In the meantime I figure I'd post some small reviews about some books that really helped me out these past months in various ways. Up first: When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron.
Ok, I knew nothing about Buddhist ways of coping with illness or life's other hardships before I read this, and a cursory search on Buddhism/Illness etc led me to Pema Chodron. I was prepared for some over-my-head discourse (and what about that title..bummer!) but I have to say, the way she writes makes it so easy to relax into the Buddhist way of looking at the shitty things that happen to you. I felt better after reading this, if only because I began to look at my situation in a different way- a way that was less whiny and "why me" and more "ok this sucks BUT how can I work it."
After this I was thirsty for some more Buddhist lit much like this, and found How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers by Toni Bernhard. Hers was more of a 101 on being ill, but at times I was too distracted by her personal anecdotes she kept on about that were so specific to her condition. She had some foundation info on Buddhism/Illness, but I wasnt left with as much insight as Pema had given me.
That said, I'd advise you to check out any books that seem to speak to your questions. If the above books seem interesting to you, you may also want to check out Tara Brach's Podcasts. Also invaluable. I listened to them at work in the days before an important test or procedure and it helped me relax and not make things harder for myself...which is what Buddhist thoughts on illness seem to be about :)
This photo was taken a couple years ago, who knew me and this guy would get so close when the goin got tough!