The Origin of Help Me Live

Always the filmmaker, one of Lori’s first thoughts after being diagnosed with lung cancer was, “I should make a documentary about this.” When her therapist urged her to deal with the disease first and worry about documenting her journey later, Lori dropped the idea. But soon after, when a well-meaning friend said something to Lori that made her extremely anxious, and when people continually asked her whether she had smoked, and regaled her with tragic stories about people who had died of lung cancer, she revised her thought somewhat: “Someone really ought to write a book about what people with cancer need others to know!”

About nine months later, Ten Speed Press publisher Kirsty Melville took Lori’s seminar on documentary production at Bay Area Video Coalition in San Francisco, and asked Lori whether she had ever considered writing a book. After several meetings, Help Me Live started to come to life.

Published by Celestial Arts, an imprint of Ten Speed Press, Help Me Live: 20 Things People with Cancer Want You to Know, tells intimate stories of words and actions that have made a tremendous difference to people with cancer. Designed to help caregivers, friends, and loved ones of cancer patients and survivors communicate more effectively and compassionately,Help Me Live does not prescribe behavior, but encourages compassion, respect, and listening.