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Book Review: “Childhood Cancer”

Childhood Cancer: A Parent’s Guide to Solid Tumor Cancers by Honna Janes-Hodder & Nancy Keene
Community Health Education Ctr  General Collection (RC281.C4 J36 2002)

Reviewed By: Kebroon Abebayehu, Community Health Education Center Intern

This book serves as a great guide for parents or loved ones dealing with a child that is undergoing cancer. It gives real life scenarios and situations that parents experienced while in the hospital with their children. It also provides great tips and lessons that can be used to have a better and smoother experience. For example she shares, “My husband and I shared decision-making by keeping a joint medical journal. The days that my husband stayed at the hospital, he would write down all the medicines given, side effects, fever and vital signs. This way, I knew exactly what had been happening. Decisions were made as we traded shifts at our son’s bedside” (62 Janes-Hodder). This book covers topics anywhere from coping with procedures, dealing with family and friends after the diagnosis, forming partnerships with the medical team, to how to maintain your marriage while standing at the bedside of your loved ones. Although facing cancer with their son was a challenge the author mentions, “My children have been through cancer. I will not put them through the breakup of their family to boot” (61 Janes-Hodder).

Another important and extremely helpful tool is the section which covers partnership with the medical team. As a parent dealing with a child experiencing childhood cancer, you want the best hospital, the best medical provider and treatment for your child. It’s often hard to decide with hundreds of opinions coming towards you which path to take. This book gives you the key factors to look for to help you decide the best place to be while dealing with childhood cancer.

It’s also normal for parents to be anxious or curious about how their child’s treatment will go and how their child might cope with the treatment afterwards. This book does an excellent job of breaking down not only the different types of  treatments, but also side effects and risks based on the different drugs A-Z. In addition, it has a quick and easy section where it explains the procedures that may take place, so that you know what will happen, and can even prepare your child on levels you feel appropriate.

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