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Reviews: Praise for Cancer and Kids
Book Reviews, Blogger Reviews, and Individual Reader Reviews
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Midwest Book Review:

KidCentric Keys to Helping Kids Deal with Cancer

"Things I Wish I'D Known - Cancer and Kids" is made up of tips from experts and heart felt stories gleaned from interviews with people who have experienced surviving the emotional highs and lows of helping children deal with Cancer. The book is divided into five chapters which focus on helping the reader better understanding how to better deal with children facing the complexities of coping with cancer.

Topics considered in these chapters include communicating the basic information of cancer as a disease, what the child can expect as they move through the process, and the impact it will have on routine family activities. Cornwall also speaks specifically to issues when the child is the patient, and when a child loses a parent or a sibling to the disease. She also introduces the prospect of death and dying, and the process of grief in the case of the loss of a family member.

The format of the book is reader friendly concise, yet compressive, filled with suggestions for resources available for further reference, reading or study. She includes website suggestions, and information available from the American Cancer Society. Cornwall long association with the Cancer Action Network and the Cancer Support Community validate and affirm her creditability and sensibility to the issues covered in the book.

"Things I Wish I'D Known - Cancer and Kids" is an important resource took for parents, pediatric professionals, family counselors, and social workers.

A complimentary review copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.


     Richard R. Blake, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
     http://richardrblake.wordpress.com

California Bookwatch

Things I Wish I'd Known: Cancer and Kids is based on interviews with caregivers and provides anyone facing cancer in a child with the practical resources to help manage its daily impact.

One might anticipate this advice would occupy hundreds of pages; but one delight in [this book] is that it appears in a slim, pamphlet-like coverage of under sixty pages - which makes it much more digestible for those in crisis with short attention spans.

Case histories pair with caregiver interviews and experiences to share first-hand knowledge about the process of diagnosis, daily challenges, and resources to help children of different ages manage the disease in their lives.

Also included are keys to handling children who have lost a sibling or parent to cancer, and discussions of support during and after treatment. Any caregiver feeling overwhelmed by too much weighty information should look here for answers that are firmly grounded in real solutions.

California Bookwatch: June 2015, Independent Publishers Shelf
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief, Midwest Book Review

 

Movies have ratings...why not books?

FIve-Star Review (April 27, 2015):

Many may not know that cancer is the number one disease killer of children. In Things I Wish I'd Known: Cancer and Kids, author Deborah J. Cornwall skillfully informs readers of their options when it comes to kids who are facing cancer--whether the child is the patient or dealing with the effects of a family member who has been diagnosed.

Prudently arranged into easy to read and follow sections, Things I Wish I'd Known: Cancer and Kids, apprises readers of information (books, websites, and programs) that may be helpful to them in their current situation and the best way to manage their crisis. Each chapter depicts a key, which is a great analogy for the wisdom that is shared within the passage. These “keys of wisdom” help unlock the puzzlement of the often “what now” of the cancer stages--sharing the news, cancer treatment, and the aftermath.

Although this book is informative, it is not all facts and figures. Deborah J. Cornwall compiles firsthand accounts of individuals who have dealt with cancer, giving the book a more compassionate and heart-felt approach, helping readers feel more connected and less alone in their struggle. . . .

MaryLou

 

Donovan's Literary Services

Things I Wish I'd Known: Cancer and Kids is based on interviews with caregivers and provides anyone facing cancer in the family with the practical resources to help manage its daily impact on children.  

One might anticipate this advice would occupy hundreds of pages; but one delight in Things I Wish I'd Known: Cancer and Kids is that it appears in a slim, pamphlet-like coverage of under sixty pages - which makes it much more digestible for those in crisis with short attention spans. 

Case histories pair with caregiver interviews and experiences to share first-hand knowledge about the process of diagnosis, daily challenges, and resources to help children of different ages manage the disease in their lives, whether it be their own diagnosis, a sibling's, or another family member. 

Also included are keys to handling children who have lost a sibling or parent to cancer, and discussions of support during and after treatment. Many adults struggle with issues of how to communicate with kids about cancer. Things I Wish I'd Known: Cancer and Kids addresses common communication issues at different ages, tells how to manage the impact of such a discussion (whether it's the child's own diagnosis or someone else's), and is packed with resources for further reference - all given in language and approaches that are easy to understand and apply. 

