A cancer related book: Henrietta Lacks. Two nights ago I bought this book: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks ….and I haven’t stopped reading since. Good think because one of the drugs I get as a pre-med with my chemotherapy is Decadron…..it helps with nausea but it also has a side effect of insomnia. I’ve been wired for 2 days straight! I’ve learned more about the science of cancer through just a few pages than I would have ever actually absorbed from another source:
From Amazon: “Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.”
Seriously Sassy Mama says
A friend and I were just talking about this book. I am a science research nut, and cannot wait to read it.
I read this book earlier this year. A real eye opener. The mind boggles at what has happened in our past…
Amazing, amazing book.
I have heard from several people that this book is great. It is on my list for 2012
I couldn’t put that book down! Learned so much from it.
Meagan Briggs says
Sad about the insomnia, but happy you found a new book! New books are like gold!!
Awesome book recomendation!!!
Watch the movie Forks Over Knives or read “The China Study” Please !
Vanessa Jubis says
THAT is a great book! I could NOT put it down when I stumbled upon it at the book store.
Isn’t that story just amazing?!
Steph S says
I just finished that book yesterday, it was fascinating! Couldn’t put it down. I learned WAY more than I had expected to.
I rarely read books that are historical and came across this and could not put it down and could not stop talking about it. I think I ended up driving three friends to read it because I wouldnt shut up about it. So amazing!!!
I thought the book was beyond fascinating. I will admit, though, that when I saw the title of your post, I thought maybe your drug was around because of Henrietta Lacks!
Here’s to sleeping…
chloe lambe says
that drug probably is around bc of her! most of them are!
Mary King says
I am reading this right now. I just recommended this to a friend tonight! Great, great read!
Oh, Decadron is what caused the insomnia? I never knew that! My nurses thought I was nuts for walking laps around the hospital wing at 3 AM, dragging the pole with the chemotherapy bags on it, because I was so wired.
Catie M says
If you like that one then you might like The Emperor of all Maladies: A biography of Cancer. It is long but I found it very interesting. Enjoy!
I would read it but scared it would make me sad!
You are so brave.
chloe lambe says
LOVEEE this book! so amazing! i am a bio major and graduated from UNCG. i actually got to work with her cells and grow them! Then of course had to write a research paper on them! Cool stuff! THe book is great!
I loved this book, too. I couldn’t stop talking about it with my 11th graders. I learned so much, and asked even more questions. Wonderful!
Thanks Ashley! Sounds like a good book to read for my book club!! Can’t wait.
I haven’t read the book yet, but heard an amazing interview with the author awhile back on NPR: http://www.npr.org/2010/02/02/123232331/henrietta-lacks-a-donors-immortal-legacy. Give it a listen if you are so inclined.
Thanks for the book suggestion. My sister had Leukemia as a child. She beat it even after 3 relapses. I saw on Facebook you’re looking for book suggestions. If you like campy comedy Bruce Campbell’s “If Chins Could Kill, Confessions of a B Movie Actor” is one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time.
On my list, thanks for sharing. Another commentor said it but its true you are so very brave!
Love that book. I also bought and gave a copy to my dad since he’s a doctor and loves that kind of stuff.
Elizabeth W says
You should read Emperor of all Maladies. It is fascinating, and just last night I was reading it and it was all about choriocarcinoma.
Glad you are feeling well enough to read. For me, books hold the most wonderful places to escape to.
I didn’t know HL I just looking for her in google and read a little in Wikipedia.
Thanks for sharing and let us to know some interesting lifes.
Hi Ash! Sounds like an amazing book. I have been thinking of you lots. I so remember the decadron and the sleepless nights. I had many 3 am nights of watching “the nanny” on nick at night. Lol. But dang that stuff works great. My friend who had lymphoma had the nulesta shot. . She described it just like you did 🙁 her WBC counts stayed ok and they let her forgo it. Praying for you!!
Michelle Frame says
For the restlessness due to the steriods one of my nurses suggested taking Melatonin. She told me to take 5mg pills and start with only half a pill and then every few weeks add another half pill. I am up to 15 mg and it really helps me fall asleep. I will warn you that each time you increase your dose you will have weird dreams but those go away after a week. You might want to ask your doctor about it.
Everyone in my family has read the book… And what’s even cooler is my Mom is going to school for biotechnology to try to create a cancer cure!!
I had to read this book for one of my college classes this year, it is reallllly good!!
Decadron drove me crazy! I get a much smaller dose these days, which is some better. And I am definitely going to look up the book.
Carrie Ann says
If you’re interested in more of her story one of my fav NPR programs-Radiolab-did a really fascinating program called “Famous Tumors” which features an interview with Henrietta’s daughter that is quite striking.
I tore through that book too! It is fascinating and heartbreaking!