This Time's a Charm: Lessons of a Four-Time Cancer Survivor

Reviewed by: Carolyn Vachani, RN, MSN, AOCN
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: January 21, 2009

This Times a CharmAuthor: Donald A. Wilhelm
Publisher: FEA Publishing
Information: $21.95 US | Order from The Book's Website (in eBook formats)
ISBN Number: 978-0-615-20180-1
Rating: 2 Stars

Buy this book at and help support the OncoLink mission!

Donald Wilhelm is my kind of patient. When faced with a diagnosis of Hodgkin's disease in his 30s, he does his homework, researches the disease and learns about current treatments. He then sets out to find an oncologist who will be a member of his team, not the team's manager. Through each treatment, remission and recurrence, he is the team's leader, making educated treatment decisions that best fit him and his life.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, I don't have / my loved one doesn't have Hodgkin's disease, so this book isn't for me. You'd be wrong. Donald has taken an interesting approach in this book. He presents the emotional, physical and psychological toll of cancer and its treatments, but somehow takes Hodgkin's out of the equation. His intent is to give the reader an insider's view of what cancer and its treatments are really like, regardless of the type of cancer.

When writing this book, Donald thought of an old Chinese proverb; “to know the road ahead, ask those coming back.” He is open and honest in presenting his successes and missteps and how he ultimately achieves a positive mental attitude, which he credits with saving his life. Donald's story of surviving cancer four times is inspiring and a reminder that a cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence. This book would be good for any person facing a diagnosis of cancer who wants to know what the road ahead may entail or friends and family who want to have a better understanding of what their loved one is facing.

Visit This Time's a Charm website at

Frequently Asked Questions