When Janet Rhys Dent is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, she decides to try to be a "good patient". With any luck, this role will give her the best chance of recovery during the six months of medical testing and treatment that she faces. This book reveals her secret dilemmas and discoveries both inside and outside the hospital. It also records her successes and many failures as she becomes seriously involved in the quest to find out what makes a good patient. Her experiences lead her to reflect on her life, to look further into the roles of patients, to join a support group and to seek information and enlightenment on internet sites and in philosophy and popular self-help methods. What she learns brings about a change in her attitudes, not only to being a patient but also to life and living. As to the essence of being a good patient, she discovers that the answer is simpler and more life-affirming than she had ever imagined. 'Though names and personal details have been changed for the sake of others' privacy, all the episodes in the book are true, real-life events. I portray the new world I am thrown into; the search for knowledge about it; the people I meet; my attempts to understand and trust the hospital staff, system and treatment; and my failures and successes in adapting to many other challenges both outside and inside the hospital.' - Janet Rhys Dent, in the Introduction.