Healing When a nurse becomes a patient

Theresa Brown

Book - 2022

"When a cancer nurse becomes a cancer patient, she has to confront the most critical, terrified, sometimes furious patient she's ever encountered: herself. A frank look at struggling with illness while navigating the health care maze"--

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor New Shelf 616.99449/Brown (NEW SHELF) Checked In
Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill 2022.
First edition
Physical Description
258 pages ; 22 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 253-256).
Main Author
Theresa Brown (author)
  • Who am I?. Day one ; Rage ; Bob & Wendy ; First you cry ; Storytelling ; An ideal patient ; What we talk about when we talk about amputation ; My radiologist ; Reason not the need ; Revelations ; I lost you
  • Nurse Brown, MIA. Balance ; Bedside manner ; Not on the list ; Theresa in cancerland, part I ; Theresa in cancerland, part II ; Nature/nurture ; Chemo: yes or no ; RadOnc ; Slow burn ; Pickles ; A friend in need ; Spatchcock
  • Out of the frying pan. Tam ; Tam, continued ; Tam, conclusion ; On the side ; Figures of speech
  • The long haul. Pronouncememt ; Survivor ; A body in motion ; Just a few breast cancer patients sitting around talking ; Back to work ; Turtles ; One-year mammogram ; Moving ; Sue Larson ; Two afternoons in hospice ; The new road ; Epilogue.
Review by Library Journal Reviews

With her aptly named and timed work, best-selling author and oncology nurse Brown (The Shift) weaves her multiple worlds together in this deeply personal memoir of her times as both registered nurse and cancer patient. Brown recognizes her privileged space within the U.S. health care system: she writes that she's not only a highly educated and trained health care professional but also a highly personally motivated one (due to her breast cancer diagnosis), as well as being cishet and white. Even with all her privilege, navigating the health care labyrinth is fraught with difficulty, she argues. Brown's in-depth account of caring for the health of patients while simultaneously navigating her own health care is especially timely as the world enters another year of pandemic. Brown's own journey is largely described positively, but she lays bare the wounds inflicted by an imperfect health system. Her clear-eyed and eloquent examination of illness—from the inside and from the outside—is illuminating. VERDICT This moving and enlightening memoir is recommended for memoir readers and those interested in health care journeys and struggles.—Rachel M. Minkin Copyright 2022 Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A registered nurse and author of the New York Times best-seller The Shift, tells the powerfully personal story of her own fight with breast cancer, including her surprise at the lack of compassion she encountered. 75,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"When a cancer nurse becomes a cancer patient, she has to confront the most critical, terrified, sometimes furious patient she's ever encountered: herself. A frank look at struggling with illness while navigating the health care maze"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

“A stunning book that helped me understand how to survive a serious illness and how to understand hospitals in general. Theresa Brown is also a hell of a good writer.” —James PattersonFrom the mammogram that would change her life through her diagnosis, treatment, and recovery, New York Times bestselling author Theresa Brown, RN, tells a poignant and powerful story about having breast cancer in the United States. Despite her training and years of experience as an oncology and hospice nurse, Brown finds it difficult to navigate the medical maze from the other side of the bed. Why is she so often left in the dark about procedures and treatments? Why is she expected to research her own best treatment options? Why is there so much red tape? At times she’s mad at herself for not speaking up and asking for what she needs but knows that being a “difficult” patient could mean she gets worse care. Of the almost four million women in this country living with breast cancer, many have had, like Brown, a treatable form of the disease. Both unnerving and extremely relatable, her experience shows us how our for-profit health care industry “cures” us but at the same time leaves so many of us feeling alienated and uncared for. As she did so brilliantly in her New York Times bestseller, The Shift, Brown relays the unforgettable details of her daily life—the needles, the chemo drugs, the rubber gloves, the bureaucratic frustrations—but this time from her new perch as a patient, looking back at some of her own cases and considering what she didn’t know then about the warping effects of fear and the healing virtues of compassion. “People failed me when I was a patient and I failed patients when working as a nurse. I see that now,” she writes.Healing is must-read for all of us who have tried to find healing through our health-care system.