Any caregiver feeling overwhelmed by too much weighty information should look here for answers that are firmly grounded in real solutions. 

Diane Donovan, Donovan Literary Services

 

(click on Storywraps box to go to the blog)
Wrap your mind and heart around a great story

 

Some books you never want to review, yet these books may be the very ones someone is longing to discover because they are in so much pain, with no answers.  Today's book I am unwrapping has vital information they may need just to get through today.  If someone you love - a spouse, an extended family member, or even your very own precious child, has been diagnosed with cancer where do you go to ask questions or even know what questions to ask?  Today's book may be just what you need for such a time as this.  By reading through it you may be granted those answers you are seeking thus easing the pain, and hopelessness you are now feeling. . . .
 

This book "Things I Wish I'd Known - Cancer And Kids" by Deborah J. Cornwall is small in stature but big in information.  The book gives you guidance from experts and testimonies from real live people who have survived the trauma and heartbreak of helping a child deal with cancer.  This book includes chapters on: straight up addressing the fact that cancer is present, how the child (and family) moves forward coping with that knowledge on a daily basis, and the impact emotionally it will have on everyone involved.  

 
The author gives advice about how to deal with issues when the child is the patient and how to minister to a child when his/her parent or sibling succumbs to this dreaded disease. She also bravely confronts the prospect of death and dying and the process of grief that will surely follow.  
 

The book is written from a standpoint of education and of love.  It is reader-friendly and includes resources for future reference. It is an excellence resource in itself and I know parents, pediatric professionals, family counsellors and social workers will find it very helpful to them.  I highly recommend, "Things I Wish I'd Known - Cancer And Kids."

     StoryWraps Blog, Marilyn Panton, Missisauga, Ontario


Bookworm for Kids (May 28, 2015)

Cancer is a topic which, unfortunately, most of us can relate to in one form or another. Although there's quite a bit of literature out there describing direct experiences with this disease or offering help for the person suffering, there's little information available for the care-takers of such people, and even less for the children involved. I was glad to find a book solely dedicated to this often forgotten group.

This is a help book, which delivers what it promises: assistance. Unlike many books, which try to give direct assistance through supportive writing, Ms. Cornwall helps guide parents/grandparents/and guardians to places, groups and communities where direct help is available. I found this extremely useful, since, so often, real help cannot be offered by general words. Experiences are personal. Problems are personal. And by directing individuals to real, existing support groups, Cornwall is helping exactly these issues to be addressed.

Another thing I found exceptional in this book was the fact that it's based on openness, honesty and love. So often parents try to protect children from the harsh world, when this is not only unnecessary but often leads to more troubles than it solves. Children adapt and deal with these type of situations often better than adults. And I appreciated Cornwall's view on how to deal with the younger generation.

Summed up, this is a great book, which all families touched by cancer should read. It doesn't try to sweeten the situation, but rather directs to real help and offers honest tips and opinions.

 

I'm super pleased to have the chance to introduce a very special woman and author. Deborah Cornwall has devoted her life to others by focusing on the fight with cancer. During her engagement, she noticed that although information for the cancer patients was readily available, there was a hole in information for their care-takers. She took it on herself to do something about this, and among other works, is now celebrating the release of her book, Things I Wish I'd Known: Cancer and Kids.

Welcome, Deborah! It's so nice to have you. . . . [To read the in-depth review and interview, click here.]

       T. Drecker, Blogger, Thursday May 28, 2015

 

About.Com: Parenting

Few experiences in life are as devastating as having a loved one receive a cancer diagnosis. Although we know on an intellectual level that many cancers are survivable, we still closely link cancer and death. Also, we know that many cancer treatments are difficult and debilitating. Finally, we know that a peaceful death may be elusive for some patients with terminal cancer. For all of these reasons, cancer is possibly the most dreaded of all diseases.

While it is important to learn about the type of cancer your family is dealing with, it is also helpful to get advice about how to help your family. One resource that may be helpful is Things I Wish I'd Known: Cancer and Kids by Deborah J. Cornwall. . . .

