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REVIEW of Focus 23
Take my Hand by Jo Wiles
The stories of 14 McGrath Foundation Breast Care Nurses

Breast cancer is a terrible disease that can affect men as well as women. Fortunately, medical science has progressed to the point where a high percentage of cases can be cured. As well as the doctors handling the front-line treatment, patients also receive support and assistance from many organisations; and this ought to be very reassuring. The hard fact, however, is that this is a worrying time for everyone involved, including friends and families, and the abundance of help can sometimes be overwhelming. Here's where, in Australia at least, The McGrath Foundation steps in, providing a number of breast care nurses who form a bond with their patients and are able to explain procedures and consequences in simple terms. Having been directly affected by breast cancer, we are in no doubt that a full recovery from the disease was thanks especially to one of these amazing people.

In her book, "Take My Hand," Jo Wiles relates the stories of fourteen McGrath Foundation breast care nurses and their patients. Although they are truthful, sometimes heart-wrenching accounts, the way Jo tells them draws readers into the individual situations making it seem as if they are actually in the room as the tales unfold. The concerns, the fears and the tears paint a very real picture, balanced by laughter and rising spirits as nurse and patient walk and talk hand-in-hand towards a brighter future.

Take My Hand is a worthwhile read for anyone having to cope with breast cancer; and I believe even those not affected would benefit from the stories and the lessons learned. Maybe you think this subject is irrelevant to you; and maybe it is - at the moment; but cancer can knock on any door, any time...

To read the complete article or download the PDF of Focus 23 click here

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