About the Book
When author Elaine Jesmer began to research a book about chemotherapy, she was surprised to discover that in various combinations, chemo is used not only as a standard of care for CANCER, but also as an important treatment for MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS, and for anyone who has had an ORGAN TRANSPLANT.
Of course, most people on chemo – or who have been through it and are still living with the side effects – don’t have the energy or the inclination to get involved in research, they’re busy saving their lives. The new universe they’re living in since their diagnosis, the one in which chemo plays such an important part to a patient, is almost overwhelming. It’s new, it’s complicated and it can be intimidating. Outright frightening, even.
That’s what makes “I’m Hot!…and I’m Bald!”: CHEMOTHERAPY FOR WINNERS, such a useful tool. It provides information chemo patients can use, to get through the process as easily as possible. It the information is contained between covers in a book they can fit in their purses or briefcases. And what it gives them are ways to cut the impact of the chemo on our lives, as the drugs work to control the disease. The people in the book have all been where the new patient is, and they’ve learned some important ways to make the best of it. They bring a lot of ideas patients can easily use. And just as importantly, the book talks about fear, and how to get rid of it.
The choices made at the back of the book reflect what the author, who was a patient, wanted to know when she was on chemo. For example, unless the patient has head and neck cancer, has anyone spoken about the effects of chemo on teeth? Or the complications all transplant recipients face, when they travel? It’s in the book.
There is a chapter about treatments coming down the road. About caretaking a cranky spouse without losing your mind. And Elaine walks you through a tour of the chemo room. There are definitions. And a listing of some of the very important, but lesser known organizations devoted to helping you get through this unwelcome interference in your life.
Life after chemo is also covered. And how politics touches your treatment options.
“If making the chemo process less complicated is possible, that’s what I’m trying to accomplish with this book,” says Jesmer. “The people who’ll read this book have lot going on in their lives. I wanted to write a book that encourages them to believe there’s a lot of life we don’t have to give up. Here’s how to handle it…”
The people whose stories are in the book have handled it. Or else they handled it and now they’re still trying to manage it. Some lives will always revolve around chemo until science produces something that works better. It helps to hear that others shared your experience, and can give you tips on how to make it easier on yourself.
“I promise everybody who reads the book that they’ll find out something they wouldn’t have known, if they hadn’t read it there,” says Jesmer. “There’s at least one new thing they can use RIGHT NOW! That’s what makes it a worthwhile read.””