New in the Counterpart library

Here is a selection of resources that have recently been added to our library collection.

To borrow from the library:

  • drop into the library during Resource Centre hours
  • email us and request that items be posted out and returned by mail
  • search the library catalogue and request an item using the 'Request this item' online form at the bottom of each page

Please note that we can only post items within Victoria, Australia.

Added May 2019

The complete guide to breast cancer: how to feel empowered and take control

Cover image of The Complete Guide to Breast Cancer

Prof. Trisha Greenhalgh & Dr Liz O'Riordan (book)

British authors Professor Trish Greenhalgh and Dr Liz O'Riordan both have medical backgrounds, and were both diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. This book describes the experiences from diagnosis to life after treatment, with their unique personal experiences. Includes chapters for men, LGBT+ people and older people with breast cancer, as well as a chapter on metastatic (also known as advanced or secondary) breast cancer. Liz O'Riordan is well known for her personal blog 'Breast surgeon with breast cancer', which can be found at

(2018, UK)


F*** you cancer: How to face the big C, live your life and still be yourself

Cover image of F*** You Cancer by Deborah James

Deborah James (book)

Deborah James was a young woman, working as a deputy head teacher in the UK and mother of two children, when she was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer. In this book she draws on her own experiences to provide suggestions for coping with diagnosis, treatment and living well with advanced (also known as metastatic or secondary) cancer, in her own witty and straightforward style. Deborah is well known for the award winning BBC podcast 'You, Me and the Big C', as well as her blog, Bowel Babe. Content note: As you can guess from the title, this book contains strong language.

(2018, UK)


With the end in mind: Dying, death, and wisdom in an age of denial

cover of With the end in mind

Kathryn Mannix (book)

Palliative care doctor, Kathryn Mannix, draws on her years of practice to make a case for approaching death with openness, clarity and understanding.

(2018, USA)


The reality slap: How to find fulfilment when life hurts

Cover image of Reality Slap by Russ Harris

Russ Harris (book)

Well known Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) expert, Russ Harris, teaches us how to cope with unexpected and upsetting life events, and how to thrive despite them.

(2012, UK)


Added March 2019

Don't stop believin'

Cover image of Don't stop believin'

Olivia Newton-John (book)

This is Olivia’s 2018 memoir, sharing her story from growing up in Melbourne to her life as an international star.

(2018, AUS)


A hole in my genes: a memoir

Cover image of A hole in my genes

Dr Jodie Fleming (book)

The memoir of Dr Jodie Fleming, a Clinical and Health Psychologist from Victoria’s Western District. Jodie describes her experience of being diagnosed with breast cancer twice in her 30s – one being hormone receptor positive and the other, triple negative. She was also found to have a BRCA1 gene mutation. Includes a foreword by her McGrath Breast Care Nurse, Rebecca Hay.

(2019, AUS)


Added December 2018

Yoga off the mat

Cover image of Yoga off the mat

Sarasvati Sally Dawson (book)

In this book, Swami Sarasvati Sally Dawson, a qualified Senior Yoga and Meditation teacher from Melbourne, aims to "make the inner workings of Yoga – not just the postures – more accessible to everyone", so that you can take the benefits of yoga into everyday life, not just the yoga class. She includes thoughts on meditation, mindfulness, dealing with thoughts, breath, focus and how to include elements of yoga in other areas of life. (2017, AUS)

Added October 2018

Lives interrupted

David Allen and Genevieve Green (book)

Melbourne gynaecological oncologist David Allen and Oncology social worker Genevieve Green describe the medical and human stories of gynaecological cancer. They explain the different types of gynaecological cancer (cervical; endometrial or uterine; ovarian, fallopian tube and primary peritoneal; vulval, vaginal and gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD)), as well as current treatments and research in the field. Throughout the text, they include personal stories of women living with gynaecological cancers and also discuss  emotional experiences and some of the broader philosophical issues that might arise. (2018, AUS)

Added July 2018

We have just had a donation of two books from Beaglier Books.

If you'd like to borrow any of these, click on the title and complete the request form, or call us on 1300 781 500.


Everyday strength

Cover image of 'Everyday Strength'

Sam Mannering and Karen McMillan (book)

This beautifully presented book by Sam Mannering and Karen McMillan is a collection of tips and recipes for people who are experiencing cancer treatment. Includes hair, skin and nail care, emotional wellbeing tips, dealing with fatigue, loss of appetite and nausea, and side effects of hormone therapy. Tempting recipes include soups, teas and smoothies. (2017, NZ)


Unbreakable spirit

Cover image of Unbreakable Spirit

Karen McMillan (book)

Author Karen McMillan has put together a collection of personal stories from people who have had, or have been affected by, cancer. Stories represent a wide range of circumstances that will provide information, comfort and help to patients and their families. (2018, NZ)

Added in June 2018

We've recently added some great, new books to our collection.

