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My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks
Cover of My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks
My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks
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Real-life advice from real-life teens Currently one million American teenagers live with a parent who is fighting cancer. It's a hard blow for those already navigating high school, preparing for...
Real-life advice from real-life teens Currently one million American teenagers live with a parent who is fighting cancer. It's a hard blow for those already navigating high school, preparing for...
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Description-

  • Real-life advice from real-life teens
    Currently one million American teenagers live with a parent who is fighting cancer. It's a hard blow for those already navigating high school, preparing for college, and becoming increasingly independent. My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks is the first book written especially for teens to help during this tough time.

    Author Maya Silver was 15 when her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001. She and her dad, Marc, have combined their family's personal experience with advice from dozens of medical professionals and real stories from 100 teens—all going through the same thing Maya did.

    In a highly designed, engaging style, this book gives practical guidance that includes:
    • how to talk about the diagnosis (and what does diagnosis even mean, anyway?)
    • the best outlets for stress (punching a wall is not a great one, but should it happen, there are instructions for a patch job)
    • how to deal with friends (especially one the ones with 'pity eyes')
    • whether to tell the teachers and guidance counselors and what they should know (how not to get embarrassed in class)
    • what happens in a therapy session and how to find a support group if you want one

    A special section for parents also gives tips on strategies for sharing the news, making sure your child doesn't become the parent, what to do if the outlook is grim, and tips for how to live life after cancer.

    My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks allows teens to see that they are not alone. That no matter how rough things get, they will get through this difficult time. That everything they're feeling is ok. Essays from Gilda Radner's "Gilda's Club" annual contest are an especially poignant and moving testimony of how other teens dealt with their family's situation.

    PRAISE FOR MY PARENT HAS CANCER AND IT REALLY SUCKS

    "Wisely crafted into a wonderfully warm, engaging and informative book that reads like a chat with a group of friends with helpful advice from the experts."
    Paula K. Rauch MD, Director of the Marjorie E. Korff Parenting At a Challenging Time Program

    "A must read for parents, kids, teachers and medical staff who know anyone with cancer. You will learn something on every page."
    Anna Gottlieb, MPA, Founder and CEO Gilda's Club Seattle

    "This book is a 'must have' for oncologists, cancer treatment centers and families with teenagers."
    Kathleen McCue, MA, LSW, CCLS, Director of the Children's Program at The Gathering Place, Cleveland, OH

    "My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks provides a much-needed toolkit for teens coping with a parent's cancer. In this honest and heart-felt guide, Marc Silver and his daughter, Maya, present direct, no-nonsense and helpful advice."
    Jane Saccaro, CEO of Camp Kesem, a camp for children who have a parent with cancer

    "Marc and Maya Silver have skillfully blended the voices of teens, parents and experts...This book is knowing, pragmatic, and attuned to the challenges of growing into one's self while having to attend to a parent's needs."
    Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., clinical psychologist and author of The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers

    "A valuable resource for teenagers and their families."
    Seth Berkowitz, LCSW, CCLS, Patient Services Manager, Southern Florida Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    From the Introduction:

    We hope that the voices in this book create a community of support to give you strength as you deal with your parent's cancer. Because if you can learn from the 20/20 hindsight and mistakes of others who've been there, you'll be better prepared to handle the situations you will encounter.

    A parent's cancer is uncharted territory, and the uncertainty about what's happening and what's next can be nerve-racking. "Among the things I wish I was told with more clarity is: here's what your mom's going to be going through, here's what you need to do, what you need to be aware of..." said Aaron, who was a teen when his mom had breast cancer. This book doesn't have all the answers, but it will provide you with an idea of what might be going on-and how to get the information you need if your parents aren't good communicators.

    One of the most important things we learned from interviewing so many teens—and one of the themes of this guide—is that everyone deals with their parent's cancer differently. Some people cope just fine. Others have a very hard time. A lot depends on the nature of the diagnosis. Is your parent facing a cancer that has a good treatment success rate? Or is the cancer a difficult one to treat?

    Your reaction also depends on you. Personalities differ. Some teens want lots and lots of information. Others want the bare minimum. Some worry a great deal. Others feel confident that everything will be okay. Some lose their focus at school and see grades slip. Others hyper-focus on keeping grades up. Some want to talk about it all. Others don't. And that's okay.

    One thing we can all agree on, though, is that cancer sucks. For everyone involved. We hope this book will help you cope in the months and years ahead.

    As hard as times may get, you will make it through. Take it from Bailee Richardson, who was twelve when her mom was diagnosed: "Stay strong. Everything's going to work itself out in the end. Don't ever let it get the best of you."

    Finally, here are two rules for this book:

    Rule 1: Teens, don't feel guilty. You have your own way of coping, and you don't have to behave like any other teen in this book.

    Rule 2: Parents, do not use the book to make your teen talk if he or she doesn't want to talk.

    Read on!

