The Book

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My new book, A Woman’s Guide to Living With Heart Disease, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, is already in its second printing!*   

MEDIA check out the press kit

Martha Gulati, MD, FACC

Thank you so much to cardiologist Dr. Martha Gulati, Chief of Cardiology at the University of Arizona, Executive Editor of the American College of Cardiology’s CardioSmart, and author of the best-selling book Saving Women’s Hearts, for writing such a beautiful and thoughtful foreword for my book. Here’s a brief excerpt from her pages:

“As a woman who experienced a heart attack, was misdiagnosed, and deals with everything that living with heart disease entails, Carolyn uses humor wrapped in practicality and common sense to help women navigate their disease and all the overwhelming emotions that come with this diagnosis.

“Carolyn has given a voice to the female heart patient in a way that few others have been able to. I am grateful that she decided to write this book, because I believe it will improve the dialogue between heart patients and their physicians.

*How to buy this book:

Ask for my book at your local bookshop (if they don’t have it yet, get them to order!) or get it online at:

  • Amazon (it’s back in stock now after being sold out as Amazon’s #1 NEW RELEASE in the Medicine/Public Health category!)
  • Barnes and Noble
  • IndieBooks
  • Johns Hopkins University Press (mention code HTWN to save 20% off the list price)
  • Canadian readers! If you cannot find my book at your local bookshop, you can order it from our Canadian distributor, Brunswick Books in Toronto. And here’s a special 20% bulk discount for orders in Canada of 10 or more books (for book clubs, support groups, cardiac rehab programs, women’s conferences, etc.) by using the code HEARTAUTHOR (and save significantly on direct shipping from Canada);  just email Brunswick Books with order details: info (at) brunswickbooks (dot) ca

If you do buy your copy of the book online, please take a moment to leave a Customer Review after you’ve read it (Amazon or Barnes and Noble)

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Can’t wait to get started? You can read Chapter 1 (an excerpt from the press kit prepared by Johns Hopkins University Press) or preview the table of contents pages.

        *MEDIA check out the press kit.

Read the Reviews!


May 12, 2018: Featured in the 4th Annual ‘Emerging Local Authors‘ event!


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My interview on CFAX radio with Mark Brennae, July 26, 2018


See also:


27 Responses to “The Book”

  1. Moira Mccall November 29, 2018 at 10:38 am #

    I would love a copy of this book! Not had heart attack but had heart disease.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carolyn Thomas November 29, 2018 at 2:41 pm #

      Hello Moira – women with any form of heart disease (not just heart attacks) report that this book was helpful. You can order it in the UK here.


  2. Carolyn Hudson October 27, 2018 at 3:44 am #

    Hi Carolyn
    My name is Carolyn too and whilst I’ve not read your book, I’ve recently been diagnosed with Coronary Artery Spasm and am very scared about this. I’ve been hospitalised 3 times since March and because the bloods and ECGs are normal they don’t take my pain seriously. I’m just on pills, I was discharged yesterday and today had 5 episodes of severe chest pain relieved with my spray. I don’t bother with the hospital as I’d be embarrassed. I’m not sure what to do.


    • Carolyn Thomas October 27, 2018 at 4:41 am #

      Hello Carolyn – I’m not a physician so cannot comment specifically on your situation, but I can say generally that medications are typically the first-line treatment for people living with a vasospasm condition like yours. I’m guessing your spray is nitroglycerin, an effective drug that dilates the blood vessels. A nitro patch is often prescribed for patients with severe persistent angina – ask your physician if this might be an option to help manage your symptoms.

      Meanwhile, your only job now is to become the world expert in your diagnosis. Learn as much as you can about vasospasm conditions. You might try visiting the WomenHeart support group (thousands of women with every possible cardiac diagnosis). Try not to be scared (which just aggravates symptoms) while you are learning as much as you can. Good luck to you…


  3. Alma in YVR May 14, 2018 at 12:47 am #

    I just finished reading your book. I could hardly put this book down —- finished it in one weekend. You caught me with the first chapter and its cliff-hanger story ending, so I had to keep reading to find out what happened (another cliff-hanger!) and one chapter led to another & then another!! I’m now in my second slightly slower read yello-highlighting as I go and I will no doubt be picking it up many more times as the months evolve on my recuperation path.

