A Series of Catastrophes and Miracles

Author: Mary Elizabeth Williams
Publisher: National Geographic Books
ISBN: 1426216343
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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A wry, witty account of what it is like to face death—and be restored to life. After being diagnosed in her early 40s with metastatic melanoma—a "rapidly fatal" form of cancer—journalist and mother of two Mary Elizabeth Williams finds herself in a race against the clock. She takes a once-in-a-lifetime chance and joins a clinical trial for immunotherapy, a revolutionary drug regimen that trains the body to vanquish malignant cells. Astonishingly, her cancer disappears entirely in just a few weeks. But at the same time, her best friend embarks on a cancer journey of her own—with very different results. Williams's experiences as a patient and a medical test subject reveal with stark honesty what it takes to weather disease, the extraordinary new developments that are rewriting the rules of science—and the healing power of human connection.

Gimme Shelter

Author: Mary Elizabeth Williams
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781416557166
Format: PDF, Kindle
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"Of course I want a home," writes Mary Elizabeth Williams, "I'm American." Gimme Shelter is the first book to reveal how this primal desire, "encoded into our cultural DNA," drove our nation to extremes, from the heights of an unprecedented housing boom to the depths of an unparalleled crash. As a writer and parent in New York City, Williams is careful to ground her real-estate dreams in the reality of her middle-class bank account. Yet as a person who knows no other way to fall in love than at first sight, her relationship with the nation's most daunting housing market is a passionate one. Williams's house-hunting fantasy quickly morphs into a test of endurance, as her search for a place to live and a mortgage she can afford stretches into a three-year odyssey that takes her to the farthest reaches of the boroughs and the limits of her own patience. "Welcome to the tracks," she declares at the outset of yet another weekend tour of blindingly bad, wildly overpriced properties. "Let's go to the wrong side of them, shall we?" As her own quest unfolds, Williams simultaneously reports on the housing markets nationwide. Friends and family members grapple with real estate agents and lenders, neighborhood and quality-of-life issues, all the while voicing common concerns, as expressed by this Maryland working parent of three: "The market was so hot, there were no houses. We looked for years at places the owners wouldn't even clean, let alone fix up." How frustrating is the process? Williams likens it to hearing "the opening bars of a song you think is 'Super Freak.' And then it turns out to be 'U Can't Touch This.'" Told in an engaging blend of factfinding and memoir, Gimme Shelter charts the course of the real estate bubble as it floated ever upward, not with faceless numbers and documents but with the details of countless personal stories -- about the undeniable urge to put down roots and the lengths to which we'll go to find our way home.

The Unstoppable Miracle Girl

Author: Denise Cuddeback
Publisher: AuthorHouse
ISBN: 148174819X
Format: PDF
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Denise Cuddeback was living the rather simple life of a wife, mother, and childcare provider. She’s seen love – like that in the eyes of her two young children – and loss – at the unexpected passing of her father. But, for thirty-six years, her life had been more or less what one would expect. Just days after that birthday, though, everything would be challenged. Love, friendship, faith, and a desire to live... could it be enough to see her through such a terrible diagnosis?

Melanoma

Author: David L. Stanley
Publisher: McGann Publishing LLC
ISBN: 9780985963668
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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With "Melanoma: It Started with a Freckle", David L. Stanley invites you to join him on an inside tour of his cancer. You'll travel with Stanley from the dimly lit and elegantly decorated office of the dermatologist to the fluorescent glare of the operating room theater and back to the workplace as he faces up to melanoma, the only major cancer that has seen its incidence rise since 2000, with humor, humility, and a deep understanding of the disease borne of research and science. In a memoir that speaks to anyone who has bumped up against a major health scare, Stanley offers up an engaging primer on how to finesse a path through cancer, the boogeyman under everyone's bed, with gravity and wit and honor.

Back to Life

Author: Frank Sadowski
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780692401217
Format: PDF, Docs
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Back To Life: A Bladder Cancer Journey by Frank Sadowski is a first-person narrative covering the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment decisions, surgery and recovery of one man diagnosed with advanced bladder cancer in 2007. While doubtless of interest to bladder cancer patients, the book is written as an exciting adventure with many twists and turns that will appeal to all. While ultimately a story of survival, it carries strong themes of persistence, commitment, friendship and love. The frankness of the storytelling is skillfully offset with lighter touches and humor, and the story races to an unexpectedly heart-pounding ending. "As a Stage 4 melanoma survivor, I found myself deeply moved by - and profoundly grateful for - Frank Sadowski's honest and enlightening account of what it's really like inside the cancer experience. But more than that, simply as a reader, I was enthralled with his effortless gift for compelling storytelling. "Back to Life" is full of humor, suspense, and grit, a medical drama that brims with heart and soul." -- Mary Elizabeth Williams, staff writer at Salon.com and author of "Gimme Shelter" and "A Series of Catastrophes and Miracles: A True Story of Love, Science, and Cancer." From the foreword by Sia Daneshmand, M.D.: This is the first book of its kind. There is a paucity of public attention to this prevalent disease, and bladder cancer research is severely underfunded. Back to Life: A Bladder Cancer Journey highlights this important subject and encourages patients and physicians alike to understand the dilemma from the patient's perspective and to appreciate the anguish they go through following the initial consultation. It is important to know that patients can fully emerge from the initial difficult recovery period following a radical cystectomy to lead unrestricted, productive lives. Through this honest and moving account of his cancer journey, Frank shows us how this can be done. His story should prove enlightening and inspiring to patients grappling with illness and difficult treatment decisions, as well as to medical professionals and indeed to anyone with an interest in how persons facing profound challenges find it within themselves to cope wisely and courageously.

