Apr 8, 2010

Be the Noodle by Lois Kelly

fifty ways to be a compassionate, courageous, crazy-good caregiver

Don't run away from helping someone die, step up and be the noodle. Helping someone at the end of their life can be one of the most fulfilling adventures you never wanted, says Lois Kelly, author of Be the Noodle: 50 Ways to Be a Compassionate, Courageous Crazy-Good Caregiver.

Based on the author's four-month odyssey helping her headstrong mother, Bette, live at home while dying, Be the Noodle chronicles the crazy experiences that caregivers have during this unpredictable journey - things no medical, hospice, or traditional how-to-deal-with-dying books explain.

Kelly takes us from the gut wrenching, like being unable to call 911 during a crisis once you sign up with hospice; to the struggle to remain kind and helpful on an hour's sleep; to the mundane, like welcoming the 24th banana bread to your kitchen; to the poignant moments spent advocating for patient martinis with the oncologist.


Lois Kelly is co-founder and partner in Beeline Labs, a boutique marketing consulting firm, and author of the award-winning book, Beyond Buzz: The Next Generation of Word of Mouth Marketing.

Up until a year ago Lois had no training to be a caregiver. Heck, when her now teenaged son was a baby she couldn’t even help him when he was sick to his stomach.

When Lois’ mother Bette was diagnosed with terminal cancer she said she wanted to spend her final months at home on Cape Cod. Lois was the only one of her six siblings who had the flexibility to work remotely, so she volunteered to move down to the Cape to be with Bette during the week for the duration. (Her three amazing sisters, two brothers, aunt and sister-in-law were the weekend caregiver warriors.)

Lois started writing Be the Noodle as a blog to keep her family up to date on what was happening with their mother. Lois also wrote the blog to help stay sane.

Before she died Bette urged Lois to turn it into a book. Like all dutiful daughters, she did what her mother asked.

Lois is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and Harvard University. But her greatest education was learning to be the noodle, caring for someone who was dying. In doing so Lois found grace and strengths she never knew she had.

Lois lives in Rhode Island with her husband and teenage son.

For more information check out www.bethenoodle.org


What a fantastic reference book for anyone in the position of caregiver. This book was written by a daughter caring for her mother in her last days of struggling with cancer. Lois provides invaluable tips on dealing with well meaning but sometimes clueless friends and even other family members.

Written during a heart-wrenching three-month period of watching her mother die from cancer, Lois does everything humanly possible to ensure that her mom dies with dignity and that she is surrounded by love.

This book is a treasure filled with tidbits of humor, wisdom and compassion. Read this book ... you won't regret it.

MY RATING - 5 out of 5

Thank you to author Lois Kelly and Bostick Communications for providing a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Be the Noodle: Fifty Ways to Be a Compassionate, Courageous, Crazy-Good Caregiver

Paperback: 126 pages
Publisher: World Audience, Inc. (March 14, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1935444697
ISBN-13: 978-1935444695
Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.3 inches

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