The Bright Side

The Bright Side tells the on-going story of a young doctor who is living with a rare and aggressive type of sarcoma that will end her life prematurely. It explores her return to work after a prolonged period of absence, her innermost thoughts and reflections about dying and her continuing interactions with health services. It also portrays her determined attitude to maintain positivity despite her tragic circumstances and her openness about dying.

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All profits from the sale of the book are being donated to the Yorkshire Cancer Centre which is the fundraising arm of St James's Institute of Oncology, where Kate was treated. The charity provides supplementary benefits; specialist medical equipment, research and development and patient 'home comforts'.


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As a nurse of over 35 years I still believe treat others as you would want yourself or loved ones to be treated. Kate your book reminds me to keep that at the forefront of our care systems despite the state of flux our health service finds itself in. I found your descriptions very visual, and some of the characters I could identify with. Thank you for the gift of insight into the vulnerable world of the patients in our care, never too old to be reminded of the privileged position we are in :)
Another good read offering insight into the intricate complications of terminal cancer. Well written with a great perspective on life.
This is the second book that Kate Granger has written and it picks up where the first left off. Kate has stopped her chemotherapy and is determined to get back to the work that she loves. She is pragmatic in that she doesn't know how long she has left but wants to make a difference. Running alongside this Kate has a 'bucket list' that she wants to complete - experiences that all mean something. This book is more like a blog with a simple episodic structure which juxtaposes life in Pinderfields Hospital with 'self-indulgent' moments. That's what makes it so heart-warming. Kate talks about dealing with patients and dignity for old people at the end of their lives, then will have a section about bubble baths or cake-making. Just when you think this is odd you remember that Kate is one of those people for whom dying with dignity is important - the difference, she is in her early thirties. Dr Kate Granger is a true inspiration - she has raised a vast amount of money for the Yorkshire Cancer Centre, she has had numerous awards. Yet she remains incredibly humble and cannot understand why people nominate her for rewards and awards.
This is very much treat the person first and disease second.It is an inspiration to read as all too often as soon as the big "C"is mentioned you stop being an individual and become a piece of meat on the conveyor belt of treatments that satisfy the medical professionals that they have done their best ,but is it best for you the person. Kate comes across as an exceptional human being who will leave her mark on the young medics that I hope read her book.Not to mention raising an enormous amount of money for charity. I admire her immensely for her honesty and always looking at the nicer bits of her life as she says" always look on the bright side of life" An excellent mantra to live by! And don't forget #hellomynameis
An emotive book again having read The Other Side. Makes you think who knows what's around the corner for any of us and makes you realise you should life to the full. From a fellow NHS colleague
Both 'The Other Side' and 'The Bright Side' should be read by all those in the caring professions. It gives an outstanding patient's eye view of cancer treatment, but also demonstrates the way her diagnosis, treatment and prognosis has affected her treatment of her own patients.
Thought provoking book about living with a serious cancer diagnosis. I am a health professional, as is the author and its good to learn how we can all do it better. Inspirational.
Absolutely fantastic books Kate!! Reading them was an invaluable insight into oncology care from 'the other side of the fence'. I have recommended them to all my oncology colleagues. Although I have worked with chemotherapy patients for the last 10 years and completed advanced communication training, your books still taught me lots! Although as I often say, there's always more to learn!
Read 'The Bright Side' in one day - just loved it.
I really enjoyed your new book The Bright Side, which I bought on kindle to save you shipping to Oz. It has been really useful in my work as an oncologist.
I first saw the author of this book on my regional news programme and was so impressed with her humility and true grit that I put her second book on my Amazon Wish List. Fortunately one of my sons saw it, bought me it for Christmas, and I have just finished it. How this young woman could cope with such a terrible illness, carry on with her work and write two books is an amazing feat in itself. She writes so well, though I was glad of the index of medical terms, and her humanity shines through. I do hope that if I or my family are in need of a similar doctor that we will get one that has read her books and will follow her example. Obviously I now need to buy the first one! Kate's husband and family must be so proud of her and I do hope that she will be able to carry on her work for as long as she wants to.