    It’s almost like you were eavesdropping on my life during and after my own heart attack!! Congratulations Carolyn Thomas on a book that should be handed out in every Cardiology Ward in every hospital to every female heart patient (but first, to every med student in every medical school for a 1st-person crash course in what it’s really like to be “the one wearing the drafty hospital gown” no matter what the diagnosis!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carolyn Thomas May 15, 2018 at 4:19 pm #

      Thank you Alma for your very kind comments – so glad you liked the book! I hope you’re recovering well…


  4. Newbie January 19, 2018 at 2:05 am #

    I just finished reading your book, I read the whole thing in one weekend, I just could not put it down. You somehow described in each chapter just what I was feeling too at different stages following my own heart diagnosis. It felt like you were a friend along the road who has been this way before me. Your book needs to be sent home with every woman before she is even discharged from the cardiac unit, thankyou for writing it for us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carolyn Thomas January 19, 2018 at 6:24 am #

      Thanks for your nice note, Newbie. Hope you are feeling better day by day…


  5. Mirjami December 9, 2017 at 3:00 am #

    Dear Carolyn,

    I loved to read your book. It is so honestly written. Although my handle with my heart disease was very different from yours, there were some similiarities according to doctors, who did not take me earnest and laughed me out. It still happens.

    My triple bypass was 1983. Yesterday I had my 34. anniversary. I have never asked why me, or got a depression because of my heart disease. “What does not kill us, makes us stronger.”

    I am wondering how you could write such a good book with your ongoing heart problems. My greatest congratulation for it.

    I hope you all the best and happy Christmas with your loved ones. I have seen pictures of your lovely granddaughter Rose. It was the best for me to see my grandson grow up to a young handsome teen. He is 13 years now.

    Now I am going for my 5 km walk in the snow covered forest.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carolyn Thomas December 9, 2017 at 5:17 am #

      Happy 34th Heart-iversary, Mirjami! You are a wonderful role model, especially for newly-diagnosed heart patients, of how even triple bypass surgery patients can go on to live long and active lives. I’m sure those long walks in nature have helped a lot (plus watching your grandbaby, of course!) That’s THE BEST! Thanks for sharing your feedback.


  6. Deb November 20, 2017 at 7:13 pm #


    I just finished your book and loved loved loved it!! I am an RN and also a SCAD survivor and think this book should be required reading by cardiac nurses and cardiac providers everywhere. I emailed my own cardiologist to recommend it. I have also suggested it to many other SCAD survivors. You continue to show us we are not alone.

    You touched on so many important issues in the book, I can’t even begin to discuss them all (in this format).

    I think you are awesome, I love your blog. You are doing so much to help women in our survival with heart disease.

    Stay strong and keep writing!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Carolyn Thomas November 20, 2017 at 9:54 pm #

      You have made my day, Deb. It means a lot to me, especially coming from a SCAD survivor. Knowing “we are not alone” is a profoundly under-estimated way to help us manage a diagnosis, no matter what it happens to be! Thanks so much for this…


  7. Amy Josar July 30, 2017 at 5:41 pm #

    I suffered a heart attack almost a year ago at 37 years old. I had a 100% blockage of my left main (was told it was a widow maker). I needed emergency open heart surgery for a bypass. I didn’t know the symptoms of a heart attack, but I had them all – heartburn, extreme sweating, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, neck pain that traveled to between my shoulder blades. 8 hours later when I finally went to the ER, I started getting jaw pain.

    I’m trying to advocate with the American Heart Association to get the word out and help others as there’s really no medical reason I’m still alive. I later found out I had inflammation due to an autoimmune disease that I never knew I had. I was a ticking time bomb.

