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Books and Videos are listed in alphabetical order under the following categories:


About the Books and Videos Listed in this Guide

The following books and videos are only a partial listing to give you ideas about available offerings for parents living with cancer and other illnesses. Some of the materials may not be immediately available on the shelves of local bookstores. Others may have gone out of print.

We encourage you to check the web site of Compassion Books or ask for their free catalogue (information given below). Many bookstores (www.booksense.com) will gladly order a book for you which you should be able to review with no obligation to buy. Agencies and hospitals that serve cancer patients often have lending libraries and will order resources you recommend. And, of course, Amazon.com will deliver both used and new books and videos to your door. Note that there are certain resources Compassion Books has that Amazon does not, and vice-versa.

Books with ** preceding the title, and many other books on illness, grief, loss, and death and dying for parents, children, and professionals can be ordered through Compassion Books: 7036 Hwy. 80 South, Burnsville, NC 28714. Phone: 1-800-970-4220. Fax: 1-800-970-3350. Email: Heal2grow@aol.com. Website: www.compassionbooks.com

Newer Books

Baider, Lea, Caryl Cooper, and Atara Kaplan De-Nour (eds.). Cancer and the Family, 2nd Ed. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2000.

Breese, Kristine. Cereal for Dinner: Strategies, Shortcuts, and Sanity for Moms Battling Illness. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2004. Written by a mother living with a heart condition. Based on interviews with 20 other mothers living with different diseases.

Edelman, Hope. Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss. Revised Ed. Cambridge, MA: De Capo Books, 2006.

Edelman, Hope. Motherless Mothers: How Mother Loss Shapes the Parents We Become. New York: HarperCollins, 2006.

Harpham, Wendy Schlessel. When a Parent Has Cancer: A Guide to Caring for Your Children. New York: Harper Paperbacks, 2004 (revised edition) Includes a special book for children, Becky and the Worry Cup. Written by a physician and mother of three who was diagnosed with lymphoma. A thorough and helpful book.

Hawkins, Beth. I’m Too Young to Have Breast Cancer! Washington, DC: Lifeline Press, 2004.

Lacefield, Jill. A Little Cancer on the Side: A Survivor’s Book of Laughter and Inspiration. 2003. Order from www.jilllacefield.com.

Lucas, Geralyn. Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2004.

Mayer, Musa. Advanced Breast Cancer: A Guide to Living with Metastatic Disease, 2nd Edition. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly and Associates, 1998.

Murphy, Beth, Ann Curry, and George Sledge. Fighting for Our Future: How Young Women Find Strength, Hope, and Courage While Taking Control of Breast Cancer. New York: McGraw Hill, 2002.

Picardie, Ruth. Before I Say Goodbye: Recollections and Observations from One Woman’s Final Year. Penguin UK, 1999.

Peterson, Paula. Penitent, with Roses: An HIV+ Mother Reflects. Hanover, N.J.: Middlebury College Press, 2000.

Rogers, Judith. The Disabled Woman’s Guide to Pregnancy and Birth. New York: Demo Medical Publishing, 2005.

Rolland, John S., Families, Illness, and Disability: An Integrative Treatment Model. New York: Basic Books, 1994.

Russell, Neil. Can I Still Kiss You? Answering Your Children’s Questions About Cancer.

Dearfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, 2001.

Silver, Marc. Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) During Diagnosis, Treatment, and Beyond. New York: Rodale Books, 2004.

Van Dernoot, Peter. Helping Your Children Cope with Your Cancer: A Guide for Parents. Long Island City, NY: Hatherleigh Press, 2002.

Wates, Michele and Rowan Jade (eds.). Bigger Than the Sky: Disabled Women on Parenting. London, England: Women’s Press, 1999.

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Previously Listed Books

The Alpha Institute Staff & Ryder, B. G. The Alpha Book on Cancer and Living: For Patients, Family, and Friends. Alameda, CA: The Alpha Institute, 1996. Has an excellent chapter "For Family and Friends," including a section on helping children cope and other valuable chapters on self-care and coping.

Bernstein, J. Books to Help Children Cope with Separation and Loss. NY: R.R. Bowker, 1989. An expensive (over $50) but valuable bibliographic guide to books for children ages 3 - 16. Tells how to use books to help children cope, describes over 600 books, and provides a reading list for adults.

