Summer is a popular time to catch up on some reading. When you’re waiting at a doctor’s office, driving to treatment, or simply resting at home, a good book (or audiobook) can be a welcome companion.
Below, we recommend specific titles that may be helpful for mesothelioma patients and their loved ones. Whether you’re looking for emotional support or advice on what to eat during treatment, we hope you’ll find it in these books.
If you have a library card, you can download many books and audiobooks for free using the Libby app.
The Mesothelioma Hope team is also here to answer questions related to your mesothelioma diagnosis and treatment. Call (866) 608-8933 to speak with our caring and knowledgeable staff, which includes skilled nurses and patient advocates, right now.
Stories of Hope and Survival
There’s a great deal of inspiration and solidarity to be found in the stories of those who’ve survived mesothelioma and other types of cancer. Here are a few of our picks.
Finding the “Can” in Cancer
This guidebook for cancer patients, their families, and friends was written by four long-term cancer survivors. Finding the “Can” in Cancer combines personal stories and experiences with practical tips for coping with side effects and advice on how to let others help during this difficult time.
Along with personal vignettes, the book outlines common procedures and tests for cancer patients. It also includes words of encouragement for patients and their loved ones to draw upon when they could use some hope.
Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds
While earning her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, psychotherapist Kelly A. Turner researched over 1,000 cases of medically verified radical remission – people who have defied a serious or even terminal cancer diagnosis with a complete reversal of the disease.
In Radical Remission, she presents nine common themes she believes may help even terminal patients turn their lives around.
This book is especially helpful for cancer patients who seemingly have no conventional treatment options left but still feel that the future holds the possibility of hope.
What Helped Me Get Through: Cancer Survivors Share Wisdom and Hope
Edited by breast cancer survivor Julie K. Silver, What Helped Me Get Through is for anyone touched by cancer. This collection of stories from nearly 300 cancer survivors, including celebrities like Carly Simon and Scott Hamilton, who candidly share what helped get them through every aspect of their cancer journey.
The book also provides practical tips for patients, family, and friends on how to cope with a cancer diagnosis. It’s a comforting resource for anyone facing a new diagnosis and the people who care for and love them.
Spiritual Strength and Support
Many of those affected by mesothelioma find that learning about spirituality or religion can help them cope with the disease. If you find strength in your spiritual or religious beliefs and practices, here are some books that might resonate.
Peace in the Face of Cancer
Patient advocate and long-time cancer survivor Lynn Eib shares how to live well from the moment of diagnosis through the rest of life. Peace in the Face of Cancer is written to speak to the needs of all survivors and their caregivers whether newly diagnosed, in treatment, dealing with a recurrence, or trying to extend their prognosis.
Eib weaves the story of her own experience as a long-time cancer survivor with those of others to illustrate how you can bring peace into your own home and heart, regardless of the circumstance.
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
The Power of Now isn’t specific to cancer, but many cancer patients and their families have found it to be a helpful tool in dealing with the difficult emotions that accompany a mesothelioma diagnosis. Spiritual teacher and self-help author Eckhart Tolle shares his philosophy on living a healthier, happier life.
Tolle’s book offers a practical guide to become more conscious of the thoughts and challenges that can prevent us from living in the present moment.
When Breath Becomes Air
Stanford neurosurgeon Dr. Paul Kalanithi died from stage 4 metastatic lung cancer just shy of a year before his memoir was published. In When Breath Becomes Air, the 36-year-old tells the story of how his life changed when he went from being a doctor who helped people live to a patient himself.
A staunch atheist for most of his adult life, Dr. Kalanithi rediscovers his Christian faith during his cancer journey and also becomes a father.
Diet and Nutrition
Mesothelioma treatment can take a toll on the body. These books are a few of the most commonly recommended for cancer patients looking to reduce unpleasant side effects with good nutrition.
Be sure to consult your medical team before taking any supplements or making extensive changes to your diet.
Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself
In Eat to Beat Disease, physician scientist Dr. William Li shows the evidence behind over 200 health-boosting foods that can starve cancer and fight dozens of avoidable diseases. The book offers a guide to different healing foods that can be added to meals to support immune health.
Dr. Li also explains how to integrate your favorite foods into any diet or health plan to activate your body’s defense systems.
What to Eat During Cancer Treatment
Published by the American Cancer Society (ACS), What to Eat During Cancer Treatment offers evidence-based guidance on what foods to eat when dealing with common eating-related side effects of cancer treatment.
The book contains more than 130 recipes, shares ways to handle vitamin deficiencies, and outlines helpful tips for cancer caregivers.
It also contains tips on assembling a take-along food “survival kit,” and a list of organizations that provide information on nutrition and cancer.
The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery
The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen features 150 science-based recipes – including vegetarian options – tailored for specific treatment phases, cancer types, and side effects. A full nutritional analysis is provided for each recipe.
The book was written to help cancer patients and their loved ones build their own symptom- and cancer-fighting meal plans, stimulate their appetite, and address common treatment-related side effects like nausea, dehydration, and weight loss.
Reading can give you a new perspective on your experience with mesothelioma. Consider picking up one of these books this summer to take some control of your healing.
The Mesothelioma Hope team can also provide patients and loved ones with a variety of reading materials free of charge, including our Mesothelioma Guide. If you’d like to learn more – or want to suggest another book to add to our list – give us a call at (866) 608-8933.