    I find it comforting (in a strange way) to hear other women’s experience, and I think it’s great to tell others who have been fortunate enough to not have experienced it themselves. I’ll definitely preorder the book.

    Thank you for raising awareness!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carolyn Thomas July 30, 2017 at 7:47 pm #

      Amy, you were so young to suffer what must have been a shocking health crisis! I too think it IS comforting to hear about other women’s experience, mostly because it reminds us that we are not alone. I hope you enjoy reading my book this fall. Good for you for now doing what you can to help raise awareness of women’s heart health!


  8. Pauline Johnson July 18, 2017 at 1:24 pm #

    Carolyn, will you be having a book launch in Victoria? Hope so!

    Thanks –
    Pauline Johnson

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carolyn Thomas July 18, 2017 at 1:32 pm #

      I hope so, too! The book doesn’t come out until November, so will know more closer to the fall! I’ll announce details here…
      *** Pauline, it’s YOU! My long-ago Hospice colleague!!! How lovely to see your name here! Hope you are doing well and enjoying summer! ♥


      • Pauline Johnson July 18, 2017 at 7:58 pm #

        Terrific! See you then. 🙂


      • Pauline Johnson July 20, 2017 at 12:47 pm #

        Hi again Carolyn,

        I just wanted to thank you again as I was finally properly diagnosed. Will be having an angiogram with certain (says my cardiologist) angioplasty in the near future. Two blockages located. My persistence finally paid off.

        Looking forward to your book!

        Take care,


        Liked by 1 person

        • Carolyn Thomas July 20, 2017 at 7:53 pm #

          Good luck with that angio! Let me know how you make out, okay? I hope that afterwards, you will attend the 7-week Heart To Heart classes (they run all year long for heart patients and their family members at the Hillside Health Centre. (I help to facilitate some of these classes a few times a year). Here’s more on H2H, FYI…


          • Pauline Johnson October 15, 2017 at 2:31 pm #

            Hi again Carolyn!

            Well I’m finally booked to have the angioplasty this Tuesday, October 17th. Feeling both relief (that it will finally happen) and anxiety re: how it will all go. Do you have any blogposts on pre-procedure angst and prep?

            Your ol’ colleague,

            Liked by 1 person

            • Carolyn Thomas October 15, 2017 at 3:48 pm #

              Hi Pauline – great news that you finally have a date. I like to imagine how great you’ll be feeling the day afterwards on Wednesday when it’s all behind you! I don’t have a pre-procedure angst blog post (but here’s one on heart-related anxiety in general) BUT I’d suggest you check out the website which has everything you could ever want to know, plus a patient forum you can participate in for free to share questions/concerns. Best of luck on Tuesday!!! ♥


              • Pauline Johnson October 15, 2017 at 4:25 pm #

                Thanks Carolyn!


              • Pauline Johnson October 19, 2017 at 7:15 pm #

                Well, you were right about feeling better the day after. What a relief to have that behind me! Three stents later, ha, I have hope and promise that life is about to improve considerably.

                I intend to register for the Heart to Heart program, will have to check to see when the next series begins. Just saw the WomenHeart support group info on your blog.

                Finally, I can hardly wait for your book!!! Looking forward to your book launch. 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

                • Carolyn Thomas October 19, 2017 at 7:57 pm #

                  Wow! Three stents! I’m so glad you are feeling better, Pauline. You can now visualize that blood flow happily coursing through those newly revascularized coronary arteries!

                  While you’re waiting for my book (!) please go find a copy of Dr. Wayne Sotile’s excellent book, Thriving With Heart Disease (especially useful for the early days and weeks, post-intervention). I’ve written lots about his work on the psychosocial aftermath of becoming a heart patient, including this 4-part series. You’ve just missed this month’s local WomenHeart support group meeting (which was last evening at RJH) but mark your calendar for November (it’s always the 3rd Wednesday of the month here in Victoria). Take care, Pauline! ♥


                  • Pauline Johnson October 20, 2017 at 1:02 pm #

                    Oh, thanks! I’ll try to track it down this weekend. Think I’d devour it right about now!



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