We're all in this together: Dealing with cancer – a guide for mums

Mummy's Wish (book)

This is a very practical and readable guide for mothers who have been diagnosed with cancer. It includes lots of ideas for managing a family, talking to children, dealing with school, making memories, getting financial advice and finding further support. Mummy's Wish developed this book with the support of Dry July. This can be borrowed, viewed online, or printed copies will be available after July 2018. (2018, AUS)

The Royal Marsden cancer cookbook

Catherine Phipps and Georgia Glynn Smith (book)

This cookbook, written by Catherine Phipps with photography by Georgia Glynn Smith, provides recipes and nutritional information especially for people who have been diagnosed with cancer. All recipes have been reviewed and analysed by Dr Clare Shaw PhD RD, Consultant Dietitian at The Royal Marsden. There are suggestions for dealing with side effects of treatment, and recipes are suitable for all the family to share. (2015, UK)


A comforted heart

Kelly Grosklags (book)

Psychotherapist Kelly Grosklags writes about the possibility of living a life of hope and peace, regardless of life's circumstances. Chapters are divided into short, easy-to-read sections, and cover topics like gratitude, forgiveness, courage, honouring feelings and paying attention to your life. (2017, USA)


Breast cancer husband

Marc Silver (book)

This book has been a longtime favourite in our library, so we've added another copy to the collection. Marc Silver's wife Marsha was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 years before this book was published in 2004. He provides practical advice and direction to partners and carers of women who have cancer. It includes chapters on dealing with diagnosis, talking to children, attending appointments, coping during treatment, facing death and finding your 'new normal'. (2004, USA)


The breast reconstruction guidebook (4th edition)

Kathy Steligo (book)

This is an updated edition of this well-regarded book written by health journalist Kathy Steligo, drawing on her personal experience of breast cancer and reconstruction surgery. The book covers surgery options, side effects and benefits.  (2017, USA)


The huge bag of worries

Virginia Ironside and Frank Rodgers (book)

This picture book tells the story of Jenny who finds a lot of little worries building up until she feels constantly anxious. She tries a number of ways to get rid of her 'bag of worries', but nothing works. One day an old lady explains that worries need to be talked about and examined, rather than hidden away. At the end of the book, Jenny has dealt with her worries and feels happy again. (1996, UK)

'Your emotions' series

Brian Moses and Mike Gordon (books)

Three picture books from the Your Emotions series written by Brian Moses and illustrated by Mike Gordon. They explain difficult emotions that children might feel or see in others. The stories may help children to recognise and talk about their feelings. Each book includes notes for parents and teachers, and a list for further reading. Suitable for pre-school and early primary school children.  You can request a loan by visiting each book's page in the library catalogue: I feel sadI feel angryI feel frightened. (UK)


The top five regrets of the dying

Bronnie Ware (book)

Drawn from her experiences working in palliative care and from other personal experiences, this Australian author applies the lessons she has learnt from those nearing death to her own life. (2012, AUS)


What will I wear to your funeral?

Kellie Curtain (book)

Kellie Curtain, mother of four and former Australian television news reporter, describes the period leading up to, and following, her mother's death. She talks about the importance of family, communication, honesty and humour, as well as plans and expectations. (2017, AUS)


My parent has cancer and it really sucks

Cover of My parent has cancer and it really sucks

Maya and Marc Silver (book)

We now have a second copy of this popular book.
This book focuses on the specific issues faced by teenagers whose parents have been diagnosed with cancer. Topics include dealing with friends, risky behaviours, communicating with parents and coping with school, as well as stress, grief, finding support, and life after cancer. Includes lots of advice from young people who have been in this situation, to help normalise feelings.
Co-authored by Maya Silver, who was 15 when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and Marc Silver, who wrote the popular book Breast cancer husband. (2013, USA)


Understanding ovarian cancer

Kimberley Maxwell & Shawn deLoache (book)

Another excellent comic in the Medikidz series. This publication tells the story of Jenny whose grandmother has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The comic has been "written by doctors for kids", and has been peer reviewed by an Australian team and supported by Ovarian Cancer Australia (OCA) and the Australia New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group (ANZGOG). It would suit children of primary school age. (2018, USA)


Rise: a psychological and practical first-aid kit for overcoming adversity

Sian Williams (book)

British journalist Sian Williams shares her cancer experience through her own journal entries. She discusses resilience, growth after trauma and offers advice on sleep, nutrition and exercise. (2016, UK)


Surviving triple-negative breast cancer: hope, treatment and recovery

Patricia Prijatel (book)

This book is always in demand, so we've added an extra copy.

