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Book Review: Cancer – It’s a Good Thing I Got It!: The Life Story of a Very Lucky Man by David A. Koop

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Cancer – It’s a Good Thing I Got It!: The Life Story of a Very Lucky Man documents the life and times of David A. Koop, his experience selling Christmas trees, acquisition of Flock-O-Matic, marriage to Carrie , the devastating diagnosis of osteo-sarcoma and a successful treatment. Slowly but surely, David’s cancer receded. He experienced a renewed purpose in life after over three years in hell.

David’s will to live came from his attachment to his son Christopher and the many good times they had. This will to live was counterbalanced against dreadful chemotherapy, anti-vomiting drugs, and the fatigue experienced from the totality of the enforced treatment regimen. Even blood leaked from the toes as a result of a condition called “spontaneous bleeding.” Following surgery, the bladders and prostate were incontinent. Impotence set in due to nerve damage.

Finally, David was able to eat real food like miso soup, a California roll and a shrimp tempura roll. Incrementally, there was some nerve regeneration. Ultimately, David and Carrie took to the road for book signings and extensive talks to whomever would listen. David even consolidated his experiences on a website called: www.somedaygroup.com

Koop cites classic pearls of wisdom, such as a saying by Sir Winston Churchill: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Cancer — It’s a Good Thing I Got It is an important book for families facing a cancer diagnosis.

A strength of the presentation centers on the dreadful discussions of the disease symptomatology, as well as the extensive coping mechanisms for patients like David and his family. Koop carefully documents the long diagnostic trail leading from incomplete diagnostic impressions to a correct diagnosis and successful treatment regimen. This book has an important story to tell for both medical practitioners and patients alike.

David A. Koop relates his experience mostly from the perspective of standard conventional treatments for osteo-sarcoma. There are alternative medicine treatments to supplement a basic cancer regimen. For example, selections may include fish, poultry, legumes, low-fat yogurt, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and cereals, and other healthy food choices in consultation with a professional dietitian.

The non-pharmacological approaches to pain management include behavioral techniques, emotional counseling, radiation, surgery, neurological interventions and traditional nursing/physical therapy. Mind-body medicine techniques include counseling, stress management, guided imagery, support groups, and educational resources like The Lancet.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.