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Free Cancer Guide Coming Soon… Last Chance to Give Me Your Input!

I’m writing these words from my hospital bed.

Just as I was patting myself on the back for making it thus far (7 months) without needing to be hospitalized for neutropenic fever, my temperature shot up last night to 100.5 while my immune system was completely wiped out (with a white blood cell count of 0.3).

So, here I am to get labs tests and blood cultures and IV antibiotics, and damned if I’m not going to get at least a brief Tuesday newsletter out to you guys (plus there really isn’t too much to do in the hospital…).

I’ve been putting the finishing touches on my free cancer quick-start guide, and the final product is close to being released! My goal is to send the final version to my graphic designer Thursday (I found a great designer through the blog who I also got to meet at the World Domination Summit (thank you so much to all who emailed me about helping; I appreciate all of your gracious offers even though I couldn’t take up most of you on them!) and then release it to the world next week.

My last questions for you before I put together the final version…

1) Do you have any more additions or suggestions for the list “27 Ways to Make the Day of Someone With Cancer?” If you already emailed me or left a comment I’ve added your suggestions to the list. Or, do you hvae any suggestions for a list of ways NOT to help a cancer patient (i.e. the “don’ts”)? If there’s anything you can think of that would be good to add, let me know!

2) Are there any copyeditors out there (or just really good close readers) who’d be willing to do a quick final proofread for grammar and spelling errors and typos and such? I’d like to send out the document to a few people tomorrow to look over so I can compile the feedback and still get everything to my designer on Thursday.

If you have any final suggestions for the guide or are willing to volunteer a little time as a proofreader, let me know in the comments or via email!


  1. Hello Elena! I think what you’re doing is so great, and if you’re still looking for proofreaders, I’d be more than willing to help!

  2. Lonna Kahn says:

    I am a very good proofreader and would be most willing to volunteer for that. Just email me and I will get back to you ASAP. I’d be proud to do something for someone whose writing has meant a lot to me.

  3. Cindy Cloyd says:

    While I am certainly not a professional proofreader, I am a careful, meticulous reader. I am more than willing to help! Of course, you will not hurt my feelings if you find bonafide proofreaders…
    No need to respond unless I can be of service.

  4. I know a great proofreading service and always send my health-related document to them. They are not free, but not too expensive either. Adams Dale . They specialize in proofing. Typically we send them PDFs of hospital newsletters and the document comes back marked up in red so that you can easily see all the changes. I know they work with Word documents, too.

    Get well soon!

  5. Katie Bibbs says:


    I enjoy reading your blog posts and hearing from you. I get your news already via my email (above), please don’t add me again. I’d be happy to help you with proof reading, but I have no training in that area aside from being a Mom of adult children and having English as one of my minors in college (back in the 70’s!).

    I think what you are doing is helpful to both you and others…keep up the great, HONEST, work!

    Just contact me if you can use my help proofreading or in some other capacity! Keep on truckin’ and kicking cancers ass!

  6. I have quietly admired your strength and courage, Elana. While you have been battling your unique cancer, I’ve been inspired by your words as I battled stage 4 ovarian cancer. At 51, it was my second bout with cancer. The first was breast cancer, 12 years ago. I appreciate the voice you’ve given me. Yes…YOU! I hope for all good things for you…full recovery! You’re a beautiful soul. Thank you.

  7. I can help proofread anytime this week.
    I also live near you so if you need me to run anything around back and forth to you or to anyone else, no problem!

    Also: the biggest things that helped me during my health crisis/journey: I out a sign on my door that said to knock softly but my neighbor across the street and best friend knew I kept the door unlocked. She would sneak in just to give me a hug. Early on I knew how much human touch was needed and healing.so we decided to give each other daily hugs,
    this is a must “do.

    A “don’t” for me was when everyone would say to me to call them if I needed anything.,I greatly appreciated those who would. Not wait for me to ask but just did.
    I also had two local friends who knew they were “on call” even if it was thru a medicine crisis( side effects can be grueling). I learned from those who had been down a cancer crisis before me, truly inspirational and loving and self less

  8. jacquelyn says:

    Elana, i have been so moved by your courage and strength throughout the last 7 months. sending positive energy and healing thoughts your way. I hope you feel better soon

  9. Patty Rodgers says:

    Elana – I am awestruck by the photo of today’s post. Your eyes are so beautiful. Also, it really took me back to when I was in your “shoes.” I’ll have 5 years cancer-free this upcoming August 5th! The many Vancomycin drips for infection… the fevers…. neutropenia. I remember it all very vividly. I wish I had written my story and so glad to see you are doing this!