Motivated by her own diagnosis with triple-negative breast cancer, health journalist Patricia Prijatel provides research-based information on the condition, the role of genetics, treatment options and strategies to reduce the risk of recurrence of triple negative breast cancer. (2013, AUS)


Sexy after cancer

Barbara Musser (book)

Barbara Musser discusses sex after a breast cancer diagnosis, in relation to changing feelings around self-esteem, femininity, sexuality, intimacy and libido. She also gives general advice on taking care of yourself and finding personal support, particularly straight after diagnosis.

Note that the author's blog URL mentioned in this book,, now redirects to a commercial site selling bras designed specifically for women who have had breast cancer. (2012, US)


In danger: a memoir of family and hope

Josepha Dietrich (book)

Her mother died at the age of 56 after refusing conventional treatment for her aggressive breast cancer, so when Josepha Dietrich was diagnosed with breast cancer at 35, with a baby son, she chose conventional treatments. She underwent chemotherapy, mastectomy and reconstruction, surgery to remove lymph nodes, as well as her ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus, and has taken Arimidex for the past nine years. In this book she discusses her experiences with breast cancer, and also as her mother's carer, including making treatment decisions and managing side effects. Includes a section on resources she found helpful during her cancer treatment and recovery. (2018, AUS)


The happiness plan

Elise Bialylew (book)

Elise Bialylew, founder of Mindful in May, provides a one month mindfulness program, including exercises, meditations, readings, and even recipes. The aim of the program is to introduce mindfulness as a tool for managing stress and improving general wellbeing. (2018, AUS)


The cancer recovery guide

Cancer recovery guide by Kerryn Phelps

Kerryn Phelps (book)

We've added two more copies of this popular book!
Professor Kerryn Phelps AM writes about cancer from diagnosis, through treatment and recovery. Includes specific sections on more common forms of cancer, including breast and cervical cancers. (2015, AUS)


Letting go: how to plan for a good death

Dr Charlie Corke (book)

Australian intensive care specialist Dr Charlie Corke explains end-of-life decision making. He discusses types of interventions, quality of life and advance care planning. The resources section at the back of the book lists links to further helpful resources. (2018, AUS)



Added in 2017

Headscarves, headwear & more

Cover image of Headscarves, wraps & more

Kaye Nutman (book)

Author Kaye Nutman volunteers in a wig room, working with chemotherapy patients. She became interested in scarves and headwraps from the point of view of those patients, but then noticed beautiful wraps worn for fashion, health, cultural and religious reasons, and became fascinated. This book is a collection of practical instructions, photographs and illustrations, showing the range of ways heads can be covered, and the materials that can be used. (2016, AUS)


Ovarian cancer? You can not be serious!

Cover image of Ovarian cancer? You can NOT be serious!

Janice M. Coggins (book)

Janice M. Coggins as diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 59. In this book tells the story of her diagnosis and treatment for ovarian cancer, as well as her life beyond treatment. (2013, USA)


A guide to survivorship for women who have ovarian cancer

Cover image of A guide to survivorship for women who had ovarian cancer

Robert E. Bristow, Terri L. Cornelison and F.J. Montz (book)

This is the second edition of this popular book by Robert E. Bristow, Terri L. Cornelison and F.J. Montz. It features detailed information on ovarian cancer diagnosis, treatment, pain management, integrative medicine, recovery, nutrition and genetic testing. Includes advice from women who have coped with the disease and treatments. (2015, USA)


Nurse Ted: a children's guide to cancer

Cover image of Nurse Ted

Ffion Jones and Kerry Foster-Mitchell (book)

This picture book, the second in the Nurse Ted series, was a collaboration between a children’s book writer and illustrator, Ffion Jones, and a neuro-oncology clinical nurse specialist, Kerry Foster-Mitchell. It was created for children whose parents have been diagnosed with cancer. The images are a clever combination of illustrated characters, and photographs showing what a real hospital looks like. Through the story of Ben, it provides clear descriptions of how cancer happens, and the processes of diagnosis, treatment and recovery in language suitable for children from pre-school to early primary school age. The interactions between Ben and his parents normalise feelings of sadness, fear and anger and encourage him to talk to his dad, so they can support each other. The book includes a glossary, description of side effects of specific treatments, and advice and tools for parents to use when discussing a cancer diagnosis with a young child. (2016, UK)


Positive oncology

Cover image of Positive Oncology

Sue Mackey (book)

When Geelong author Sue Mackey had her own personal experience of triple-negative breast cancer she used positive psychology strategies to help her cope. Here she shares these strategies including stress management, controlling thoughts, dealing with fear and adopting gratitude. Easy to read, with lots of practical advice. (2017, Aus)


There is no good card for this

Cover image for There Is No Good Card For This

Kelsey Crowe, PhD and Emily McDowell (book)

This book was written by Kelsey Crowe who has a doctorate in social welfare, and has had her own experience of breast cancer, along with Emily McDowell who is well known for her humorous empathy cards for loss and illness. The book provides a practical, easy-to-read guide to how to speak to loved ones when they are facing a particularly challenging situation. It is a helpful guide to what to say and do when you don’t know what to say or do. (2017, US)


