Dr. Ernest and Isadora Rosenbaum devoted much of their lives and an enormous amount of their boundless energies to the care, well-being, and comfort of cancer patients and their families. Their indefatigable efforts on behalf of their patients are widely recognized and lauded.
This site is a distillation of the Rosenbaums’ shared experience from years of constant study, advocacy and practice of sound and compassionate care for cancer patients. Patients and families everywhere can benefit from the knowledge and wisdom of these two exceptional caregivers.
Ernest and Isadora Rosenbaum were married for 60 years. They passed away in the in 2008 and 2010, respectively. For most of those 60 years they were dedicated to helping people with cancer. When Isadora, an oncology nurse, brought home the daily challenges and difficulties she saw in the emotional side of cancer, Dr. Rosenbaum, was trained as a hematologist, before the specialization of oncology existed and as an oncology pioneer, saw a powerful opportunity to extend the ability of science and individuals to improve care and outcomes. He launched a writing and publishing career that spanned over three decades, involved a premiere list of doctors and experts, and produced hundreds of thousands of best-selling books on cancer and cancer survivorship that sold hundreds and thousands of copies. The books were written to ease patients’ fear and stress through accessible expert information covering the earliest stages after diagnosis through the treatment and, ultimately, through what was revolutionary at the time –survivorship.
He gave the royalties a variety of cancer activities, opened a clinic and encouraged and motivated celebrities, billionaires, a future surgeon general and everyday people to help in the cause.
Dr.. Rosenbaum’s books included Living with Cancer: A Home Care Training Program for Cancer Patients; Decisions for Life: You Can Live Ten Years Longer with Better Health; Cancer Supportive Care: A Comprehensive Guide for Cancer Patients and Their Families; Nutrition for the Cancer Patient; Everyone’s Guide to Cancer Therapy; and Everyone’s Guide to Cancer Survivorship. For this last book, Dr. Rosenbaum and co-authors Malin Dollinger, M.D. and Greg Cable received Honorable Mention in 1991 from the American Medical Writers Association for Excellence in Medical Publications. Ernest and Isadora Rosenbaum received the same award in 1982 for their book, A Comprehensive Guide for Cancer Patients and Their Families.
When Ernie passed away, he did so dressed to go to the San Francisco Opera, symbolizing both his great love of opera and passion to live life to the last moment. He also worked until his last moment with little fanfare. The mission for those who knew him is to preserve his work and insights beyond that last moment. That’s what this site is all about.
Dr. David Spiegel, a colleague of Dr. Rosenbaum’s, heads up the center for Integrative Medicine at Stanford and has directed this project. He understood with the pace of change in medicine, the content selected for this site needed to have been unaffected by scientific innovation. It was fortunate that Dr. Rosenbaum and colleagues drew from timeless wisdom and Spiegel’s work as a psychiatrist and specialist in the mind and body continues to be influenced by these classical ideas.
This site represents just a portion of Dr. Rosenbaum’s work, and there are substantial, unpublished materials left to sift through. We intend to continue bringing this information to the public; if you are interested in what we find, please leave your email address and we’ll inform you of updates to the sites.
Imagine if the world’s greatest experts compiled an invaluable trove of wisdom regarding cancer survivorship, only to have it nearly disappear due to the rise of the World Wide Web?
That nearly happened. The publisher of a vast library of learned articles decided it was no longer economical to print medical reference books in a world where online information was considered good enough.
Wanting to correct this loss, a few colleagues set out to preserve and repurpose as much of this material as possible in an online library. This is the beginning of what we plan will be an expanding set of content and a reconnection with some of the original authors.
This material comes from the collection of writings by oncologist Doctor Ernest Rosenbaum and colleagues that was bequeathed to Stanford University upon his passing in 2010. Dr. Rosenbaum was a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco, and an award-winning author and editor of numerous pioneering books related to cancer therapy, supportive care and cancer survivorship – assisted along the way by his wife, cancer oncology nurse Isadora Rosenbaum.
This web site is a resource of practical information and inspiring stories that reinforce hope and help alleviate the fear and stress people experience from the earliest stages after cancer diagnosis, through treatment and survivorship.
The articles take cancer patients and their families, caregivers, and advocates through the myriad overlapping emotions that come with cancer toward physical and emotional improvement and stability.
This site is run by the Stanford Center on Stress and Health, Center for Integrative Medicine, and Department of Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences and volunteers aided by support from Stanford’s Information Resources and Technology Department and Stanford Hospital’s Patient and Family Partner Program.
David Spiegel, M.D. and Vahe Katros
Special Thanks to:
The Rosenbaum Family – Eileen Marom, Steve Davis-Rosenbaum
Lane Butler of McMeel Publishing
Stanford Information Resources Technology - Jason McDonald and Zak Akin
Stanford Hospital Patient and Family Partner Program
Donald Hardy Nathan
Sarui and Khosrov Nersessian
Tom Langenstein, Executive Director, Stanford Center for Position, Navigation, and Time
Herb Fong, Emeritus, Stanford University
Dr. John Adler
Claudia and Michael Tompert, Raygun Studio, Palo Alto
Photo credits for pictures used in Patient Stories from Unsplash
- Photo by Aaron Benson on Unsplash
- I Don’t Have Time Not to Live Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
- Photo by Jonathan Pielmayer on Unsplash – The Scent of an Orange
- Louis Armstrong - To have lived at all- By World-Telegram staff photographer -
- Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash – A cup of breath
- Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash One in a million
- Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash
- Photo by Davide Pietralunga on Unsplash – I live a disease-threatening life
- Photo by Iker Urteaga on Unsplash – Arm’s too short
- Photo by Mathias Jensen on Unsplash – To call forth that spark
- Photo by Leio McLaren on Unsplash – Still in the ball game
- Photo by Matt Duncan on Unsplash – A Broken Window Every Day
- Photo by Jamie Taylor on Unsplash – Recharging My Batteries
- Photo by Noah van de Wetering on Unsplash – Realize What’s Important
- Photo by Pixabay - pixabay.com – source: PEXELS
- Photo by Dan Gomer on Unsplash – Live Life to the Fullest
- Photo by nik radzi on Unsplash – Your spouse has cancer
- Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash - Stress and and cancer
Access the Stanford Cancer Supportive Care Program Resource Page for schedules of support groups, classes and workshops at Stanford Medical Center.