"No doctor can tell you everything you need to know about how to respond to a devastating diagnosis. This book can help you make good choices. Jessie is a great friend of seriously ill patients. If you let her help you, she will."
— David Nathan, MD, President Emeritus, Dana Farber Cancer Institute
I hope you will consider AfterShock as a resource to those for whom you advocate and those you serve.
As you know, there is no time in one's life when it is more important to make judicious use of good information, not only about one's disease, but also about finding the right doctors, hospitals and treatments and there is no time in one's life when this feels less possible.
In AfterShock, I provide strategies for finding and using good information and reliable resources, particularly during the first few days after one receives a devastating diagnosis. Most of the information is generic, i.e., not related to a specific diagnosis, though I reference some exceptional organizations and websites.
Writing AfterShock gave me the excuse to make a disciplined tour of the websites, services and print materials available from a wide range of health organizations. While I was familiar with many of them from my own work at the Center for Advancing Health and my years of board service on the National Health Council, I came away from this review deeply impressed by the care and effort expended by many voluntary health groups, hospitals and professional organizations to respond to the needs of people who are in a health crisis. On the other hand, I was also impressed by the number of resources available, as well as with the variations in quality and the outlandishness of health claims. You know the story.
Even for those who are familiar with medicine and medical care, finding out what you need to know when you need to know it is a challenge, given the volume of information available.
Websites, phone numbers and/or descriptions of resources and organizations provided in either the AfterShock content or appendices may have changed since the second edition was published in 2010. Please refer to and use online search engines to check for accuracy.
A small sample of resources from the appendices in the 2010 edition of AfterShock were reviewed and updated in June 2014. No further updates are anticipated.