Join tens of thousands of cancer fighters, survivors, and supporters who understand. Why Join?

The Books, TV Shows and Activities That Helped Me Get Through Cancer

February 2nd, 2018 |
Young Adult Cancer

by maddidelaney | Fighter: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia    Connect

For more than nine months I struggled with horrific chemo brain. Bad memory, stopping mid sentence forgetting what I was previously talking about, not being able to concentrate for more than two seconds. It was particularly bad in hospital- which is where I spent a lot of my time. However, when I had two week breaks from chemo or was simply feeling up to it, I read a couple of books that were super amazing and managed to take me away from the world I was currently in for a short period of time. Of course I binged-watched movies and TV shows and listened to a lot of music, but before treatment I was such a big reader, and to not have the concentration to read a good book was super frustrating. So at any chance I could, I would read.

To help people going through treatment, or even just people wanting some great entertainment, I have composed a substantially long list of entertainment for you while you're sick, in recovery or just bored! I have also given you a brief description about all my recommendations listed below so you don’t waste your time finding something that’s not quite right for you(plus it means more time binge watching/reading the stuff that you actually want to time waste on).

The Best Reads
I loved reading books that were sweet, entertaining and captivating. So here is a list of books I read before, during and after treatment that I know people will love…

(If you can't tell already…Cat Patrick is my most favorite Author!!!)

Revived by Cat Patrick
Daisy was a young girl when she became a test subject in a top secret program that tests a drug called Revive.The drug can bring back anyone from the dead. Daisy has been revived fifteen times, but each time she is brought back to life, she has to move schools, change names. Leave everything she has behind. She meets two people who end up being her first real friends. Daisy finally realises to get a real shot at life she needs to leave the drug trial, however, her “parents” certainly do not agree.

Forgotten by Cat Patrick
At exactly 4:33 while London is asleep, her memory of the previous day is released. She can’t remember anything from her past and relies on notes and a friend to inform her of her past. Through time she starts to remember small flashbacks from her past and starts to think that all is not what it seems…

The Special Ones by Em Bailey
To all of the TV show viewers, The Special Ones is just simply an entertaining television show. Yet behind the screens unknowingly, the special ones are kept in a house held captive by a man they have never yet met. “Esther”, a teenage girl, struggles as she is subjected to extreme forms of hardship to help not just herself but the other captured teens alive.

My Sister's Bones by Nuala Ellwood
I honestly cannot even explain this book- it's like a thriller/adventure/MUST READ book and it's honestly phenomenal- a bit longer than the other three listed but it’s insanely captivating- I think I read it in less than a week! YOU DO NOT SEE THE END COMING!!!!

These four books are not the only books I have read… but they are not too long and super entertaining.

Television Shows:

My Mum and I actually binge watched tv shows on Netflix all day and found some shows that were honestly so amazing! We actually watched more TV Shows than Movies- Here are some of our faves.

Jane the Virgin:
Jane, a 20-something-year-old aspiring author lives a traditional Catholic life with her Mum and her Grandmother. To keep her Nan happy, she abstains from sex until marriage. One day when having a routine checkup at the Gynecologist, she is accidentally impregnated! (There is so much more drama but if I listed it all I would still be writing)

It's super light hearted and so easy to watch if you just want a laugh and to not think too much! Sometimes it's so unbelievably dumb it's funny.

Greys Anatomy:
Follows Meredith Grey through her medical fellowship and basically her whole adult life. I had watched a lot of episodes before but decided to start from the first season- best decision ever. SO MUCH DRAMA and just so interesting with all the medical terminology. It's super entertaining but if you are sick of hospitals maybe give this a miss.

Chasing Life:
Chasing life is on Netflix and is about a girl being treated for AML- so again maybe not watch if you are trying to escape the hospital- it is a good excuse for crying! It’s super interesting and is mostly accurate with a cancer journey- I love the actress who plays the main character… It's super addictive and, although sad, has such a beautiful ending. It also made me feel like I was not alone when I was feeling exactly that.

WARNING: If you do not like foul language and inappropriate behavior skip this TV show. It follows a dysfunctional family who live in the Bronx of America- they are out of control and unstoppable. When you are watching it feels like nothing worse could go wrong, until it does! It's funny in a dark way but super addictive!

The Giver:
Such an amazing movie (IT'S ALSO A BOOK!!!!), starts off black and white but transforms itself into colour as the main character progressed in his journey!! I don't want to give it away but I LOVED the movie!!!


Coloring in:
The week after I was diagnosed I was given a coloring book. Immediately I went out and bought some nice pencils and colored in when I was bored. It was actually really therapeutic- and resulted in some super pretty “works of art”.

Puzzle books:
Similar to coloring in, I loved to do puzzles like crossword, Sudoku and word finds. Lovett’s have a really good puzzle book that comes out weekly filled with all different puzzles that kept my mind going while being super entertaining. It felt like I had accomplished something but also felt like I was keeping my brain trained.

I have tried to give examples of entertainment that not many people have heard of or are raving about at the moment, so I hope these suggestions helped you!

Do you have other recommendations? Feel free to add them to the list below!

Sign up to join our community here to continue the conversation.

Want to blog with us ? Learn more here.

maddidelaney's picture

Maddi Delaney was a normal teenager, she loved the beach, playing sport and hanging out with friends. It was on October 18th of 2016 when she found out she had Leukaemia, something that came as a massive shock to her and her family. Up until that point she thought she was healthy. Now after a year of treatment, she is finally feeling great and has beaten cancer once and for all.