The Myeloma Survival Guide

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Sample Chapter: Chapter 1

The Myeloma Survival Guide

Essential Advice for Patients and Their Loved Ones

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The definitive guide to living a longer, fuller life with myeloma

The Myeloma Survival Guide makes sense of the difficult questions myeloma patients face, dealing with every aspect of life after diagnosis, from creating a wellness team to navigating treatment options to building a financial safety net. Jim Tamkin, MD, who lived with myeloma for 11 years, and Dave Visel share the insights they've gained as a doctor, patient, and caregiver, including:

  • Everything you need to know about drugs and treatments, including stem cell transplants
  • How to deal with the pain and side effects of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery
  • Insurance and tax benefits to save money and get you the care you deserve
  • Take-charge tools you can use today to feel better tomorrow


Product Details

  • Publication Date May 28, 2014
  • Page Count 280
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9781936303687

Editorial Review(s)

Praise for The Myeloma Survival Guide

“Dr. Jim Tamkin has turned his own illness into benefit for patients with myeloma worldwide. Together with Dave Visel, they have developed a literal GPS system, an invaluable guide to patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. Not only have they provided clear information on the disease and its treatment, but most importantly also convey critical guidance on how to deal with the very personal life-impacting effects of this disease for patients and family members alike. In this era of great excitement in myeloma where novel therapies are changing the treatment paradigm and improving patient outcome, this book assures awareness and access to patients and caregivers of these advances, so that patients can enjoy longer and higher quality lives with their loved ones. There simply is no greater gift than this.” - Kenneth C. Anderson, MD, Kraft Family Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Chief, Division of Hematologic Neoplasia; Director, Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center and LeBow Institute for Myeloma Therapeutics, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts

“[Filled] with facts, factoids, tidbits, and anecdotal descriptions that would help anyone starting on their myeloma adventure. We have come a long way since the advent of transplants with the discovery of new novel agents and the combination therapies. There is much to learn and much to do... I would definitely recommend the book to my patients and their caregivers.” - Bart Barlogie, MD, PhD, Director, Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, Winthrop Rockefeller Cancer Institute, University of Arkansas,

“It's tremendous for new patients to have this book. A myeloma diagnosis is overwhelming. Even as a physician, I did almost nothing but read for a month after my myeloma was confirmed. One of this book's greatest values is that it covers everything in one place.” - Burton Dickey, MD, Myeloma patient, Professor and Chair, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

“The ultimate guide for all patients and caregivers as they navigate through the rapidly changing landscape of the myeloma diagnosis and treatment process. The authors have poignantly written from the unique perspectives of the patient and caregiver. The intimate knowledge of living with cancer allows the authors to highlight common health and psychosocial concerns as patients are living longer than ever.“ - Beth Faiman, PhDc, MSN, APN-BC, Mutliple Myeloma Nurse Practitioner, Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

"This is a wonderful primer for myeloma patients and their caregivers. It provides up to date knowledge while at the same time providing practical pointers for patients and caregivers to deal with this horrible disease. Since knowledge is power, this book will provide essential tools to allow patients and caregivers weather the “myeloma storm” more prepared. I wholeheartedly recommend it.” - Sergio A. Giralt, MD, Chief, Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City

“As a patient, I understand how difficult it is for patients and their families to manage the uncertainties of a multiple myeloma diagnosis. Dave Visel and Dr. Jim Tamkin have collaborated to develop a detailed resource for approaching this situation, which will undoubtedly help newly diagnosed myeloma patients and their caregivers attain the information that they need to empower themselves throughout their journey with myeloma.” - Kathy Giusti, Founder and CEO, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

“I will hand this book to new myeloma patients, knowing that it will give them tools and a confidence that they would not have gotten without it. The teaching is clear, complete, accurate, easy to follow, memorable, and occasionally very funny. It produces better prepared patients for their oncologists to treat. When I learned that I had myeloma, in 2007, I looked for this book. It was not there. Even though I had access to the medical faculty of a great university, my pathway to survival followed a much tougher road than you will be shown here.If you are a myeloma patient, or a caregiver, the key to the future is in your hands. Don’t put it down.” - John W. Killip, D.D.S., Myeloma Patient, Clinical Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri School of Dentistry, Kansas City, MO

“We have needed this authoritative, comprehensive, encouraging reinforcement for myeloma patients for at least ten years. A copy should be placed in the hands of every new myeloma patient at the time of diagnosis.” - Robert A. Kyle, MD, Professor of Medicine, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Rochester, Minnesota

“In a word, it's FABULOUS!...I've received written "what to expect" documents from both the City of Hope and the Veteran's Administration, neither of which is this complete, enlightening or well written. The authors have produced a well-documented...wonderful tool for oncologists treating myeloma and their patients, caregivers and other interested parties.” - Duke Rohlffs, Myeloma Patient, Mesquite, NV

About The Author(s)

James Tamkin MD, FACP, FACE

James Tamkin, MD, FACP, FACE, lived with myeloma for eleven years. He co-founded the TBA (Their Best Advice) Foundation with Dave Visel in 2009 to provide myeloma patients with the resources they need to cope with the disease. He worked as an internist and endocrinologist in Los Angeles until his death in March 2011.

Dave Visel

Dave Visel is co-founder of the TBA Foundation and author of Living with Cancer: A Practical Guide. He is a retired advertising copywriter and marketing executive, and is a caregiver to his wife, Karen, who has lymphoma. They live in Los Angeles.

Table of Contents

"Preface: Hang In and Hold On
; Introduction
; Part One: First Steps
; 1. Take Charge: You Don't Get to Just Sit There
; 2. Today's To-Do List: Easy, Important Next Steps
; 3. How to be a Caregiver: Myeloma is a Team Sport
; 4. Meet Other Patients: Get to Know Your New Community
; 5. The Cognoscenti: Yoru Treatment Team
; Part Two: Financial and Workplace Issues
; 6. Health Insurance and Other Benefits: Yoru Financial Safety Net
; 7. Low Hanging Fruti: Financial Help, Free Services, and Discount Drugs
; 8. Myeloma Tax Savings: Minimize Your Tax Burden and Get Some Money Back
; 9. Your Workplace: Myeloma Changes Everything
; 10. Looking Ahead: Estate and Practical Planning
; Part Three: Managing Treatment
; 11. Humuhumunukunukuapuaa: Things to Know about Your Drugs
; 12. How to Deal with Chemo: What to Do and How to Do It
; 13. Rules for Radiation: Huge Machinery Simply Explained
; 14. Notes on Surgery: Surgery Plays Supporting Roles
; 15. Your Stem Cell Transplant: Lots of Patients Do It
; 16. Thoughts on the Human Condition: Sometimes Things Go Wrong
; 17. Is It Too Late for Broccoli? A Discussion of Diet and Herbs
; 18. Pain Management: Coping Tools
; 19. Homecare: Youíll Visit Hospitals but Youíll Live at Home
; 20. When Bad News Gets Worse: Donít Be Surprised
; Epilogue: Donít Believe the Stats

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