specific interest to those who are followers of Eckankar practices. Those who believe in God or a higher power would also find it helpful, as there are references to spiritual comfort and meaning throughout the book. Loved ones or caregivers would also benefit as it helps them understand what the person with anal cancer may be going through.

Angela G. Gentile

 

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Angela G. Gentile  MSW, RSW is a clinical social worker and author of the book, “Caring for a Husband with Dementia: The Ultimate Survival Guide”, “A Book About Burnout: One Social Worker’s Tale of Survival” and the “Dementia Caregiver Solutions” app for iPhone and iPad. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her husband and has two adult children. She is creator of the Facebook communities – “Aging Well for Women” as well as “Living Well With and After Cancer” For more information, visit: www.AngelaGGentile.com

 

 

 

A Holistic Wellness and Rehabilitation Program for Those Who Have Completed Cancer Treatment – Book Review

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“After Cancer Care: The Definitive Self-Care Guide to Getting and Staying Well for Patients After Cancer” (2015) by doctors Gerald Lemole, Pallav Mehta and Dwight McKee is based on the premise that cancer patients would benefit from a rehabilitation program same as cardiac patients. These doctors who work within an integrative care model argue that a well-designed and personalized program which includes exercise, nutrition and stress management would help those who have been treated for cancer live a better quality of life and help reduce the risk for relapses or recurrences. The body, mind and spirit are well-covered in this holistic approach to wellness after cancer.

Although the font was very small in the paperback I read, I was able to read it although I needed my reading glasses! Most people with cancer are aged over 50 so I was surprised to see such a small font.

The nutrition section talks about the use of coconut oil as a recommended choice for cooking. Even though the authors say coconut oil is a saturated fat, they still recommend it. They also do not recommend canola oil. This information is contradictory to what some Canadian dieticians are recommending now. The recipe section near the end of the book also has coconut oil as an alternate for olive oil. These recipes and the advice re: canola and coconut oils should be researched a bit more before making your own choice in what oils you use.

The book has some repetitive information, however, the repeats seem to stress some of the important points. On the other hand, it completely neglected some important topics (or there was very little information on) such as Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Mindfulness. The importance and benefits of journalling and writing were not stressed and it would have been nice to see a little more written about that.

The index is not as good as it could be. I found some key terms were missing such as cervical cancer and paillomavirus.

I would have loved to see a listing of “approved” complementary or supplemental treatments, services and modalities. There is a sprinkling of ideas throughout the book, but it would have been nice to have a chapter that explained each idea and the science around them when it comes to wellness and health. It would have also been helpful to see a listing of harmful modalities or treatments.

Chapter 7, “Avoiding Toxins”, was too unrealistic for me. One of the recommendations was to rid your house of your carpets. This is an extreme measure for those of us who have carpets, and it would be a very costly venture. Some of the advice such as using non-toxic cleaning supplies and avoiding toxins in your food (such as mercury in fish) are more realistic goals to achieve. This would have been a good place to add information about HPV and the vaccine.

Chapter 8, which comprises about a quarter of the book, focuses on 11 common types of cancers and the doctors share their “Cancer Protocols” on cancers such as breast, lung and prostate. The cancer I had, anal cancer, was not mentioned in the book, unfortunately.

Overall, it’s a well-edited and researched book with a lot of scientific references in the “Endnotes” section. The “Conclusion” is an excellent reference as it lists 28 points the doctors call “The Quick Hits.” A great book for anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer, is at or near completion of treatment, and is proactive in restoring, maintaining and maximizing his or her health.

Angela G. Gentile

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Angela G. Gentile  MSW, RSW is a clinical social worker and author of the book, “Caring for a Husband with Dementia: The Ultimate Survival Guide”, “A Book About Burnout: One Social Worker’s Tale of Survival” and the “Dementia Caregiver Solutions” app for iPhone and iPad. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her husband and has two adult children. She is creator of the Facebook communities – “Aging Well for Women” as well as “God, Cancer and Me.” For more information, visit: www.AngelaGGentile.com