Love and Laughter in the Time of Chemotherapy

Author: Manjusha Pawagi
Publisher: Second Story Press
ISBN: 1772600466
Format: PDF, ePub
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Manjusha Pawagi, a successful family court judge, has written a not-so-typical memoir about her experience with cancer. Wryly funny and stubbornly hopeful, this is her quirky take on what it's like to face your own mortality when, to be honest, you thought you'd live forever. She describes how even the darkest moments of life can be made worse with roommates; details how much determination it takes to ignore the statistics; and answers the age-old question: what does it take to get a banana popsicle around here?

Whitewash

Author: Carey Gillam
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 1610918320
Format: PDF, Kindle
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"Reads like a mystery novel as Gillam skillfully uncovers Monsanto's secretive strategies."—Erin Brockovich "A damning picture...Gillam expertly covers a contentious front." —Publishers Weekly "A must-read." —Booklist "Hard-hitting, eye-opening narrative." —Kirkus It’s the herbicide on our dinner plates, a chemical so pervasive it’s in the air we breathe, our water, our soil, and even found increasingly in our own bodies. Known as Monsanto’s Roundup by consumers, and as glyphosate by scientists, the world’s most popular weed killer is used everywhere from backyard gardens to golf courses to millions of acres of farmland. For decades it’s been touted as safe enough to drink, but a growing body of evidence indicates just the opposite, with research tying the chemical to cancers and a host of other health threats. In Whitewash, veteran journalist Carey Gillam uncovers one of the most controversial stories in the history of food and agriculture, exposing new evidence of corporate influence. Gillam introduces readers to farm families devastated by cancers which they believe are caused by the chemical, and to scientists whose reputations have been smeared for publishing research that contradicted business interests. Readers learn about the arm-twisting of regulators who signed off on the chemical, echoing company assurances of safety even as they permitted higher residues of the herbicide in food and skipped compliance tests. And, in startling detail, Gillam reveals secret industry communications that pull back the curtain on corporate efforts to manipulate public perception. Whitewash is more than an exposé about the hazards of one chemical or even the influence of one company. It’s a story of power, politics, and the deadly consequences of putting corporate interests ahead of public safety.

Have You Heard the Nesting Bird

Author: Rita Gray
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 054410580X
Format: PDF, ePub
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In this nonfiction picture book, young readers learn just why the mother nesting bird stays quiet and still while sitting on her eggs. By an illustrator who has worked with Dreamworks Animation and Walt Disney Feature Animation. 15,000 first printing.

Lessons in Taxidermy

Author: Bee Lavender
Publisher: Akashic Books
ISBN: 1617750522
Format: PDF, Kindle
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“Bee Lavender is a fantastic writer. Her work is deep and personal, and I don’t think there are any places she’s scared to go.” —Michelle Tea, author of The Chelsea Whistle “Bee’s scrupulous, non-histrionic style is thrilling; it allows for some devastating emotional moments because the author comes by them honestly.” —Ayun Halliday, author of No Touch Monkey Diagnosed with cancer at age twelve and perilously pregnant at eighteen, surviving surgeries and violent accidents: sometimes you can't believe Bee Lavender is still alive; sometimes you think nothing could kill her. Lessons in Taxidermy is Lavender's fierce and expressive search for truth and an elusive sense of safety. This autobiographical tale is stark and resolved, but strangely euphoric, tying together moments and memories into a frantic, delicate, and often transcendently funny account of anguish and confusion, pain and poverty, isolation and illusion. While staying conscious of the particulars of her circumstances, Lavender frames her life in the context of history, traveling, landscape, and freak show culture. Lessons in Taxidermy is apocryphal, troubling, cathartic, and important.

Full Body Burden

Author: Kristen Iversen
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: 0307955648
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Full Body Burden is a haunting work of narrative nonfiction about a young woman, Kristen Iversen, growing up in a small Colorado town close to Rocky Flats, a secret nuclear weapons plant once designated "the most contaminated site in America." It's the story of a childhood and adolescence in the shadow of the Cold War, in a landscape at once startlingly beautiful and--unknown to those who lived there--tainted with invisible yet deadly particles of plutonium. It's also a book about the destructive power of secrets--both family and government. Her father's hidden liquor bottles, the strange cancers in children in the neighborhood, the truth about what was made at Rocky Flats (cleaning supplies, her mother guessed)--best not to inquire too deeply into any of it. But as Iversen grew older, she began to ask questions. She learned about the infamous 1969 Mother's Day fire, in which a few scraps of plutonium spontaneously ignited and--despite the desperate efforts of firefighters--came perilously close to a "criticality," the deadly blue flash that signals a nuclear chain reaction. Intense heat and radiation almost melted the roof, which nearly resulted in an explosion that would have had devastating consequences for the entire Denver metro area. Yet the only mention of the fire was on page 28 of the Rocky Mountain News, underneath a photo of the Pet of the Week. In her early thirties, Iversen even worked at Rocky Flats for a time, typing up memos in which accidents were always called "incidents." And as this memoir unfolds, it reveals itself as a brilliant work of investigative journalism--a detailed and shocking account of the government's sustained attempt to conceal the effects of the toxic and radioactive waste released by Rocky Flats, and of local residents' vain attempts to seek justice in court. Here, too, are vivid portraits of former Rocky Flats workers--from the healthy, who regard their work at the plant with pride and patriotism, to the ill or dying, who battle for compensation for cancers they got on the job. Based on extensive interviews, FBI and EPA documents, and class-action testimony, this taut, beautifully written book promises to have a very long half-life.