When someone is diagnosed with a serious illness, he or she is taking the first step on a challenging and confusing journey. For many, it is as if they are traveling alone to someplace entirely new, with only faded directions back to their old lives. Often, even their loved ones can only guess at what they must be experiencing. Michael Stein, M.D., uses the stories of his own patients to consider the personal narrative of sickness. Beautifully written and keenly insightful, The Lonely Patient is a valuable book for patients and their caregivers as well as a probing inquiry into this universal experience.