The bright hour

The bright hour

Nina Riggs (book)

Nina Riggs was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer at the age of 38. At the time, she was a poet, and was married with two young sons. Nina is an exceptional writer who manages to describe her very serious situation in a way that is entertaining and often even, funny! The Afterword was written by her husband John, after her death in early 2017. (2017, US)


The secret C

Cover image for Secret C

Julie A. Stokes OBE (book)

This lovely, little children’s picture book emphasises the importance of speaking honestly and openly about cancer when someone in the family is diagnosed. It touches on topics that might worry a child, such as guilt, concerns about catching cancer, how they can help, understanding when the person is tired, feeling ill or losing their hair. It also discusses the reactions of friends who might not know what to say. Author Julie A. Stokes is a clinical psychologist who founded Winston’s Wish, the leading childhood bereavement charity in the UK. Suitable for primary school-aged children. (2009, UK)


Women's cancers: pathways to living

Cover image for Women's Cancers

J Richard Smith and Giuseppe Del Priore (book)

This book is written by J Richard Smith, a consultant gynaecological surgeon specialising in women’s cancers. The first four chapters are relevant for women diagnosed with any type of cancer. These are followed by chapters specifically dealing with cervical, ovarian, uterine, vulval, breast and placental cancers. Includes information on chemotherapy, radiotherapy, complementary therapies, spiritual approaches and pain management. Smith notes that the chapter on bereavement is not just for women with an advanced diagnosis, as it also relates to coming to terms with diagnosis and treatment. He uses a “4 cusp” approach to explain the individual stages of a cancer experience. (2016, UK)


What can I do to help?

Cover image of What Can I Do To Help?

Deborah Hutton (book)

When someone is diagnosed with cancer, friends and family want to help, but are often unsure what they can do. They may make vague offers of help, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do”, at a time when the person may feel awkward about asking for help, or may not have the time or energy to think about it. In this book, author Deborah Hutton provides lots of ideas for ways in which family and friends can provide practical help. (2010, UK)


A mindfulness guide for the frazzled 

Cover image of Frazzled by Ruby Wax.

Entertaining and easy to read, this book explains the benefits of mindfulness in dealing with stress and maintaining mental health. Includes a plan for a six-week, do-it-yourself mindfulness course, as well as information for children and teenagers. Author Ruby Wax has personal experience with anxiety and depression, as well as a Master’s degree in Minfulness-based Cognitive Therapy from Oxford University. (2016, UK)


Shaken not stirred…a chemo cocktail

Cover image of Shaken Not Stirred

Joules Evans (book)

Joules Evans, a “40-something” writer from Ohio, tells her breast cancer story. It is “one part hope, a dash of bitter, a splash of sweet, with a twist of humour, and served on the rocks. It’s a comedy about my tragedy.” (2011, US)


Why my mummy? Kai shares his mother's experience of cancer

Cover image of Why My Mummy?

Donna Penny (book)

Donna Penny wrote this picture book from the perspective of her 9-year-old son, Kai, to help parents explain advanced (metastatic) cancer to their children. It is a bright, positive book, sharing the family’s experience of advanced breast cancer, including chemotherapy, hair loss, anxiety and most of all, family. Although Donna has breast cancer, the story doesn’t actually mention the type of cancer, so it is equally relevant for children of women with other types of advanced cancer. (2016, Aus.)


Chemo and back again

Cover image for Chemo and Back Again

Andrea Fairbairn (book)

Andrea Fairbairn has written the book she wanted to read while she was going through chemotherapy — she was looking for real life experiences, rather than medical information. This book is part journal and part handbook. It includes information and inspiration with topics including how chemo feels, what happens to your body, what happens when you finish. This second edition includes extra information on recovery and getting your life back again. Andrea was diagnosed with breast cancer, and her treatment included mastectomy, reconstruction, chemotherapy and Herceptin, but her very practical chemotherapy information would be helpful for most people going through chemotherapy. (2016, Aus.)


Where did my libido go?

Cover of Where did my libido go

Dr Rosie King (book)

Dr Rosie King has written this book for women who feel little or no desire for sex. Chapters include: Understanding your sexual desire; Maximising your desire and arousal; Balancing your sex drives. (2010, Aus.)


Our mom has cancer

Cover image of Our Mom has cancer

Abigail and Adrienne Ackermann (book)

Picture book written by two young girls whose mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Describes their concerns as they watch and support their mother as she goes through surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. (US, 2001) Kindly donated by a Counterpart service user.