    It looks as if you have plenty of offers for proofreading, but my offer stands for that, also. The list is superb. Thank you and all of your supporters! I can’t think of a thing to add.

    Then the picture of you on the link!! You are such an inspiration as well as gorgeous.

    I am out here keeping tabs on you even when I don’t write back. Sending much love and many prayers. XOXO ~ Patty

  10. Susan M. says:

    It looks as if the proofreading is certainly covered! (-;

    I do have a suggestion for making a real difference in the life of someone you know who has cancer. Chances are, you know a lot about that person’s sense of humor… As well as your own! When funny things continue to happen (and they will) share the “real time” hilarity. When we are seeped in our deepest emotions, potentially fighting for our lives, our sense of self is raw and exposed. Thus, we are more fully able to appreciate being made aware of something that happened which was unexpectedly funny! It is a spontaneous, free gift! It is such a relief to have a reason to laugh out loud… Together. For example, (not a cancer issue) but my friend’s adult son was killed in a car crash. She brought his ashes home, called me and said, “Rob is in the cabinet in the entertainment center.” At that moment, we both burst out laughing at how that sounded, and what he would think about it, if he was listening to us.” That is one of the more extreme situations. There are so many, more day-to-day. (-;

  11. elana,

    following you along for months – won’t take too long, but to review:

    you’ve been through hell, dear woman.

    as for me:
    ped card at ucla – 80’s through 2000;
    following your story with love and interest;
    my partner – now 71 – continuing after three and one half years of advanced breast cancer; followed the last two at stanford – how i recognize the colors and gown – without a lot of real hope;

    would be honored to proof, comment on your drafts: pretty good writer; pretty detail-aware.
    can turn it around in a day or two, as we’re recovering from whole brain irradiation, so this is a sort of quiet time.

    pat’s next due at wcc on the 6th – would hope to meet you.

    let me know.

    tom santulli

    fyi, malignant is an important book, in my opinion

    831 521 4036

  12. Kristen says:

    Hello. I love your blog. As a two time survivor, I’d love to proofread the initial run

  13. Shirley says:

    If you need any more proofreaders, let me know!

  14. Lorryn Wahler says:


    I’ve been following your blog from the beginning, and wish only the best for you. I love how openly you’ve been sharing all aspects of this cancer experience … you are an amazing woman!

    I’m a pretty good proof reader … if you need someone please call on me.



  15. Marlene says:

    Dear Elana,

    You look very beautiful in your pic. Sorry to hear you’re under the weather, and hope you’ll be as good as new really soon. Here’s another proofreader for you, also available for any other tasks that may be useful to you. It would be an honor. My address, m.erdman@hotmail.com

    Take care,

    Marlene E.

  16. Alison Lake says:

    Hi Elena I’m not professional proof reader but very meticulous one. Also a nurse. I would be honoured to read it for you xx

  17. Regarding 1&2. Please deliver food in containers that do not need to be returned (clarify this!). AND. Make sure to say no thank you note is needed for food. Or anything. Love your list!!

  18. Elana,
    Happy to proof read for you. I’m a big reader and had breast cancer 13 years ago. I love your strength and intelligence .

  19. susan oransky says:

    everyday I come into work. yes I am one of the few that can work a 40 hour week. I get chemo on thurs and Friday I am on speed from the steroids and Saturday and sunday I am good for nothing. an effort to lift my arm. I only get so exhausted. I am eating well and going about my business. what I have to say is ….EVERYDAY I COME INTO WORK AND MY BOSS WANTS TO KNOW HOW I AM FEELING. I HATE TELLING ANYONE UNLESS I BRING IT UP MYSELF. IT IS SUCH A DRAG. I SHOWED UP FOR WORK AND THAT IS THE IMPORTANT FACT. THIS MIGHT SEEM MINOR TO SOMEONE ELSE BUT TO ME I GO THROUGH IT EVERYDAY AND I DO NOT LIKE IT. JUST LEAVE ME ALONE TO DO MY WORK AND THEN LEAVE FOR THE DAY.