 

 

Individual Reader Reviews

Deborah has managed to exceed her prior achievement in this, her second book on cancer caregiving. As a mother who has lost a son to cancer, I can sincerely say I wish this book was written years ago; I would have lapped up every word. There were very few resources available to caregivers when I was going through the treatment and dying process with my son. Yet even in today’s age of technology, when we’re overloaded with digital resources, this book stands out by covering all the important issues surrounding childhood cancer caregiving in a compact, thorough, straight-forward way. Her gentle way of delivering a tough message will surely benefit many caregivers who find themselves in this challenging role.

Karen Irwin, Caregiver and Project Coordinator, Cancer Knowledge Network
(Produced by Multimed Inc., publishers of Current Oncology)

 

Building on her excellent book, Things I Wish I’d Known: Cancer Caregivers Speak Out, Deborah Cornwall has written a follow-up volume for patients and caregivers who are confronting issues related to the impact of cancer on children.

Once again her narratives deeply engage you in the physical, mental, and emotional toll of the cancer experience while offering testimony  to the exceptional power, love, and caring that communications with family and friends can inspire all along the way. In the process she builds a strong, convincing case for appropriate, sensitive engagement of children throughout the cancer journey. In addition, by referencing in each chapter the considerable resources available for further support, Cornwall brings to both family and professional caregivers a range of outstanding tools that can guide us to achieve the power and privilege of being partners in care.

Jim Conway, Adjunct Lecturer, Harvard School of Public Health;
former Chief Operating Officer, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and
former Assistant Director for Patient Services, Boston Children's Hospital

 

Through her book, "Things I'd Wish I'd Known: Cancer & Kids" Deborah Cornwall succinctly & compassionately provides what many parents & families seek as they are faced with a diagnosis of cancer in the family: relevant, credible & helpful information and resources on how to support & communicate with their children. The many relatable stories of families dealing with cancer throughout Cornwall's book also inspire hope & allow families reading to see that they are not alone in what they are experiencing.

Linda Maerov MSW, LICSW, MBA
Oncology Social Worker, Dana Farber Cancer Institute &
Facilitator of "Kid Support" at the Cancer Support Community MA South Shore

 

As a parent, one of the most difficult days of my life was the day I learned my 18-year-old son had cancer. That day and the following weeks and months were all a blur of doctor visits, consults, and research, followed by surgery and radiation treatments.

I wish we had had access to a book like Things I Wish I’d Known: Cancer and Kids at the time. It provides a clear read and helpful information in one place. When you're running from one doctor's office and hospital to another and still trying to maintain some type of normal life for the rest of your family, this book should be in your pocket or bag.

William T. Sherry, Michael’s Father and
Member, Board of Directors, American Cancer Society New England

 

No matter what the age of your child, this book will be an invaluable tool to help both parents and children cope with the devastating diagnosis of cancer.   It is a small book but with a mighty message of hope, perseverance, and strength which can help families navigate the rough currents of cancer.    Thank you, Deborah, for creating this valuable resource.

Kathleen M. Bond (James' Wife and Caregiver)

 

This book definitely fills a need when cancer hits a family with children. As I read, I found myself underlining point after point that would have helped both my own family members and the many patients and caregivers whom I’ve supported at the American Cancer Society’s AstraZeneca Hope Lodge Center. Regardless of children’s ages, Cornwall offers powerful guidance about how to handle communications and treatment issues with children, how to involve them in contributing to a loved one’s well-being and caregiving, and where to find vital help and resources along the way.

Barbara Davis, AstraZeneca Hope Lodge Center (Boston) Advisory Board

 

Things I Wish I’d Known: Cancer and Kids directly addresses children’s darkest fears, which are heightened by confrontation with cancer – that people will leave them, that their needs are not a priority, that adults cannot be trusted, and that they are possibly defective or unlovable. Thankfully, Deborah J. Cornwall mindfully distills and lovingly maps out age-appropriate guidelines to support children in this difficult journey.

