Today I went on to Amazon and I typed in “Cancer Carer” and I found one book. The biggest online book store in the world and I found one book on being a cancer carer. I feel sad.
Because even though it’s the cancer patient that’s important, as a carer I know that to do the best I can do for my brother, I need to also focus on myself.
So why is there so little out there?
I once got told that when one person has cancer the whole family have it. And that couldn’t be more true.
Sure I will never understand what my brother goes through, how he feels, what it’s like to be him. But I do know what it’s like to watch someone who has cancer. I know what it’s like to be a sister and a carer.
And if you’re reading this and you’re a carer, I know what it’s like. I get you. And all I want you to get out of this post is to find one book. Whether it’s from here, or a search that begins from here. Something that will help you.
Today is not just about the person you’re helping, but you too.
There’s only two types of books that have helped me during all this. They have been either directly cancer related or more spirituality.
With cancer brings the enduring thoughts and sometimes endless thoughts of mortality. Sometimes the only way out of that is to read how other people have dealt with it. Or find a spiritual read (that isn’t complete woo-woo and leaves you confused af) to help settle the mind.
So below I’ve wrote some books that I’ve read personally that are still helping me. I hope they can help you too.
Reading about other peoples perspectives of cancer can be really hard. In fact we probably avoid it. I’m half way through one of these books and haven’t found the courage yet to finish it. But I know I will.
So if you pick any of these up and find it’s more than you can take. Put it down until it’s not. Find another one until you’re ready. There’s so many others out there that offer great perspectives.
I recently picked up the book and I put it down. I made a reminder to read it and I’ve decided to do that soon. But I can’t stress it enough. If you’re not ready for a book, don’t do it. It’s about working within your constraints and not about spending time trying to jump out of them. After all, we spend a lot more time uncomfortable than comfortable when we’re watching someone with cancer.
Here are three cancer specific reads. The first two I’ve read. The third I’ve heard is great. I’ve only heard the author speak and found her refreshing.
David was a psychiatrist that got diagnosed with cancer. So far, this book has the best ending I think I’ll ever read from any book. It’s looks at every aspect from food to the mind.
Ben is an amazing story to read (and the book I haven’t brought myself to finish yet). But what I have read (which is more than half) has been amazing. He looks at all different aspects of cancer from doctors, to you, to your mindset. He was diagnosed with the toughest brain tumour and survived. So it’s a great and honest story about courage.
He also offers yearly updates on the medical suggestions he makes. Being a patient he completely understands how it feels when you’re a patient and want to take control of your own health and not just let the doctors decide.
Kris is funny! She is also surviving with multiple tumours in the body. Her body got described as “swiss cheese”. As I said I haven’t read this, but I’ve listened to her speak. She’s calm, funny and gentle. The perfect mix.
If you’re looking for something more light hearted she’s definitely the one to go for.
Related Post: 3 Simple Spiritual Psychology Books For Summer
When my brother was first diagnosed the idea of reading a cancer book was a bit too much. So I went to spirituality.
Maybe you’re already into it or maybe you think it’s all a bit of BS. But it’s worth a try. Especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed with thoughts.
I have to admit I was already into it. But it’s a great way to look at your feelings differently.
Two of the books I have read below are great.
They’re easy to read. Pema is great at explaining things without leaving you feeling like you’re loopy.
We have enough on our minds without having to decipher what really is the ego etc etc. No. These books are not like that at all.
My uncle was diagnosed with a glioblastoma 20 years ago. He was given 6 months left and he survived.
He recommended this book to my brother and while I haven’t read it from front to cover, it’s where my uncle gets a lot of his advice for staying calm!
It talks about anxieties which is a pain point. Once someone has been diagnosed with cancer it’s hard not to imagine the worst right away.
This book gives great techniques about thinking too far in the future.
It’s a common sense guide. It’s straight forward and PACKED with techniques.