Table of Contents-

  • CONTENTS

    Introduction

    Chapter 1 THE NEWS

    1.1 A Hunch

    1.2 Why Your Parents Told You the Way They Did

    1.3 Why You Reacted the Way You Did

    1.4 A Charged Word

    Chapter 2 CANCER 101

    2.1 The Big Question Marks

    2.2 Treatments and Their Side Effects

    2.3 The Cure: Why Isn't There One Yet?

    2.4 True or False

    2.5 Tell Me More!

    Chapter 3 LET'S TALK: HOW TO KEEP YOUR FAMILY COMMUNICATION LINES WIDE OPEN

    3.1 How Much Do You Want to Know?

    3.2 What If You're Out of the Loop?

    3.3 Reality Check: How Far in the Know Can You Go?

    3.4 How to Keep Talking...Even If It's in Writing

    Chapter 4 HOW THINGS WILL CHANGE DURING CANCER

    4.1 Teenage Change Is Normal!

    4.2 Cancer Sneaking Up on You

    4.3 Changes to Expect

    4.4 Changes in Your Parent

    4.5 Siblings

    Chapter 5 PARENTIFICATION

    5.1 How It Happens

    5.2 Catching a Break

    5.3 Silence Isn't Golden

    5.4 The Big Picture

    Chapter 6 DEALING WITH STRESS

    6.1 How to Beat the Cancer Blues

    6.2 Exploring the Options

    Chapter 7 RISKY BUSINESS

    7.1 Former Bad Boys: Gary and Jose Turn It Around

    7.2 Former Bad Girls: True Confessions

    Chapter 8 THE POWER (AND THE LIMITS) OF OPTIMISM AND FAITH

    8.1 Think Positive

    8.2 Faith and Spirituality

    Chapter 9 THE BENEFIT OF FRIENDS

    9.1 What You Do (and Don't) Want from Your Friends

    9.2 Girls Are from Mercury, Boys Are from Neptune

    9.3 Accepting Help

    9.4 Have Fun with Your Friends If You Can

    9.5 But Can They Still Come Over?

    9.6 Social Networks: Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and More

    9.7 Dealing with Friend Problems

    9.8 New Friends

    Chapter 10 SCHOOL DAZE

    10.1 School = More Stress or a Place to Escape?

    10.2 To Announce or Not to Announce

    10.3 Telling the School

    10.4 How the School Can Help

    10.5 Dilemmas, Dilemmas

    10.6 Keeping Grades Up

    10.7 The Need to Achieve

    10.8 Pulling a Bueller

    Chapter 11 SEEKING SUPPORT

    11.1 The Adult Who Knows You

    11.2 Seeing a Therapist

    11.3 Group Support

    Chapter 12 FACING A DIRE PROGNOSIS

    12.1 Facing the News

    12.2 How Long Do We Have?

    12.3 When the Bad News Isn't All Bad

    12.4 Finding Hope When Things Seem Hopeless

    12.5 Living for the Moment

    12.6 A Different Kind of Hope

    12.7 What If You Feel Closer to the Parent with Cancer?

    12.8 Avoidance

    12.9 Making Memories

    Chapter 13 LOSING A PARENT TO CANCER

    13.1 A Dictionary of Emotions

    13.2 Mourning Doesn't Come with an Expiration Date

    13.3 All Kinds of Questions

    13.4 Life Goes On

    13.5 Dealing with Your Emotions

    13.6 School Can Be a Comfort...or a Pain

    13.7 Music Can Make It Better

    13.8 Staying Connected

    Chapter 14 THE NEW NORMAL: LIFE AFTER CANCER

    14.1 What Happens Now?

    14.2 New Normal Hiccups and Surprises

    14.3 Struggling in the Aftermath

    14.4 Becoming an Activist

    14.5 Same Old You

    14.6 Silver Linings

    Appendix A THE CAMP FOR KIDS COPING WITH A...

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    February 15, 2013
    A guide for teens who have a parent with cancer is chock-full of information and advice but sometimes misses the mark. The authors, the husband and now-adult daughter of a woman who had cancer, include advice and personal experience from social workers, teens whose parents have or have had cancer, and adults who were teens when their parents were diagnosed. One chapter explicates common cancer terms; others offer advice for finding support, communicating with family and friends, and dealing with the loss of a parent. Although the many voices offer a variety of perspectives, the book assumes a middle-class, suburban readership: All families are assumed to have cars, and a chapter on "parentification" assumes that any teen taking on a parental role after a parent's diagnosis will be doing so for the first time. Gender-based assumptions seem more harmful than helpful (why separate the "Risky Business" chapter into stories about "Bad Boys" and "Bad Girls" when the behaviors described are all very similar?), and a few of the bits of helpful advice are downright baffling ("Don't spend [your time with a dying parent] down in the dumps. You don't want to have false hope. Hope is an important thing to have"). There are some helpful ideas and anecdotes here, but it's not for every teen. (Nonfiction. 12-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2013

    Gr 7 Up-This well-organized handbook aims to guide teens through the experience of having an ill parent. Offering "survival tips" from those who have experienced the ordeal firsthand and including "words of wisdom" from trained professionals, it provides honest, practical, and heartfelt advice. Short chapters include "Let's Talk: How to Keep Your Family Communication Lines Wide Open," "How Things Will Change During Cancer," "Dealing with Stress," "The Power (and the Limits) of Optimism and Faith," "Seeking Support," "Facing a Dire Prognosis," and "Losing a Parent to Cancer." Readers are reminded that "cancer doesn't follow rules" and can impact families of any background. The Silvers effectively provide guidance and insight for teens seeking the ability to cope so that "the new normal" (a term used to describe life after cancer) can be realized.-Kathryn Diman, Bass Harbor Memorial Library, Bernard, ME

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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