I would just like to say how brilliant your books were (I have just read them) and how much inspiration they have given me. I cannot agree with you more in your philosophy and sentiments about looking at the whole picture with elderly patients, and sometimes doing less and thinking more, and the importance of talking to people, both patients and relatives. Your own personal journey I have the utmost admiration with the candor and dignity with which (certainly in the books) you have faced your illness. Although I've been around a long time (qualified 1999) I just wanted to say you've inspired me with new rigour, and having read your books I'm going to think about my communication and end of life care in my patients much more.
This is such an unusual book - written by a doctor who is terminally ill and seeing the medical and nursing care from a patient's perspective. It shows a deep insight also into the physical and mental stresses that the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis takes on both the patient and family. I thoroughly enjoyed this.
Absolutely fantastic books Kate!! Reading them was an invaluable insight into oncology care from 'the other side of the fence'. I have recommended them to all my oncology colleagues. Although I have worked with chemotherapy patients for the last 10 years and completed advanced comms training, your books still taught me lots! Although as I often say, there's always more to learn!
Read The Bright Side in one day - just loved it.
I really enjoyed your new book The Bright Side, which I bought on kindle to save you shipping to Oz. It has been really useful in my work as an oncologist.
The books have the touch of a skilled writer with a fine sense of observation and judgment. Observation is one of the medical skills you have to be expert in and there is a long and proud history of doctors who have made great writers, but I can honestly say that I have never read anything like The Other Side. It displays a single minded intelligence directed towards this situation that you have been cast into and it is told with the mind of a medical expert, but with the heart and fears of a patient. As a layman the use of medical terminology takes a little adjusting to (made easier by the very useful glossary at the back) but I can see why you wrote it like this and the end result is even more powerful because you tackle your own predicament with the precision and clarity you reserve for your patients. I understand what you say about being told you are brave and it has made me think long and hard about what we mean about terms like bravery and courage and how we recognise them. The conclusion that I came to is that you are, despite your protestations, both brave and courageous because in your own words you are a lonely, frustrated and scared girl in a horrible situation, but you face that reality head on dealing with it with all the skills in your armory as a doctor and as a human being. We find it hard to express complex emotions without resorting to words like bravery, but if that word best sums up your approach to making the best of things, of trying to make the world a better place in the face of adversity, then, to me, so be it, I think the really striking impression I got from the books are of an unyielding humanity and of a tremendous honesty.
Superb. Finally a doctor relates what a patient endures, and sometimes likes in a hospital. Whilst not a cancer patient, I can empathise a little, but certainly those ward rounds where newbies stare like the proverbial rabbit are so true. And those doctors who have made up their minds the patient will do all that is recommended, without a thought or conversation; they are here too. One hopes the medical people who read this book, learn from it. The patient is the most important person in the room: always. Kate's book is, yes, again, superb...
What a lovely way of helping others to see things from both sides. I read this book in two evenings, and am now posting this off to my Granddaughter who has just started her medical studies at Oxford.
What a sad but can't put down read. It feels a curse and a blessing to be in the position of Dr Kate Granger with all her medical background. A very brave lady and in the thick of it all worrying about her husband Christopher, What a lucky man. Kate has so many talents and gifts, a qualified doctor, no easy task, a compassionate caring lady, caring for each individual patient in her registrar position. She sounds like one of life's givers, which makes this story so sad. We so need people like her in our health care system. My son is a 4th year medical student at Sheffield University and I am passing on these books to him, there is so much insight into the patient as a person, they should be must reads. As a religious believer I have so prayed for Kate. I think her best achievement and what she will be remembered for is these books that have opened our eyes and emotions to the everyday problems of patients with cancer and the challenges and decisions they are forced to make. She is one GUTSY lady
I think THIS is the book you were meant to write. The first book introduced us to your treatment experience and got us interested, but this book gives such a clear picture of how a person can become a caring physician. We get more of a glimpse into your emotions in this book, but only enough for us to really relate to you. It is easy to imagine being in your shoes as you return to work and try to integrate your personal experience with your practice.