  20. Meg Loscomb says:

    Several months after I started receiving your updates, my dear friend, age 64, was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer which has metastasized into the bone of her right arm. I am her caretaker… Or as I’ve been calling it, I’m the cancer manager. I had no idea, before this, what this meant. Her disease is terminal and moving quick and it is both heartbreaking to endure and see inspiring to share with her, the bravest woman I know.
    Just reading your words these days brings a strange kind of relative comfort. Keep up the good work, woman.
    Looking at your comments, it appears you have plenty of readers, but my address is below in the event you want more.
    My blessings to you on the wild ride.
    Meg Loscomb
    121 Clark ave
    Johnson, Vt

  21. I am not a professional copy editor per say but did do quite a bit of proofing work in a former position.

    If you still need another pair if eyes, I would love to help out!

    You are going to make an incredible impact with this project!!


  22. SUSAN MAY says:

    Hi there –

    I am not a profession copy editor but definitely have proof reading skills if you’d like for me to look over your book. People have me proof read things all the time because typos just seem to jump out at me. I think having OCD helps, too LOL!!

    Let me know if you need my help! Also, will we be able to purchase your new Guide through a website or how? I’m anxious to get my copy.

    Thanks, and I hope you’re feeling better soon!

  23. Tina Poles says:

    On the don’t of who gets to unburden their fears and concerns on whom.
    I like the graphic of a dart board. The person with cancer sits at the bulls eye. The next ring is the day to day care givers. These people are often living with the patient and have totally changed their lives as well. Next level is the people who are bringing meals, offering rides or weekly involved, close but still most likely still working and carrying on with their lives. Rings go out from there. You figure out where you are on the map and you only get to complain/flip out on someone on a ring OUTSIDE of yours or on the SAME ring. So when I was on ring 3, i never unburdened on the patient or the caregivers( i was real, i listen , offered ideas about issues when asked and visited in hospital and home, did many practical things to help for the year, but I never told them how much this threw me back into my own mother’s illness) i only talk about MY stuff with people in ring 3 or 4 or with my own support network.

  24. Hi Elana,

    If you need that extra set of eyes to proofread for grammar and spelling, I’d be happy to help! I also sent an email to you via your “Contact Me” link.

    Keep on keeping on!


  25. I think I’m too late for any suggestions, but I learned more from reading your posts than I could ever suggest. I’m a terrible proofreader, but I just wanted to say I’m looking forward to your guide, Elana!

  26. I am sending healing thoughts and prayers your way. I enjoy reading your blog. You are an inspiration.

  27. When my friends’ daughter had AML they weren’t able to work while they were caring for her. We don’t live close so our family decided we would not go out to dinner, movies etc for one month and were able to send her $500. In my work, I frequently am given gift cards and share them with this beautiful family. A get well card with a Star Bucks, CPK, Jamba Juice , AmEx card etc let them know we were thinking of them and let them have a few minutes of respite from the journey the were on and know they were loved.
    Some employers will allow donation of paid time off hours. This can help families stay afloat during the ordeal.
    Bought monthly parking passes for my family members when my sister had a prolonged hospitalization after transplantation. Unreal how much these hospitals charge! Even $5 a day over a month is exorbitant!

  28. Hi, Elena, I’d be happy to take a look at it if you still need proofers. Sounds pretty cool!

  29. I haven’t seen the suggestion list, but I believe the biggest no-no is to make suggestions about how you think someone got cancer. This is equivalent to telling a person that they need to stay positive in order to have any chance of survival?

  30. Hi Elena,
    Even if one has a middle-class job, being suddenly out of work with a daunting
    diagnosis can be financially disastrous. My sis (diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer) did not have adequate health insurance, as she was an artist, and pt time rural mail carrier. There are many websites where you can fundraise for a medical cause. I used Give Forward, and was able to raise a little money to help pay her basic bills and buy groceries and supplements. She struggled daily for about a year after surgery and chemo, and lived valiantly and optimistically to the end. I have been clearing out her house and found some of her spirited writing during this time. To get financial help from local agencies, she was actually told to quit paying her bills until she got shut-off notices, and then she could get a little assistance. Cancer patients should not have to have the additional burden of financial woes. I would suggest someone capable step forward to be a CFO (cancer financial officiator) to help the patient through the mounds of paperwork, and the financial stress that many (like my sis) had to endure. Friends or family may want to help financially but don’t know how. This “go to” person can coordinate fundraising efforts and use the $ as it best helps the patient. It also helps to have one key person send email updates regarding how the patient is doing (based on what the patient wants revealed). Hope this helps! Thank you for what you are doing! Love, Lin

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