In In My Hands , surgical oncologist Dr. Steven Curley shares the empowering lessons he's learned over 25 years from his cancer patients' unique stories of struggle, perseverance, and triumph.
As chief of surgical oncology at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Steven Curley has worked with cancer patients for over two decades. While his life's work has been to help his patients live longer lives, he found that they helped him in ways he never could have expected.
In My Hands is a rare, often emotional look at some of Dr. Curley's real patients and real situations in modern cancer care. These stories of resilience, hope, and determination changed and inspired Dr. Curley, and he uses these same stories to encourage patients dealing with the fear and uncertainty coupled with a diagnosis of cancer. Every story in the book has a theme inspired by his patients: hope, courage, strength, determination, wonder, cooperation, creativity, diligence, service, perseverance, wisdom, grace, consideration, gratitude, discernment, reverence, resourcefulness, faith, beauty, acceptance, and empathy. Some are positive messages, reminding us of the importance of maintaining balance between family, work, and leisure activities. Others are examples of the remarkable resilience of the human spirit when facing the reality of and the surgical risks that accompany a cancer diagnosis. Realistically, despite remarkable advances in multidisciplinary cancer care, some remind us cancer is still a potentially lethal and destructive disease affecting patients and the family and friends supporting them.
While many people are told that there is no hope in their situation, Dr. Curley's patients taught him to always provide hope, to push the envelope and give people a chance, and that hope is a critical component of treatment and care. In My Hands is medical narrative at its finest and provides insight into medicine and patient care along with fascinating details about one of our most feared diseases.
"With patient vignettes, Dr. Curley poignantly illustrates how a battle with cancer is personal, an emotional journey for the patient, family, friends and the surgical team. They are stories of hope, of sadness, and often success, filled with caring, kindness, and love for patients struggling with this terrible and relentless enemy. It's a book for everyone." (Ronald J. Weigel, MD, PhD, University of Iowa)
"A must read for those entrusted, and aspiring to be entrusted, with the care of other human beings confronted by the most serious of challenges." (Raphael E. Pollock, MD, PhD, FACS, professor and director, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center)
"Every so often a book enlightens the basis upon which we serve each other as humans, professionals, and as surgeons. Dr. Curley's sharing of many patients' stories - each with a message for living life; is a testament to the human spirit of how we confront our mortality and the grace of our species. You will be inspired by reading this wonderful book, as a patient, a surgeon, any medical professional or anyone alive." (David B. Hoyt, MD FACS, executive director, American College of Surgeons)