I am moved to write a review for the first time ever in praise of a marvellous and inspirational ongoing true story of Kate's valiant way of dealing with her terminal illness. I agree with all that is written in the previous 3 reviews above and I speak as a layman [ woman actually] who is a retired teacher.The other half of the story called 'The Other Side' is perhaps more for medically trained staff but I found it informative and compulsive reading and would also recommend that both books are bought . Whilst supporting the charity of Kate's choice you will also read a truly honest and insightful account. We will all die one day and Kate has done everything to leave a brilliant training resource intelligently written enabling her training and experience to help others in the future. I hope her observations enhance the training of NHS workers so that dying becomes something out in the open to help patients and families make informed choices and have positive memories of their loved ones even after they are gone.
I have just finished reading "The Other Side". You are such an inspiration on both a personal and professional level. Thank you for sharing your unique perspective and story. But mostly thank you for reminding us doctors to always see the human person beyond the patient.
Just finished "The Bright Side" was beautifully written. You are so good at bringing your story to life, the words were literally jumping off the page, I couldn't put it down. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us. I can't be the only one whose perspective on life has shifted since reading your books. You should be so proud you what you have done so far...
This book is a challenging read, well written, but emotionally challenging. You cannot help but think what would I be doing, how would I cope in this situation. Kate raises the reality of the futility of some medical treatments, and the fact that us doctors can feel forced into doing things which are unlikely to make much difference but which the patient's family are very keen on...most doctors do not want to be resucitated if they experience a cardiac arrest, most choose to refuse debilitating treatment for cancer, to make the most of what time is left and then die at home. Kate is writing about the reality of living with these choices, and having a good time sky diving and taking tea at Claridges; Her humanity and sense of humour shine through. Laugh, cry and then look into making a 'lasting power of attorney' so that if you are suddenly seriously ill and cannot make your own choices, then the right person and not a complete stranger is making those choices for you.
It seems to me that Dr Granger would be about to enter the prime of her career if it were not likely to be sadly curtailed. But not yet, as in this sequel she tells us about her determination to get back to work as a registrar in the Care of the Elderly department of her hospital. She succeeds and uses her experience in making clinical decisions with her colleagues to think about the quality of life of their patients.She learns all the time about her own performance and applies the skills learnt from other doctors and health service professionals that she has found helpful in her own experience as a patient. She has learnt that the `little things' like holding a patient's hand when words are inadequate are powerful interventions. Not only has she made us think of how to break bad news to patients and their loved ones but also confronted us with our own mortality. The simplicity of her pursuit of her `bucket list' items has set me thinking of the places, people and events I need to revisit. Throughout I found it both heart-rending but also a very heart-warming account. We must not say `brave' or `inspirational' as she warns us that these words mean nothing to her and prefers the term `pragmatic stoicism!' I put this book down with an air of sadness. Sadness that a young talented doctor is faced with her terminal illness; sadness that sometimes in my career I have not had the compassion and intelligence I see in Kate Granger; and sadness that this could be her last book.However it is a triumph of communication and a learning opportunity. All medical personnel should read this and it has a lot to say to the non-medic too. Buy it and the Yorkshire Cancer Centre benefits from the profits!
After reading "The Other Side" I was pleased to hear that you would be releasing "The Bright Side ", again what an amazing book, written straight from your mind, as it is, what you see, what you feel. Just like with the first book I was drawn into your experiences and could imagine the feelings, thoughts, fears, as it is so brilliantly written. I read this book in two evenings and have to admit shed a few tears but also smiled at your determination to do things you wanted when you wanted and how you wanted :-) As a health care worker myself I will take things from both books and I hope it will help me become a better nurse and in fact person . From a young age I had experienced death, loosing family members both expected and suddenly and watched the people around me all deal with grief in different ways. I do think that this helped me when I began to work in care as I wasn't scared of death. I think as health care workers we all need to try be comfortable with talking about it with our patients when it is needed to enable them to make the decisions to allow them to die with dignity. Well done with the release of your second book and enjoy the rest of your bucket list and just do what you are doing living life to the full sharing all these special times with the people you love and who love you.