Two Books I Highly Recommend for MM Patients (or their caregivers)

Yesterday I received (and proceeded to read the whole thing), Living with Multiple Myeloma: Practical advice from a fellow cancer survivor for myeloma patients, their families, and friends. It is a very well written book by a fellow myeloma survivor and medical correspondent, Pat Killingsworth. He is an incredibly knowledgable and honest writer, and I follow his blog (listed at right) regularly. His blog is well balanced with medical breakthroughs and news, personal updates from his own journey, and patient profiles and updates from around the country. I highly recommend it for anyone facing this awful disease, as it is current, accurate, and positive. It’s easy to get caught up in the evils of the google search results when dealing with myeloma, and as he frequently points out, the myeloma game is changing everyday, so it’s important to avoid information that is even more than a year old – and that’s what you often find when you randomly click on a result – old (and often scary) information. Not so with Pat’s blog. In fact, he even updates his books annually to reflect the changes in the myeloma world each year – that’s how fast the game is changing.

The other book I recommend is Stem Cell Transplants from a Patient’s Perspective. This was my bible before and during my transplant, and I feel that the information it contained is part of what made my transplant experience so easy. It contains stories of his own and other patients’ transplant experiences as well as advice on what to expect, what you can do to mitigate side effects and other problems, and resources for someone about to go through the process. Sure, you get plenty of literature from your transplant center, but this is straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, in that all of the information contained within it comes from people who have already been through the procedure. These folks have been through it, and are talking to you from the other side.

Furthermore, Pat is an incredibly helpful guy. He WILL reply to you if you email him with questions or concerns, usually within a day. It’s pretty incredible, considering he writes a daily blog, a monthly column for the Myeloma Beacon, and deals with the daily rigors of MM himself. It’s weird; I’ve never met him, but I have communicated with him enough that I feel like I know him.

I know this feels like an ad for Pat and his books, but I promise you it’s not. I’ve read a lot since my diagnosis, and most of the lit is dry, not from a perspective that inspires confidence, and very generic. Pat’s blog and books have really been the only things that I have found that feel relevant, current, and honest. He is “one of us”, and it comes through in his writing. He is also very smart, which is nice too. Anyhoo, just my two cents for anyone who is or loves someone who is dealing with Multiple Myeloma, stem cell transplant, or life in general.

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