Mary M. Coogan, MFA, Psy.D.
Psychotherapist, Artist, Educator

 

Amazon Reader Reviews

Blends Professional Guidance with Expertise of . . . Parents
By Phoebe Souza, July 21, 2015

As a clinical social worker in an oncology setting, I found “Things I Wish I'd Known: Cancer and Kids” to be an engaging and compact guide for helping caregivers support children dealing with cancer, either with their own diagnosis, or of someone they love. The book blends professional guidance with the expertise of other parents, sharing experiences in their own words. This is a great resource for families navigating a cancer diagnosis and emphasizes the importance of honest, open, and developmentally appropriate information to include children in a family’s experience of illness. The clear layout allows caregivers to find pertinent information, and the bolded themes help emphasize important points that provide guidance on how to support children. Overall, this book is a helpful introduction to navigating children’s particular challenges with cancer, and provides a good reference section for additional resources and support for families.
 
An outstanding resource!! A must read!!
By Harry Weis, July 9, 2015
 
Simply outstanding!! An excellent resource about cancer and kids that is well researched, organized and formatted. The quotes from those with actual experiences are incredibly helpful. Bravo!!

Thin book about the profound subject
By Denis Vukosav TOP 100 REVIEWER, June 30, 2015

 
‘Things I Wish I'd Known’ written by Deborah J. Cornwall is a thin book about the profound subject – made for parents and other children caregivers, the book speaks about the children diagnosed with cancer.

The author - Deborah J. Cornwall - is a person who survived breast cancer, therefore with full right can speak about the cancer, patients and their caregivers. Working as volunteer with the American Cancer Society and its Cancer Action Network since 1994, Cornwall worked as speaker in front of media, on various levels - local, regional and national. . . .

Cornwall speaks about the children, their parents or relatives who are diagnosed with cancer – she emphasizes the importance of love and openness, she speaks against lying to children, against creating false information that may be even more harmful for kids who are fighting this difficult battle.

Though short in its scope, this valuable work manages to offer numerous advices. And though some things may sound simple or as common sense, only when they are discussed from the perspective of deathly illness their context becomes clearer. Therefore, either you found yourself in such situation or know someone else - my high recommendations for ‘Things I Wish I'd Known’ written by Deborah J. Cornwall.

I was given a copy of this book by the author for the purpose of unbiased review, while all the presented information is based on my impressions.
 
A Small Book Packed Full of Information
ByTonja Drecker, June 1, 2015

Cancer is a topic which, unfortunately, most of us can relate to in one form or another. Although there's quite a bit of literature out there describing direct experiences with this disease or offering help for the person suffering, there's little information available for the care-takers of such people, and even less for the children involved. I was glad to find a book solely dedicated to this often forgotten group.

This is a help book, which delivers what it promises: assistance. Unlike many books, which try to give direct assistance through supportive writing, Ms. Cornwall helps guide parents/grandparents/and guardians to places, groups and communities where direct help is available. I found this extremely useful, since, so often, real help cannot be offered by general words. Experiences are personal. Problems are personal. And by directing individuals to real, existing support groups, Cornwall is helping exactly these issues to be addressed.

Another thing I found exceptional in this book was the fact that it's based on openness, honesty and love. So often parents try to protect children from the harsh world, when this is not only unnecessary but often leads to more troubles than it solves. Children adapt and deal with these type of situations often better than adults. And I appreciated Cornwall's view on how to deal with the younger generation.

Summed up, this is a great book, which all families touched by cancer should read. It doesn't try to sweeten the situation, but rather directs to real help and offers honest tips and opinions.

An Excellent Resource
By Erika Borsos "pepper flower," VINE VOICE on May 5, 2015

 
Deborah J. Cornwall takes a difficult and sensitive subject and conveys much needed information in a clear, concise, compassionate manner. This is a fine resource for helping families to cope. It is a great guide to help them live through this highly threatening disease, its treatment and the emotional impact on all members of the family. The author deals with complex issues, such as the initial diagnosis, the impact on one's personal life both within the family structure as well as with friends and school, the possibility of a failed outcome which means the possibility of death, the need for strong pain management and its unintended consequences, side effects. The story which stood out most for me was where the daughter-in-law cared for her husband's father at home while he was dying and how she coached her two children ages eight and five, through helping their grandfather die with dignity. A hospice worker helped the children create a memory box and special windmill. The children placed Grandpa's pillow case into a plastic bag to keep his memory alive and fight over who gets to sleep with Grandpa.

