Review: Kairol Rosenthal, Everything Changes

Cancer Websites, Young Adult Cancer Resources — By on June 27, 2009 at 8:34 am

everythingchangesIt’s not the nitty-gritty details of how one is diagnosed or what treatments people are taking that interest Kairol Rosenthal as much as what people do with our lives after the big cancer bomb is dropped in their laps.

Kairol Rosenthal is the author of the book, Everything Changes: The Insider’s Guide to Cancer in Your 20s and 30s.

Kairol is a healthcare blogger and patient advocate working with national cancer organizations including Gilda’s Club, Planet Cancer, and I’m Too Young For This.

By age twenty-nine, Kairol had spent two years in the confines of the cancer world; graying AARP patients to her left, pitying nurses to her right. She attended young adult support groups, where 20 and 30-somethings stuttered hesitant feelings. (The brain cancer patient researching her own hospice care didn’t want to scare the crap out of the dude recently diagnosed with lymphoma.

The stage I cervical cancer patient didn’t want to sound like a whiner next to the guy with lung metastases.)

Although all the patients meant well politeness still prevailed. Sex, death, parenting, pain management, and career goals were a parade of elephants in the room.

Cancer did not make Kairol brave, outspoken, or grateful. What she wanted was real conversation. And, to live out her dreams of playing Terry Gross, the host on NPR’s show Fresh Air.

She wanted to know if other young adult cancer patients cried themselves to sleep at night, wrote their wills on scrap paper while riding the train, or lied to dates about their scars.

Kairol wanted to get inside the heads of these patients and to not feel so alone.

With irreverent flare and practical wisdom, Everything Changes includes stories, how-to resources, and expert advice on must-know issues including: Dating and sex, medical insurance and the healthcare system, faith and spirituality, employment and career, fertility, adoption, and parenting, friends and family, clinical trials and alternative medicine, college life and scholarships and young adult caregiving.

Kairol Rosenthal lectures on healthcare issues at Columbia College and is co-host of The Stupid Cancer Show. She has been interviewed as a cancer expert for The New York Times and Harpers’ Bazaar.

Her essays have been produced by National Public Radio and appear in Help Me Live: Twenty Things People with Cancer Want You To Know. Everything Changes: The Insider’s Guide To Cancer In Your 20s and 30s is the culmination of her five years of research with patients and health care professionals in the young adult cancer community.

Please visit: Everything Changes and share your comments and opinions below with the community.

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