Post pink: living with advanced breast cancer

Advanced Breast Cancer Group, Queensland (video)

This 30 minute video, produced by the Advanced Breast Cancer Group in Queensland, focuses on the stories of six woman living with advanced breast cancer, their partners and families. While explaining the benefits of face-to-face support groups, they discuss topics such as the shock of diagnosis, feeling isolated, coping strategies, communication and relationships, dealing with changing roles, and living with the uncertainty of advanced cancer. (2017, Aus)


Mummy's lump

Cover image of Mummy's Lump

Gillian Forrest and Sarah Garson (book)

This picture book from Breast Cancer Care UK,  is written for young children. It tells the story of a family whose mother is diagnosed with breast cancer. It follows her diagnosis, treatment including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and ends with her treatment completed and the family visiting the beach. Includes the mother's visit to hospital and explains that parents can feel worried and sad too. Written by Gillian Forrest and illustrated by Sarah Garson. Also available online as a PDF file. (2015, UK)


Telling your child you have cancer

Cover image of Telling your child you have cancer

London Cancer (book)

This comic-style book from the UK looks at the issues around telling your child you have cancer. Whether to tell, how to explain terms in simple language, understanding (and misunderstanding) at different ages and how to answer some common questions. Links to further support and information, many available online. Published by Fruitfly Collective and illustrated by Emma Swinhoe. See also, the YouTube video of the same name. (UK, n.d.)


Added in July 2016

We're adding new resources to our library collection right now – and there are more to come soon, so check back later!

If you'd like to borrow any of these, click on the title and complete the request form, or call us on 1300 781 500.

Beauty after breast cancer

Cover image of the book Beauty After Breast Cancer

Katelyn Carey and Joseph Linaschke (book)

This joyful and positive book was created by women who have experienced breast cancer, and provides the information they wish they had had access to when they were diagnosed.  It is a large format book featuring full-colour images. It offers so much more than pictures, as it is possible to search for the stories of women who have had specific types of surgery and reconstruction. The 38 people featured in the book (37 women and 1 man) have had a range of experiences, reactions, procedures and outcomes. Stories include decorative and nipple tattoos; implant, DIEP and lat. reconstructions; no reconstruction; bilateral and unilateral mastectomies. (US, 2015)

One breast, two breast: A unique take on breast cancer – my story

Cover image of the book 'One breast, two breast' by Susie Kliman

Susie Kliman (book)

In this short, easy-to-read, light-hearted, rhyming picture book, Susie Kliman tells the story of her breast cancer experience. It begins as she notices a puckered nipple, and continues through diagnosis and treatment. The book may help family members and friends of women undergoing treatment for breast cancer to gain an insight into what they are going through. Includes a section on helpful resources and tips for coping. Illustrations by Esther Erlich.  (Aust., 2014)


Added in June 2016

Battle scars

Cover image of Battle Scars by Charlene Ericson

Charlene Ericson (book)

Australian woman, Charlene Ericson, describes her experience with ovarian cancer. Diagnosed at the age of 31, with two young daughters, describes her diagnosis and treatment and provides advice for other women. Includes links to support services in Australia. (Aust., 2015)

This present moment: an art therapy journal

Cover image of This Present Moment by Meg Welchman

Meg Welchman and Grace Cuell (book)

This book was created by Meg Welchman, a psychologist who has had a diagnosis of breast cancer, and Grace Cuell, a design student who has used mandalas for mindfulness. It is written for 'anyone questioning the unfairness of life, whether through illness or heartache or a sense of fear about the future'. The book features meditations and mandalas on 15 life themes including love, faith, hope, vulnerability, joy and resilience. The mandalas are black and white, to be coloured-in as part of a mindfulness exercise. Information on further reading and support services is included at the back of the book. (Aust., 2016)

My mummy has cancer

Cover image of My Mummy Has Cancer by Lyndsey Clark

Lyndsey Clark (book)

This is a picture book created by Lyndsey Clark for her young daughter Nyah. Lyndsey was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer in 2014 and used the book to make the difficult conversation of explaining advanced cancer, death and grief to a young child, a little easier. (Aust. 2016)

One piece of advice: Words to guide you through early breast cancer

Cover image of One Piece of Advice by Yvonne Hughes

Yvonne Hughes (book)

Yvonne Hughes has collected the most helpful thoughts and advice she was given following her diagnosis with breast cancer. She hopes to comfort and inspire other women with these practical words of advice from professional and personal contacts. (Aust., 2013)

Brave hearts

Cover image of Brave Hearts by Kevin Walters

Kevin Walters (book)

Brisbane Broncos player, Kevin Walters, tells the story of his wife Kim's experience with breast cancer, and his family's experience as he raised his three young sons alone following her death at age 29. (Aust., 1999)


The patient chef

Cover image of 'The patient chef'.