The chapters are well organized and clearly written. The author breaks down the chapters as follows: Chapter One: Sharing the News, Chapter Two: Managing Cancer's Impact for Children, Chapter Three: When the Child is the Patient, Chapter Four: When Children Lose a Parent or Sibling to Cancer, and Chapter Five: Other Resources for Caregivers About Children. In the Preface, the author shares an acronym CHIN which stands for C- Control, H- Hope, I- Isolation, and N- Normalcy. The CHIN concepts are incorporated throughout the book to bring better understanding and management of dealing with the difficulties which arise with a cancer diagnosis.

One helpful feature in this book is that the main concepts or principles are boldly printed at the beginning of each chapter. The author then describes each concept and provides real life examples of interviews with families and children, which are printed in italics making it easy to read and differentiate from the author's own writing. For example in Chapter One - Sharing the News, the author placed six principles in bold print: Be Proactive, Tap Expert's Best Guidance, Consult with the Professional Care Team, Meet the Child's Needs Not Your Own, Level With and Engage Older Children, and Be Direct. Each principle is given a thorough explanation in a clear precise manner. The author also lists resource books and websites which support the principles she discusses. This book does an excellent job in helping those affected to cope and manage the complicated issues, emotions and behaviors which may be experienced by the caregiver, communicator or the children involved. The reviewer received a free copy of this book in exchange for this honest review.

Anyone interested in this subject is also recommended to view the documentary "A Lion in the House" which shows a six year journey of living with different cancer diagnoses by five extraordinary young people. The film looks at the children within the context of family, the hospital and their individualized treatment and how everyone affected by the disease copes. It shows meetings with doctors, coping with insurance coverage, nurses providing treatments, the difficulty of making decisions related to care and treatment. It is a heart wrenching film but highly inspiring and hopeful as well.
 
A manual for those suffering cancer
 
This book "Things I Wish I'd Known - Cancer And Kids" by Deborah J. Cornwall is small in stature but big in information. The book gives you guidance from experts and testimonies from real live people who have survived the trauma and heartbreak of helping a child deal with cancer. This book includes chapters on: straight up addressing the fact that cancer is present, how the child (and family) moves forward coping with that knowledge on a daily basis, and the impact emotionally it will have on everyone involved.

The author gives advice about how to deal with issues when the child is the patient and how to minister to a child when his/her parent or sibling succumbs to this dreaded disease. She also bravely confronts the prospect of death and dying and the process of grief that will surely follow.

The book is written from a standpoint of education and of love. It is reader-friendly and includes resources for future reference. It is an excellence resource in itself and I know parents, pediatric professionals, family counsellors and social workers will find it very helpful to them. I highly recommend, "Things I Wish I'd Known - Cancer And Kids."
 
 
How to React to Cancer Issues in Families
By Rebecca of Amazon "The Rebecca Review" HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE, May 2, 2015
 
Cancer is a nightmare that just won't go away. So what do you do when cancer affects your own family. Deborah J. Cornwall gives very good advice about issues caregivers have to deal with. She also explains how you can break the bad news to kids gently when a parent or sibling has cancer. There are also plenty of resources so you can get extra help and understanding about a cancer diagnosis. The book and website recommendations make the book practical and helpful.

There is also some information on what to say to a child who has survivor guilt.

There was only one thing I disagreed with and that is the comment that "mourning never ends." I think people are able to come to terms with loss and to move on in life after tragedy has struck. Yes there is a time of mourning and I experienced that when my dad died of cancer. But I also came to a peaceful place of acceptance.

This book also does not deal with the spiritual aspects of death. When kids start asking what happens after death this book does not have any answers. But otherwise it is a good book for anyone dealing with cancer. Mostly this will be read by caregivers and parents.

Before I read this book I had never thought about all the issues children have to deal with when they or someone they love is dealing with cancer. I've only dealt with cancer as an adult so I'm glad I read this book as it gave me a broader perspective.

The Rebecca Review
 
 
When a family member is attacked by Cancer, they all need help and understanding.
By J. Guild, TOP 1000 REVIEWER, April 11, 2015
 
This is a small book but it is loaded with help and references for any family that is experiencing the trauma of Cancer, whether that Cancer is attacacking a child, siblings, parents or others. It has many examples the author has come into contasct with from her many years associated with the American Cancer Society and its Cancer Action Network as a volunteer leader since 1994. . . .

