Book coverLet Patients Help!
A patient engagement handbook

How doctors, nurses, patients and caregivers
can partner for better care

With Dr. Danny Sands; introduction by Dr. Eric Topol

“Will unquestionably help many individuals become more active and fully engaged in their health care.”
From the introduction by Eric Topol

Read more on the book’s web page here. Order it on Amazon here.


See also my second book, September 2011: Facing Death – With Hope and my video reading about it for the Mayo Clinic’s “Healing Words” channel.

And my first book (2010), from Changing Outlook Press – from the online journal I kept when I was sick – a real-time e-patient chronicle:

Laugh, Sing and Eat Like a Pig

“How an Empowered Patient Beat Stage IV Cancer
(and what healthcare can learn from it)”

  • Buy it on Amazon:
  • For quick delivery direct from my stock, or for bulk orders, contact me.
LaughSing cover


The “ultrasound” of my almost-born self – May 22, 2010

Hi, it’s me, the book! I went live on Amazon in July 2010. My title reflects the mind-powered approach Dave took to his “prognosis is grim” disease. Here, let him tell you:

Dave here …


What’s the title about??

It’s the approach I chose to take to the news that I had a lethal cancer – a summary of the advice I got in the first few weeks after diagnosis, before I even started my journal:

  • “Laugh” is for the healing power of laughter, as famously discussed by Saturday Review editor Norman Cousins in his book Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient
  • “Sing” is the advice my doctor gave. I had asked if I should drop out of my much-loved championship chorus to save energy, but he said, “You don’t want to stop doing life activities that you love – it sends the wrong message.” Wow. So, okay, laugh and sing! Not bad.
  • “Eat like a pig” refers to the diet the hospital sent me, to increase my caloric intake, to combat weight loss and prepare for the battle ahead.

In my online community I told people “If I ever write a book about this, that’s what I’ll call it.” And here we are.

Admittedly, that’s not a conventional approach to a deadly disease. But that’s the point. And the whole story’s true.

Why a book with this message?

4,000 people a day (in the US alone) discover they have cancer, and face that moment of “What on earth do I do NOW??” I know that feeling. Some look for what to do next; others don’t even think they can do anything — they just think they’re screwed and go into depression. This book is about hope, getting it in gear, and going “e.” (E-patients are “empowered, engaged, equipped, enabled, and educated.”)

What’s the vision?

I’m committed to a world where healthcare works better – and not just for patients but for the people whose work is to deliver care. I agree with the words of Warner Slack MD, who said patients are “the most under-utilized resource” in health IT, and I think it applies to all of healthcare.

Healthcare today has unprecedented challenges. Let patients help.


Okay, I’m back – me, the book. I look forward to meeting you. Buy me!

22 comments to Books

  • Dave — I just can’t wait to read your book! I know how much heart and soul, data and chemo, passion and devotion have gone into it.

    You’re moving the e-patient (emPatient!) movement forward. I appreciate all you do for others.

    Trisha Torrey
    Every Patient’s Advocate

  • Gerry Cusumano

    Dave, Congratulations! I wish you success with the book. I will sure be buying a copy! God bless you!

  • e-Patient Dave

    Thanks, Trisha and Gerry. Can’t wait.

  • Looking forward to the book. When we tweeted earlier this year, didn’t realize how fast you could come through. Kudos! It’s going to be a best-seller.

  • Ordered via Book Depository UK :D Reviewing a.s.a.p.

  • I am so happy for you Dave. I have followed your story for some time and it is so incredibly wonderful that you have now told your story for others to hear.

    Congratulation! This book will move to the top of my reading list.

  • Congrats to you! Can’t wait to read it!

  • Dave, Congratulations! Your words are so close to how we work each day to help children of cancer or that have any type of life threating illness. Laughter makes everything better all the way around.Now you got to tell your story for others to hear. You made a difference for others, you really have!

    Martin Mahkovtz
    Laptops Of Love Inc.

  • Carol Britton

    I just finished reading your book. It was an amazing and inspiring story. My mom died from an aggressive form of brain cancer and I spent months researching treatment options (there aren’t many). I have rheumatoid arthritis — actually diagnosed myself based on symptoms and internet searches. I have found a wonderful patient-led site that I wish I had known about in the early stages of this disease.

    I am recommending this book to all of my friends as well as some friends who are doctors.

  • Dave, congratulations on your book! (…and I should say to The Book, you’ve got a great partner…)

    You write in such a powerful and uplifting manner in your blog, so I must read your book (Dinah will tell you I’m not a big book reader, so that is saying something) and tell our Shrink Rap readers about it.

    • e-Patient Dave

      Thanks, Roy! Would love to discuss specifics about it.

      It’s an odd book, I hear: NOT written after the fact for dramatic impact – this is from the (overly wordy) real time journal as we dealt with the day-by-day, not knowing, “what’s next.” Long before we ever heard of e-patient. Just life unfolding.

      You seem like a thoughty guy, and you can write – what do you think of a version where the cancer story was like Part 1, then Part 2: How e-Patients are Changing Healthcare, then Part 3 – the epilogue about the PHR story?

      My gut said it would work better with the philosophical observations woven in, but now I’m not so sure.

  • Hi Dave –
    Read your book on the way home from the ePharma conference. ePatient Dave online is inspirational, but your story is even more powerful as a book. Having followed your e-Patient path for the last few years, I expected an excellent guide to empower, engage, equip, enable, and educate people facing cancer. What I didn’t count on was a renewed gratitude for the good health and amazing life I have now. Thank you.

  • marlene

    I heard you speak on NPR segment that aired April 10, 2011. I have to say your story is nothing less than amazing and poignant. Please continue sharing your story.

    • e-Patient Dave

      Well hi, Marlene! How nice of you to say that!

      The point is that I’m not at all the first – many many have gone before me in taking matters into their own hands. This is quite a movement now, and since a thousand people a day in the US find out they have cancer, the Society for Participatory Medicine is working to spread the word on one simple concept: Let Patients Help.

      And that’s not to mention all the other diseases and conditions … and ordinary self-care!

  • Caren


    My nephew has resistent chemo Stage IV Hodgkins

    He is 31 years old with a wife, one year old and a two month old

    He is getting ready to have stem cell procedure

    How can I best help him

    He lives to far to be to do to hands on

    • e-Patient Dave

      Sorry for the delay, Caren. And sorry to hear about your nephew.

      The best advice I can offer, which may not be much, is to try to hunt down a patient community for Hodgkins and see if they know of anything. It will take some effort on your part. Start with the list at and if you find any success please let us know.

  • Dave. Is there a place on your website here I can order your book? Shelley

  • How can I purchase your book?

  • e-Patient Dave

    To the contrary, I would recommend people AVOID Garden Spot Village, because they’re apparently marketing by putting spam comments like this on blogs. Anyone who’d do that is an unethical business, or perhaps simply incompetent because they got SOLD an unethical way of marketing.

    (I got several comments of this same sort on this blog.)

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