This year, the month of October has taken on a whole new meaning for me. Typically, I look forward to the cooler weather, apple picking with my family, and trick-or-treating with my two young children. But October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which now has personal significance. A few months ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 35 and am currently undergoing treatment. Throughout my cancer journey, I’ve put my librarian muscles to the test by searching for and finding various cancer-related resources. And the Oceanside Library has plenty of amazing resources!
Radical: The Science, Culture, and History of Breast Cancer in America by Kate Pickert – The science, culture and history of breast cancer as told by a reporter who survived it. Drawing on interviews with doctors, economists, researchers, advocates and patients, as well as on journal entries and recordings collected over the author’s treatment, Radical puts the story of breast cancer into context, and shows how modern treatments represent a long overdue shift in the way doctors approach cancer – and disease – itself.
The Emperor of Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee – Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective, and a biographer’s passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with – and perished from – for more than five thousand years. Riveting, urgent, and surprising, The Emperor of All Maladies provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of cancer treatments. It is an illuminating book that provides hope and clarity to those seeking to demystify cancer.
The First Cell by Azra Raza – Raza offers a searing account of how both medicine and our society (mis)treats cancer, how we can do better, and why we must. A lyrical journey from hope to despair and back again, The First Cell explores cancer from every angle: medical, scientific, cultural, and personal. Indeed, Raza describes how she bore the terrible burden of being her own husband’s oncologist as he succumbed to leukemia. The First Cell is no ordinary book of medicine, but a book of wisdom and grace by an author who has devoted her life to making the unbearable easier to bear.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi – At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both
Children’s Picture Books
(for discussing cancer with young children)
Cancer Hates Kisses by Jessica Reid Sliwerski – Mothers are superheroes when they’re battling cancer, and this empowering picture book gives them an honest yet spirited way to share the difficult experience with their kids.
Online Resources – The librarians at the Oceanside Library have curated a selection of online resources on a variety of topics, including consumer health. Some are paid databases and some are vetted, reputable health websites. You can access them here: https://oceansidelibrary.com/resources-services/online-resources/online-resources/.
Books that transport you to other worlds – Over the past few months we have been adding new genres to our fiction section to make a more browsable collection. If you know you love thrillers, we have a section for you. Same goes for fantasy, science fiction, mystery, romance, historical fiction, and horror. Whatever genre you enjoy reading, we have plenty to choose from on our shelves!
Healthy Oceanside Programs – The Oceanside Library hosts a number of health-related programs each month, often with partners like the Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital. This month we have various programs such as meditation, tai chi, yoga, hula hooping, and zumba. Plus, the Mount Sinai Vaxmobile will be here on October 6 and 27 for health screenings and vaccinations.
Oceanside Library Staff – The staff at the Oceanside Library is arguably the most valuable resource of all. Not only can we provide excellent book recommendations and help you find the resources you need, but we do so with personable, friendly, and discreet professionalism.