Doka, K. Living With Life Threatening Illness. NY: Lexington Books, 1993. Has a chapter on facing life-threatening illness as a family.

Grollman, E. A. Talking About Death: A Dialogue Between Parent and Child. Boston: Beacon Press, 3rd Ed., 1991.

Harpham, W. S. After Cancer: a Guide to Your New Life. NY: W.W. Norton and Co., 1994. Includes a chapter on dealing with your children.

Heiney, Sue, Ed., Joan Hermann, Katherine Bruss, and Joy Fincannon. Cancer in the Family: Helping Children Cope with a Parent’s Illness. American Cancer Society, 2001. Covers emotional reactions of young children and adolescents to crisis, answering difficult questions and talking about death. Includes a removable workbook to help children record their thoughts and feelings.

Kramp Tierney, E. & D. Kramp.  Living with the End in Mind. NY: Three Rivers Press, 1998. Written by a mother living with cancer to help all of us recognize the importance of preparing for death and leaving a legacy. Has checklists to help prepare physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally, with special sections addressed to parents living with illness. Has an important message to convey and many worthwhile ideas; however, the sheer number of recommended tasks can leave a parent feeling overwhelmed or inadequate. Choose what feels comfortable for you.

LeShan, E. When a Parent is Very Sick. Boston: Joy Street Books, 1986.

Mayer, M. Advanced Breast Cancer: A Guide to Living with Metastatic Disease, 2nd Edition, Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 1998. A comprehensive, in-depth book addressing the realities of living with metastatic breast cancer, with an emphasis on living. Emotional and practical support based on research and the stories of 40 women and men, many of whom are parents. Equally relevant to other cancers.

McCue, K. How to Help Children Through a Parent's Serious Illness. NY: St. Martin's Press, 1994. An excellent resource book for parents. It has information for very young children through adolescence, as well as for families in special circumstances.

Van Dermoot, Peter Helping Your Children Cope With Cancer: A Guide for Parents. Island City, NY: Hatherleigh Press, 2002. A book of essays written by parents with cancer, their children, and health care professionals. Royalties are donated to The Children’s Treehouse Foundation, which supports group for children whose parents have cancer.

Weingarten, Kathy. The Mother’s Voice: Strengthening Intimacy in Families. Guilford Press, 1997. An unusual, thoughtful book in which a writer uses both her professional experience as a family therapist and personal experience as a mother living with breast cancer to explore the silencing of mothers, especially with their children, and the pursuit of intimate and healing communication.

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Videos for Parents

We Can Cope: When a Parent Has Cancer
Inflexxion, Inc., Newton, MA

Talking about Your Cancer: A Parent’s Guide to Helping Your Children Cope
Fox Chase Center, Department of Social Services, Philadelphia, PA

Talking About Your Cancer: A Parent's Guide to Helping Children Cope. (Video, $29.95 + $5.00 shipping and handling.) Order from: Fox Chase Cancer Center, Social Work Services, 7701 Burholme Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111, 215-728-2668. A very well done 18-minute video that shows you how to tell your children about your cancer and offers practical advice for coping.

My Mom Has Breast Cancer (free)

Also available through Community Service Sections of many Blockbuster video stores

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Books for Children

There are many newer books for helping children and teenagers that we have not listed here. Order through Compassion Books by calling 800-970-4220, or visit the company’s website at www.compassionbooks.com.

**Alsop, P. & Harley, B. In the Hospital, Book and Audio Tape. Topanga, CA: Moose School Records, 1989. Wonderful songs and entertaining stories dealing with being sick, being different, and finding strength and hope. Good for all ages.

Bates, B. The Ups and Downs of Jori Jenkins. NY: Holiday, 1978. A book for young children to help deal with feelings.

**Boulden, J. & J. Someone Special is Very Sick. Weaverville, CA: Boulden Publishing. 1995. 1-800-238-8433. Workbook/coloring book about coping with feelings and concerns related to the serious illness of a loved one. For children under 7.

**Boulden, J. & J. When Someone is Very Sick. Weaverville, CA: Boulden Publishing, 1995. 1-800-238-8433. A coloring and activity book for use with children under 12. Helps name possible feelings and reactions a child might have. Very general regarding illness.

Brack, P. Moms Don't Get Sick. Aberdeen, S.D.: Melius Publishing, 1990. A mother and child's relationship and its evolution through the challenge of breast cancer.