Chris O'Brien's Lifehouse (book)

This is a collection of recipes and tips from cancer patients and their carers to help people deal with nutrition, loss of appetite and weight loss during chemotherapy, radiotherapy and following surgery. Includes juices and smoothies, substantial soups, tempting main dishes and desserts. (Aust., 2014)

Happiness by design: Finding pleasure and purpose in everyday life

Cover image of the book Happiness by design

Paul Dolan (book)

Paul Dolan discusses how to find happiness using the pleasure purpose principle (PPP), what really makes us happy, and what does not. He explains that we can be happier by making deliberate choices about our environment and about aspects of life that do and don't deserve our attention. (UK, 2014)

Steps to survival: Gynaecological cancers: raising awareness and my own private battle

Cover image of the book Steps to survival

Denise Sweeney (book)

Australian woman Denise Sweeney tells the story of her diagnosis and treatment for uterine cancer, including diagnosis, surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and post-treatment life. Includes her tips for psychological strategies and graded activity. (Aust., 2016)

Dear Cancer: Beating triple negative breast cancer

Cover image of the book Dear Cancer

Ann Tracy Marr (book)

Ann Tracy Marr tells the story of her diagnosis and treatment for triple negative breast cancer. The book is written in the format of a journal written to 'Cancer', which she sees as an acquaintance or 'someone I wave to from the car as I drive by'. Includes diagnosis, surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and post treatment, with a simple explanation of triple negative breast cancer. (US, 2015)

Susan Love’s breast book – 6th edition

Cover image of Susan Love's breast book, 6th edition

Susan M. Love (book)

This 6th edition of Susan Love's well-regarded book provides her usual, reliable and clearly-written information on breast health, breast conditions, and particularly breast cancer. It provides an update on advances in the treatment of breast cancer over the last five years, and an expanded section on advanced breast cancer. (US, 2015)

Woman cancer sex (book)

Cover image of the book Woman cancer sex

Anne Katz (book)

This book was written by a sexuality counsellor for people with cancer, for all the women who are unable to access a service like hers. She describes the experiences of women with a range of different cancers, and covers sexual functioning, depression, physical and emotional feelings, and specific strategies to treat the problems. Includes issues relating to body image, desire, arousal, orgasm, pain, communication, same-sex relationships, fertility and advanced cancer. (US, 2009)

Pelvic floor recovery: physiotherapy for gynaecological repair surgery

Cover image of the book Pelvic floor recovery

Sue Croft (book)

Author, Sue Croft, is an Australian physiotherapist with a special interest in continence and women’s health. This book provides guidance for rehabilitation following gynaecological repair surgery. It includes extensive bladder and bowel advice; comprehensive preparation exercises; handy hints for your hospital stay; post-surgery abdominal exercises; return to work, sex and sport guidance; post-surgery travel advice. (Aust., 2014)

When Mommy had a mastectomy

Cover image of When Mommy had a mastectomy

Nancy Reuben Greenfield (book)

Nancy Reuben Greenfield wrote this book following her own experience with breast cancer. Told from the point of view of a young girl of around 5 years old, it describes her thoughts about her mother’s cancer and mastectomy, and her happiness at again being able to give her mum a proper hug when she has recovered from her mastectomy. (US, 2005)

Take my hand

Cover image of the book Take my hand

Jo Wiles (book)

A collection of stories from 14 McGrath Breast Care Nurses working all over Australia. These stories were collected to celebrate the 10th birthday of the Foundation. (Aust. 2015)

And then I had breast cancer

Cover image of And then I had breast cancer

Magalie Lameloise (book)

This is a personal story, told in cartoon format, with original illustrations by the author. Magalie Lameloise was 33, married with a young baby, and living in Sydney, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. In this comic-style book, she tells her story from finding a small lump in her breast to finding her ‘new normal’ after treatment. (Aust., 2014)

Catherine Saxelby's complete food and nutrition companion

Image of book cover of Catherine Saxelby's complete food and nutrition companion

Catherine Saxelby (book)
Comprehensive guide to nutrition and healthy eating by Australian dietitian and nutritionist, Catherine Saxelby. Includes a small section specifically looking at cancer and diet. (Aust. 2012)

Thriving AFTER breast cancer: Essential healing exercises for body and mind

Cover image of the book Thriving after breast cancer.

Sherry Lebed Davis (book)

Created by dance instructor Sherry Lebed Davis and her two brothers, both gynaecologists, this program describes the use of exercise and dance, meditation and visualisation for healing following breast cancer treatment. (US, 2002)


More new books for 2016

We've recently added some new resources that have been requested or recommended by the women who have visited Counterpart.

If you'd like to borrow any of these, click on the title and complete the request form, or call us on 1300 781 500.

The cancer recovery guide

Cancer recovery guide by Kerryn Phelps

Kerryn Phelps (book)
Professor Kerryn Phelps AM writes about cancer from diagnosis, through treatment and recovery. Includes specific sections on more common forms of cancer, including breast and cervical cancers. (Aust., 2015)

So it's cancer: now what? 