Cancer affects everyone in the family; everyone needs all the help in dealing with it, and this small,easily read, orderly arranged, and understood book,will be a great help.
 
 
Things You Must Get To Know Quickly!
 
Cornwall's book is excellent advice for families who must cope with a difficult diagnosis. The author advises caregivers to be pro-active, seek the advice of experts and meet the needs of individual family members.

Family members and caregivers should seek out professional resources, maintain normalcy in the household and ask for household participation in the patient's ongoing care. There are times when family members must acclimate to "a new normal" once a cancer diagnosis is apparent.

"Things I Wish I'd Known" by Cornwall is an excellent book which addresses some of the most difficult issues families confront once a cancer diagnosis has been made. There are other support services for caregivers like Camp Kesem, Camp Sunshine and Magical Moon Foundation. Overall, this book is very helpful in bringing a rational approach to a situation ripe with fear and panic.
 
 
Very Useful!
By drebbles, TOP 1000 REVIEWER, VINE VOICEApril 8, 2015
 
Cancer is hard to deal with for all involved - the person who has the cancer and his/her family. It is even harder to deal with when children are involved whether the child has cancer or a family member does. “Things I Wish I'd Known: Cancer and Kids” has useful advice for helping children cope when cancer strikes a family.

Although “Things I Wish I'd Known: Cancer and Kids” is a slim book, it is packed with useful information. There are five chapters in the book: Sharing the News; Managing Cancer’s Impact for Children; When the Child is the Patient; When Children Lose a Parent or Sibling to Cancer; and Other Resources for Caregivers Concerned About Children. Each chapter gives advice, tidbits from victims of cancer or their family members, tips from experts, and a list of other resources. The book reaches out to cancer victims, their spouses, children, and other family members. One of the things I really like is that the book is aimed at children of all ages- from the very young to adult children watching a parent deal with cancer. While the book does deal with the loss of children from cancer, it is not sad. In fact I found uplifting at times.

“Things I Wish I'd Known: Cancer and Kids” is a very useful tool in helping children and parents deal with cancer. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
 
 
'Meet the child's needs, not your own'
 
 
Deborah J. Cornwall is a breast cancer survivor and advocate on behalf of cancer patients and their caregivers. Allied with the American Cancer Society and its Cancer Action Network as a volunteer leader since 1994, she has risen in the `ranks' as one of the most sought after speakers and writers about that disease everyone wants to discussing whispers - CANCER! This is her second book on offering advice to cancer patients and more specifically those who care for cancer patients. Her first book was `Things I Wish I'd Known: Cancer Caregivers Speak Out' and now her second book `Things I Wish I'd Known: Cancer and Kids' offers guidance to on how to help them understand the impact of cancer on their and their families' lives and how to engage children in the caregiving process in age-appropriate ways. She is the Managing Director of The Corlund Group LLC.

Deborah's frank yet gentle manner of writing makes obvious her `compleat picture' of the cancer situation. She discusses considerable child psychology in the way she instructs parents and caregivers to involve children in the process of caring for the cancer patient. Honest reigns. Her book is divided into telling sections: Sharing the news; Managing cancer's impact for children; When the child is the patient; When children lose a parent or sibling to cancer; and other resources for caregivers concerned about children.

This little book is short but rich in advice offered in a most caring manner. Much of what Deborah has to say about cancer and children is common sense to many, but until someone (like Deborah) puts the ideas in context, outlining all aspects of the atmosphere the diagnosis of cancer creates, the thought processes are aimless. A very rich little book from one who knows.
 
 
The Book to Read when Cancer Occurs in Families
 
 
This thin book carries a powerful impact. Designed to reach parents, guardians, and other caregivers, it addresses the topics of children diagnosed with cancer; children whose parents or guardians are diagnosed with cancer; and children whose siblings are diagnosed. The key in any case is openness, honesty, and love; children who are given no information will create false imaginings which may well be even more negative than the facts.

I reviewed a print copy generously provided by the author via The Cadence Group.

 

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