Amy Colver, LCSW
Melody Griffith, MSW, LMSW, OSW-C
AOSW Communications Director
Jeanice Hansen, LCSW, OSW-C
To submit a story or information for inclusion in a future issue of AOSW Newsletter, contact Amy Colver or Melody Griffith on the list above.
“Childhood Cancer: A Parent’s Guide to Solid Tumors,” by Anne Spurgeon and Nancy Keene
I felt compelled to approach my review for this well organized and highly informative book as both an oncology social worker and a parent. Although I serve an adult oncology population, I am familiar enough with the overarching medical and psychosocial aspects of oncology care to say this is one of the most well-crafted, honest and sensitive resources I’ve encountered.
The language is detailed and defined enough to where a parent can achieve a common language with their child’s oncologist. Yet it is not bogged down, making it inaccessible or losing the overall perspective of a difficult journey requiring planning, adjustment and perseverance. This book balances the medical, emotional and pragmatic needs of the patient, parents, siblings and extended family. There is acknowledgment for how a child’s cancer affects the entire family system. There should be no surprises and the advice offered is truly spot on. It is clear the authors know their subject matter. The book allows the parent to easily navigate to the relevant sections and turn to this excellent resource as needs arise.
As a father of two young children, I found it difficult to imagine, let alone live, the painful reality parents face when a solid tumor is diagnosed in a child. As rich of a resource as this book offers, it’s hard to imagine a child and their family navigating this challenging time without supportive oncology care. This book would be an excellent resource for a pediatric oncology social worker or other medical professional to offer as a guide to supplement their instruction and point out critical content at the necessary times during the child’s care.
As both a parent and an oncology social worker, the best accolades I could offer is this book could stand alone to help families cope with a child’s cancer. However, when used in conjunction with the support of a health care provider or treatment team, this book serves as an adjuvant source of information, comfort and advice. I do not believe it is too far of a stretch to say this amazing resource for parents could have meaningful impact on the outcome a child’s cancer care.
About the Author
Ted Varkas, MSW, LMSWHenry Ford Health System