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Book Club: Planet Cancer, Chapter 3

planet cancer book

Welcome to the comments and discussion of Chapter 3: Treatment of the book, Planet Cancer!  Catch up on Chapter 1: Diagnosis and Chapter 2: Getting Your C-Legs!

Let’s get started!  Chapter 3!


This chapter serves as a great crash-course in cancer treatment.  It goes through different types of treatment possibilities and what it is like to be in a clinical trial, go through radioactive iodine treatment (and have glowing pee!), have a port implanted, have a colostomy, and more.  The real life stories really draw you in and offer an intimate look into a piece of the individual’s cancer journey.  One of the contributors, as explained in his bio, passed away before the publishing of the book and upon reading this, I found tears come to my eyes.  I felt as if I had lost a good, even if brief, new friend.  The Planet Cancer book lends itself, once again, as reference book as well as young adult peer support mechanism.

Chapter 3 of the Planet Cancer book also discusses an interesting piece to the young adult cancer puzzle that I had never considered before: your oncologist.  There is a brief, yet very intriguing personal account from an oncology physician meeting a young adult patient for the first time.  The thought process of the oncology doctor is empathetic, compassionate, and gives a great glimpse into the other side.


The treatment chapter. I was looking forward to this chapter thinking that there would be some good stories and advice shared. I wasn’t disappointed – lots of great information.

I always find this part of having C to be where people are most curious. Yeah, they understand you have C, but they want to know exactly what’s going on. And frankly, it’s hard to explain if they aren’t seeing it first hand. Days are different. Heck, minutes to hours are different. Describing the process and your feelings can be difficult. Especially if those asking the questions haven’t experienced treatment themselves or been a caretaker – their questions are based on what they’ve heard from others, read online, seen on TV, or just have no clue about. But as the book stated, each person’s treatment plan is different. And that’s important to remember.

I appreciated this chapter (especially for people just trying to getting a better understanding of C) because it explains the many different types and processes of each treatment type – chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and others. Chemo isn’t “just chemo”, it’s so many other things. Same for all the others. Different options, different combinations, different side effects, and different results.

Scars. I was a little disappointed to not see more about scars especially since a large chunk of this section was about how to cover them up. Perhaps that will come later in the book? Instead of worrying about your scar(s) and how to cover it/them up, I wish more would have been focused on accepting and embracing your scar(s). I refer to mine as Franken-scars.

Clinical trials. People read and see so many things on TV about clinical trials. There are a lot of misconceptions so it was good to see the chapter address some of the biggest myths (e.g. it is a myth that health insurance will not cover the costs of a clinical trial).

Thanks for joining us for our first book club of Planet Cancer! To see what you’ve missed, check out Chapter 1: Diagnosis and Chapter 2: Getting Your C-Legs.  Since Chapter 3 was a bit longer (and Chapter 4 isn’t so shabby either), we’ll skip a week and rejoin the book club on Monday, August 3rd for Chapter 4: Side Effects.

If you’re just joining us, here are some logistics:

We will talk about a chapter each Monday until the book is done.  Then, we’ll use one more Monday to talk about general feelings from the book and anything else you’d like to discuss.  We’ll also have a great “meet the author” post coming up!  Join in, in the comments every week!  Also, there will probably be spoilers.  Read along with us!