So it's cancer: now what? by Ranjana Srivastava

Ranjana Srivastava (book)
In her usual easy-to-read conversational style, Dr Ranjana Srivastava, provides a comprehensive guide for people who have been recently diagnosed with cancer. She covers questions that many newly-diagnosed people would like to ask, and provides information to help with many of the important decisions that need to be made. (Aust, 2014)

After cancer: A guide to living well

After cancer: a guide to living well by Ranjana Srivastava

Ranjana Srivastava (book)
This short book (from the Penguin Specials series) discusses life after cancer. Dr Ranjana Srivastava tells post-treatment stories from people she has met, and answers common questions from cancer survivors, including topics such as long-term side effects, anxiety, depression, risk factors for other conditions, fertility, sexual health and advance care plans. (Aust., 2015)

Inflammatory breast cancer: explanation, advice, support

Inflammatory breast cancer by Verite Reily Collins

Verite Reily Collins (book)
Written by a journalist who has had personal experience of inflammatory breast cancer, this book explains inflammatory breast cancer, treatment planning, side effects, terms used, and hints and tips from other women who have had breast cancer. (UK, 2010)

Lymphoedema: survive and thrive

Lymphoedema DVDs

Australasian Lymphology Association (DVDs)
Version 1: Arm and chest
Version 2: Leg
Yoga for secondary arm lymphoedema
These DVDs empower people with lymphoedema to understand their condition and work to manage it themselves. (Aust., 2013)

New in 2016

Talking with kids about cancer

We're often asked for information on talking with children about a parent's cancer diagnosis. In response to these requests, we've just added some great books on this topic (and there will be more to come!). They cover a range of ages and situations from pre-schoolers to teenagers, and will be helpful for families having these difficult conversations.

If you are located in Victoria and have had a diagnosis of breast or a gynaecological cancer, you are eligible to borrow from our library.

For older children and teenagers:

Cover of My parent has cancer and it really sucks

My parent has cancer and it really sucks

Maya and Marc Silver
This book focuses on the specific issues faced by teenagers whose parents have been diagnosed with cancer. Topics include dealing with friends, risky behaviours, communicating with parents and coping with school, as well as stress, grief, finding support, and life after cancer. Includes lots of advice from young people who have been in this situation, to help normalise feelings.
Co-authored by Maya Silver, who was 15 when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and Marc Silver, who wrote the popular book Breast cancer husband. (USA, 2013) Request a loan

For primary school-aged children:

Cover - our Mom is getting better

Our mom is getting better

Alex, Emily and Anna Rose Silver 
This picture book was written and illustrated by three siblings aged 14, 10 and six. It begins on the day of their mother's final chemotherapy treatment and follows her recovery and return to work. This book gives a very positive message of life returning to a 'new normal' after cancer treatment. (USA, 2007) Request a loan

Cover - wouldn't go away

The cancer that wouldn't go away

Hadassa Field
This picture book is aimed at children aged from about 4 to 8 years of age, but would probably be useful for older children too. It was written by Hadassa Field after her sister struggled to find picture books to help her explain her advanced cancer to her children. It explains the concepts of uncertainty and the need for patience when faced with advanced or metastatic cancer. Includes familiar situations like talking to friends, grandma helping with childcare, noticing parents' feelings, and the joy of a new pet. Includes excellent notes specifically for parents, therapists and educators, on talking to children whose parents have had a diagnosis of advanced cancer, and how they might use the book. (USA, 2013). Request a loan

For pre-school and early primary school-aged children:

Cover - nowhere hair

Nowhere hair

Sue Glader
This happy, colourful picture book uses rhyming text to explain hair loss, from the point of view of a little girl whose mother has lost her hair as a result of chemotherapy treatment. Best suited to pre-school and early primary school-aged children. (USA, 2013) Request a loan

For parents:

Can I still kiss you?

Neil Russell
In this easy-to-read, short book, Neil Russell shares his personal story and advice on speaking to children of late-primary and high school age about a parent's cancer diagnosis, surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and the future. Includes a chapter for the children, and examples of questions they might ask, with suggested answers for parents. (USA, 2001) Request a loan

New in 2015

October3 new books for the library collection

Breakfast, school run, chemo (book)
Julia Watson
Julia Watson writes with humour and courage about her family, her life and her diagnosis with advanced bowel cancer. (2015, Melbourne)

What’s dead mean? (book)
Doris Zagdanski, illustrated by Ben Spencer
This is an activity book aimed at children from 3-7 years, and the adults who care for them. It works as a guide for explaining death to young children. Notes for the adults are accompanied by space for the children to draw, write or paste pictures about each subject. (2010, Melbourne)

