Doctor, What Should I Do?
September 27, 2006 – Marc Silver
Web Exclusive: Corporations Unite Against Cancer
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
Web Exclusive: What Parents Can Do
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
Web Exclusive: A Lion in the House
September 27, 2006 – Marc Silver
Multiple Myeloma & Leukemia
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
Coping
September 27, 2006 – Christopher Schultz
Legal Rights as a Survivor
September 27, 2006
Bookshelf
September 27, 2006 – Kathy LaTour
House Call
September 27, 2006 – Aman Buzdar
Mitigating Litigation
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
Cancer with a Known Cause
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
Cure Becomes Less Risky
September 27, 2006 – Alice McCarthy
Classifying & Clarifying MDS
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
When the Choice Is Not Cure
September 27, 2006 – Marc Silver
The Scoring System
September 27, 2006
Do Women Under 50 Need Mammograms?
September 27, 2006 – Beverly A. Caley
Watch It or Treat It?
September 27, 2006 – Beverly A. Caley
Sisterhood
September 27, 2006 – Jo Cavallo
Creating a Dragon Boat Team
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
Arms in Motion
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
Job-Searching Hints for Survivors
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
Working Through Caregiver Grief
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
Fatal Fibers
September 27, 2006 – Katy Human
People & Places
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
Back in Action After DCIS
September 27, 2006 – Nancy Reuben Greenfield
Getting the Care You Deserve
September 27, 2006 – Stacy Beller Stryer
Treatment Boost for MDS
September 27, 2006 – Alice McCarthy
Power to the Patient
September 27, 2006 – Marc Silver
In Situ Breast Cancer: Is It Really Cancer?
September 27, 2006 – Beverly A. Caley
The Shadow Survivors
September 27, 2006 – Jo Cavallo
Taming the Dragon
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
The Choice to Work
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
A Waste of Taste
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
A Cunning Predator
September 27, 2006 – Katy Human
Lessons Learned
September 27, 2006 – Cole A. Giller, MD PhD
Letters from Our Readers
September 27, 2006
A Worry-Free Way to Support Nonprofits?
September 27, 2006 – Emma Johnson
Message from the Editor
September 27, 2006
Doctor, What Should I Do?
September 27, 2006 – Marc Silver
Web Exclusive: Corporations Unite Against Cancer
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
Web Exclusive: What Parents Can Do
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
Web Exclusive: A Lion in the House
September 27, 2006 – Marc Silver
Multiple Myeloma & Leukemia
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
Coping
September 27, 2006 – Christopher Schultz
Legal Rights as a Survivor
September 27, 2006
Currently Viewing
Bookshelf
September 27, 2006 – Kathy LaTour
Mitigating Litigation
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
Cancer with a Known Cause
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
Cure Becomes Less Risky
September 27, 2006 – Alice McCarthy
Classifying & Clarifying MDS
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
When the Choice Is Not Cure
September 27, 2006 – Marc Silver
The Scoring System
September 27, 2006
Do Women Under 50 Need Mammograms?
September 27, 2006 – Beverly A. Caley
Watch It or Treat It?
September 27, 2006 – Beverly A. Caley
Sisterhood
September 27, 2006 – Jo Cavallo
Creating a Dragon Boat Team
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
Arms in Motion
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
Job-Searching Hints for Survivors
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
Working Through Caregiver Grief
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
Fatal Fibers
September 27, 2006 – Katy Human
People & Places
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
Back in Action After DCIS
September 27, 2006 – Nancy Reuben Greenfield
Getting the Care You Deserve
September 27, 2006 – Stacy Beller Stryer
Treatment Boost for MDS
September 27, 2006 – Alice McCarthy
Power to the Patient
September 27, 2006 – Marc Silver
In Situ Breast Cancer: Is It Really Cancer?
September 27, 2006 – Beverly A. Caley
The Shadow Survivors
September 27, 2006 – Jo Cavallo
Taming the Dragon
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
The Choice to Work
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
A Waste of Taste
September 27, 2006 – Elizabeth Whittington
A Cunning Predator
September 27, 2006 – Katy Human
Lessons Learned
September 27, 2006 – Cole A. Giller, MD PhD
Letters from Our Readers
September 27, 2006
A Worry-Free Way to Support Nonprofits?
September 27, 2006 – Emma Johnson
Message from the Editor
September 27, 2006

Bookshelf

After Cancer Treatment is more than a plan to get back on your feet—it gives specifics on what to expect and how to cope with common issues of survivorship. 

BY Kathy LaTour
PUBLISHED September 27, 2006

After Cancer Treatment: Heal Faster, Better, Stronger
[Johns Hopkins Press, October 2006]
By Julie K. Silver, MD

I generally don’t review books that are not out yet, but this is one you need to get ready for. Julie Silver, MD, is a physiatrist, a medical professional in the field of rehabilitation, not a subspecialty we hear about very often since there are only 8,000 in the United States. In addition, Dr. Silver, in her position as medical director of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital’s outpatient center in Framingham, Massachusetts, directs a program called RESTORE that helps cancer patients heal physically. 

Because of her very specialized background, Dr. Silver was well equipped to create a health plan when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 38. But there isn’t the tone of “this is how a professional would do it.” In fact, I applaud her willingness to show us how debilitated she was. Early on in the book she describes getting ready to go back to work and how she ceremonially gave her old clothes to a charity and bought new clothes to signify her new life after cancer. (Most women I know call that retail therapy, but her definition works too.) But she admits it did little to conceal how she felt as she returned to work—bald, gaunt, tired, not eating well and in pain from neuropathy in her hands and feet. We can all identify.

She recognized that returning from cancer meant building a new life based on some losses and some gains, quoting philosopher Joseph Campbell: “We must be willing to give up the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

In creating her post-cancer life, Dr. Silver had skills most cancer survivors don’t—training and personal experience with patients about how to mindfully create a plan to heal. As she began creating her own plan, she became aware that it was a plan that could be used by all cancer patients, prompting her to create a holistic approach to healing in this book. But After Cancer Treatment is more than a plan to get back on your feet. It gives specifics on what to expect and how to cope with common issues of survivorship.

Not surprisingly, the book begins with understanding what has happened to your body as a result of treatment. But Dr. Silver is not one to accept those who use the old “I’m taking it one day at a time” line to allow no progress. She embraces planning and making goals toward healing that include the three areas she sees as critical: exercise, a healthy diet and proper rest.

Highlighting the benefits of exercise, Dr. Silver details how to build and grow a reasonable and helpful exercise regimen. She provides adaptations for medical problems, such as arthritis, diabetes and back pain, while explaining the differences between cardio training, strength training and flexibility. Moving on to nutrition, she breaks out carbs, proteins and fats, and explores some of the controversy around supplements and vitamins. She also has a section on ways to fight fatigue with food. The book also looks at issues such as pain, anxiety, spirituality, the ability to adjust to setbacks and maintaining hope for the future.

Dr. Silver does a wonderful job of looking at Western medicine as well as complementary medicine. Because of her training, she offers excellent descriptions of mind-body treatments with helpful tables that condense and define. I like that she understands that those who have gone through cancer have often opened a channel to accepting new approaches and definitions of being whole and happy. 

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