The Book

A box of advance copies of my new book arrived at my door last month!

My new book, A Woman’s Guide to Living With Heart Disease, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, is now available!*

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 Cardiobrief, 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:

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

Screen Shot 2017-10-28 at 10.19.34 PM copy

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.

        *PRESS CONTACT email Emma All at at Johns Hopkins University Press for media or public relations inquiries, or check out the press kit.

Early Reviews :

“If you are a woman, or love a woman, this is a book for you! Cardiovascular disease is the leading killer of women. Here is a book focused on women’s cardiovascular health. It is all here – prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Read it for the people you love.”  

  Edward K. Kasper, MD, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, co-author of Living Well With Heart Failure: The Misnamed, Misunderstood Condition

“This work is an important contribution to the discussion about heart attack and misdiagnosis in women. Thomas’s personal story—alongside the stories of millions of other women—provides a needed reminder of recognizing one’s symptoms, avoiding denial, and seeking medical attention. This elegant book is a unique addition to women’s health books and a necessary read for women and the people who care about them.” 

  Roger S. Blumenthal, MD, Director, The Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease

“This is an important book – in fact, indispensable for women and their families whose lives have been affected by heart disease. It should be required reading for student health professionals as a lesson about listening to and taking seriously the voices of female patients. Carolyn Thomas interprets research in an easy to understand language and her writing style is elegant. Significantly, much of the information is based upon many of her own experiences living with heart disease and the many comments of other women who are avid readers of her blogs.

“She writes about my journey as a survivor myself of a heart attack. For weeks and months after the crisis I followed her blogs on Heart Sisters. The support I received from the many comments and Carolyn herself was and remains invaluable.

“This is the very best book of its kind, a must read for health care professionals to better understand the challenges of women facing the trauma of living with heart disease.”

Dr. Barbara Keddy, Professor Emerita, Dalhousie University, Halifax

“Her book gives women the knowledge they need to become their own advocates in a healthcare system that continues to be weighted against them.”

Foreword Reviews

“Carolyn Thomas has given the world the gift of knowledge and personal experience, for sure, but it’s her down-to-earth writing and compassion that makes for compelling and essential reading.”  

♥  Kathy Kastner, Toronto author/patient advocate

“Carolyn Thomas writes with the empathy of one who has experienced heart disease herself. Her personal story, as well as comments from other heart disease survivors from her Heart Sisters blog, are all interwoven with commonsense advice and guidance to help the heart patient and her loved ones advocate for the best care possible at every stage. The author includes a wonderful plain-language glossary of medical terms, and her detailed notes section is a testament to the depth of research that backs her work. This book brings a needed focus to a leading killer of women today, and offers insight regarding the patient’s perspective. It is a must-read for women and their loved ones. For all women’s health practitioners and collections.” 

November 2017 issue of Library Journal, reviewed by Crystal Renfro

Reviews on social media:

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. Dr. Victor Montori, Mayo Clinic, author of Why We Revolt

Burt Cohen, journalist and founder of

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Marie Ennis-O’Connor, Digital Health Strategist, patient advocate, Ireland

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Dr. Kelli Roig, Cardiac Specialist, Oregon
Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 4.25.33 PM Review by Toronto journalist Kathleen Dore
And this response to Kathleen’s review . . .

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  Susan Kjos, kidney transplant patient

Thanks so much to heart attack survivor Jodi Jackson (quoted not once but twice in my book!) for organizing a Facebook contest way back in April – seven months before the book was even available! – that offered a copy of my book as the prize!

Visit the Facebook page for “A Woman’s Guide to Living with Heart Disease”

15 Responses to “The Book”

  1. 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…


  2. 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!


  3. 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!

                  I’ve just started a new Facebook page about my upcoming book, FYI. 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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