**Carney, K. Barklay and Eve - Explaining Cancer to Children. Weathersfield, CT: D'Esopo Pratt, 1995. An excellent book for young children to explain what cancer is, how it grows, and how it is treated.

**Drescher, J. The Moon Balloon. Bethesda, MD: Association for the Care of Children's Health, 1996. A coloring and activity book to help children express the stress and feelings that may accompany illness, change, or any new situation.

**Farrington, L., McGuire, L., & Dillon, I. Nightmares in the Mist, Woodside, CA: Enchante Publishing, 1994. Book, activity book, and guide. Helps children deal with fear. The story centers on a little girl who becomes very fearful after her mother is hospitalized. Gives a wealth of creative help.

**Fine, J. Afraid to Ask. NY: William Morrow, 1986. Gives basic information about cancer and its treatment. Includes sections on most specific types of cancer, including breast cancer. Appropriate for use with teenagers.

**Heegaard, M. When Someone Has a Very Serious Illness (Children Can Learn to Cope with Loss and Change). Minneapolis, MN: Fairview Publications, 1995. An excellent workbook that assists children in gaining information about an illness affecting them or a loved one, and how to express feelings.

I Have Feelings. Contact Diana Walker, 340 Rockwell Court, Zionsville, IN 46077, 317-873-3990. A workbook for children who have a parent with cancer. Appropriate for elementary age children.

**Kohlenberg, S. Sammy's Mommy Has Cancer. NY: Magination Press; Brunner/Mazel, 1993. A wonderful book written by a mother with breast cancer whose son was 18 months old at diagnosis. Very good for young children.

**Levine, J. Forever in My Heart. Burnsville, NC: Compassion Publications, 1992. A hands on story-workbook that encourages and helps children participate in the life of a seriously ill parent.

Parkinson, C. S. Mommy's in the Hospital Again. Solace Publications Inc., PO Box 567, Folsom, CA 95763-0567, 1-800-984-9015, 1996.

Parkinson, C. S. My Mommy Has Cancer. Rochester, NY: Park Press, 1991. Available from Park Press, PO Box 23205, Rochester, NY 14692-3205. A child's experiences when his mother is hospitalized for cancer.

**Richmond, J. Just You and Me. St. Joseph, MO: Hands of Hope Hospice, 1995. A book to assist children and parents in expressing feelings during a parent's dying time.

Sherkin-Langer, F. When Mommy is Sick. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman and Company, 1995. Deals primarily with feelings around mom being sick and in the hospital. Implies that mom has been in the hospital before. Good for young children.

**Strauss, L. Coping When a Parent Has Cancer. NY: Rosen Publishing Group, 1988. A guide for young readers to help themselves when a parent has cancer. Topics include: what cancer is, cancer treatment, how to find someone to talk to, what to expect when a parent is hospitalized, and the grief process.

Vigna, J. When Eric's Mom Fought Cancer. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman & Co., 1993. A wonderful book for young children to explore the feelings and experience of having a mother with cancer.

Weinstein-Stern, D. Mira's Month. Available exclusively through the BMT Newsletter, 1985 Spruce Street, Highland, IL 60035. The story of a 4-year-old whose mother is in the hospital for a month for a bone marrow transplant (BMT), and how the girl copes and grows.

What About Me? A Booklet for Teenage Children of Cancer Patients. Available for $1.50 per booklet, plus postage and handling. Make checks payable to Cancer Family Care and send to Mary Pat Behler, Cancer Family Care, 7162 Reading Road, Suite 1050, Cincinnati, OH 45237.

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Books for Caregivers

Babcock, Elise NeeDell. When Life Becomes Precious: Essential Guide for Patients, Loved Ones, and Friends of Those Facing Illness. New York: Bantam, 1997.

Capossela, Cappy and Sheila Warnock. Share the Care: How to Organize a Group to Care for Someone Who is Seriously Ill. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995.

Garfield, Charles. Sometimes My Heart Goes Numb. Orlando: Harcourt Brace, 1997.

Halpern, Susan P. The Etiquette of Illness: What to Say When You Can’t Find the Words. New York: Bloomsbury, 2004.

Hope, Lori. Help Me Live: 20 Things People with Cancer Want You to Know. San Francisco: Celestial Arts, 2005.

Silver, Marc. Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) during Diagnosis, Treatment, and Beyond. New York: Rodale Books 2004.

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