Breast Strokes: Two friends journal through the unexpected gifts of cancer (book)
Cathy Edgett and Jane Flint
When Cathy Edgett was diagnosed with breast cancer she created a blog. She recruited her friend Jane to be her writing partner, and they talked and wrote each day about their experiences. This book is a diary taken from the blog. It includes poetry and journal entries from the points of view of each woman. (2010, US)

Uterine cancerShelf full of new library books

100 questions and answers about uterine cancer (book)
Written by two gynaecological oncologists, and including advice from a patient, this book provides practical answers to questions about uterine cancer. It covers symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, life after cancer, coping strategies and patient/family support. (US, 2011)

Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer: the essential guide (book)
Written by a woman who has had a diagnosis of cervical cancer herself, this book provides information on screening, diagnosis, treatment and aftercare of cervical cancer. It includes practical strategies for supporting relatives, and advice for talking to young people about risks. (UK, 2013)

Types of breast cancer

DCIS of the breast: taking control (book)
Another great book by Professor John Boyages. This one clearly explains the sometimes confusing diagnosis and treatment of DCIS (ductal carcinoma insitu) of the breast. (Aust., 2014)

Surviving triple-negative breast cancer: hope, treatment and recovery (book)
Motivated by her own diagnosis with triple-negative breast cancer, health journalist Patricia Prijatel provides research-based information on the condition, the role of genetics, treatment options and strategies to reduce the risk of recurrence. (US, 2013)

Male breast cancer: taking control (book)
Breast cancer specialist Professor John Boyages, MD, PhD, provides easy-to-read information for men diagnosed with breast cancer, and their family and friends, to take control of their treatment, maximise their survival and find their path to recovery. (Aust., 2015)


Waiting for cancer to come (book)
Through interviews and surveys with dozens of women, this book looks at the emotional, social, economic, and psychological issues faced by women when deciding to be screened for BRCA, learning of a positive test result and dealing with risk. (US, 2014)

Positive results: making the best decisions when you’re at risk for breast or ovarian cancer (book)
Aimed at women fighting, facing or fearing breast and ovarian cancer, this book explains the myths and realities of the genetic breast and ovarian cancer, and explains the options for deciding whether to be tested, understanding the results, and making decisions to manage the risks. (US, 2010)

Health and wellbeing

American Cancer Society complete guide to nutrition for cancer patients (book)
Dietitians give advice on making nutritional choices to strengthen the immune system and minimise the effects of cancer treatment. (US, 2010)

What to eat during cancer treatment (book)
100 quick recipes for satisfying meals that will help combat some side effects of cancer treatment, such as nausea, constipation, sore mouth and altered sense of taste. (US, 2009)

Breast cancer prevention and recovery diet (book)
Suzannah Olivier gives practical advice on all aspects of nutrition relating to breast cancer, explaining the right foods and supplements to fuel the body, with step-by-step eating plans to support a healthy recovery. (UK, 2000)

Yoga all-in-one for dummies (book)
This book was recommended by Swami Karunananda at Counterpart’s yoga session in May 2015. It provides an introduction to yoga, meditation, mindfulness and dealing with stress. (US, 2015)

Emotions and psychology

Emotional support through breast cancer (book)
Written by psychologist who has had a diagnosis of breast cancer herself, the book provides practical ideas to help support people through all stages of the cancer experience. (UK, 2013)

Even the most positive person in the world gets cancer (book)
Mezwyn D’Junus provides her engaging and entertaining perspective on living with cancer, covering topics such as the shock of diagnosis, hair loss, mortality, emotions and diet. This easy-to-read, beautifully illustrated book strikes a great balance between humour and the seriousness of cancer, aiming to encourage a more positive way of looking at life. (Malaysia, 2013)

A year of medical thinking (book)
This book focuses on the shift that occurs in the brain after a potentially life threatening diagnosis; the loss of control, security and hope prompts philosophical and spiritual reflections on life, vitality and most importantly resilience. (Aust., 2014)

Personal stories

Never stop believing (book)
Personal story of Sally Obermeder, who worked as a reporter on Today Tonight. Sally was pregnant with her daughter when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her baby was induced and treatment began immediately. A year later, with a baby girl, and following her second mastectomy, she was told she was cancer free. (Aust., 2013)

A funny thing happened on the way to chemo (book)
This is Melbourne comedian Luke Ryan’s personal story of dealing with a cancer diagnosis, twice in his life – once at the age of 11 and again at 22. (Aust., 2014)

End of life

Let’s talk about it: finding peace with death and dying in everyday life (book)
Australian Clinical Counsellor Lea Rose demonstrates that even though we may be facing the hardest challenge of our lives, we can still develop peace of mind that we never thought possible. (Aust., 2014)

Being mortal: illness, medicine and what matters in the end (book)
Surgeon Atul Gawande discusses the realities of ageing and dying in his patients and in his family, including how much pain and intervention people are willing to go through for the chance to live longer. (UK, 2014)