Meet Anne Marie Bennett

Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is,
in the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, for in the last analysis, all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace. — Frederick Buechner

My life’s journey began on May 20, 1956 in Connecticut.  I was  born into a family of two loving parents and two older brothers who wanted me and were always there for me.

My natural tendency as a child (and even now) is towards solitude.  Left alone to my own devices, I would probably have spent every free waking moment in my room with the door shut, reading a book or writing a story, daydreaming or listening to records (no CDs in those days!).

These days, I still love my solitude.  A short morning walk on the beach that is ten minutes from my house, an hour on the front porch with my journal, a weekend retreat by myself… these are all little pieces of heaven to me!

Anne Marie WritingMy Quiet Room (aka my study) is a place where I reflect, imagine, dream, and connect with myself and Spirit.  It’s also the place where I did a lot of journaling and meditating as I was healing and recovering from cancer surgeries and treatments.

In the stillness of that room, alone with my journal (and a cat or two!), I’d be reminded that I was more than just a tired, sick body dealing with cancer.  Spending that time alone, writing, always brought me back home to my whole, vibrant self.

Anne & Jeff Bennett 2012
(The scarecrow is not related!)

I met my dear husband Jeff in 1991, and we married in 1995.  Believe me when I say that we have been through a LOT.  Together, we’ve survived the loss of both of my parents (1993 and 2004), his diagnosis of prostate cancer and subsequent surgery (2004), the transition that came with his being declared legally blind (2008), and my own diagnosis of breast cancer in 2001.

And.. as if All of the Above were not enough, I was diagnosed with secondary angiosarcoma of the breast in July of 2011. This was not breast cancer, but a more aggressive, very rare cancer that was caused by the radiation treatments I received in 2002 on my left breast.

The only treatment my surgeon could offer me was a radical mastectomy, which I gladly accepted.  The tumor was contained (with very “generous” 3 cm margins all around it) and my PET scan showed no spreading to other parts of the body.  The day I received that news was glorious indeed.

However, my oncologist urged me to consider chemotherapy, and I didn’t WANT to do it, but I felt that I had to do it, just in case.  Just in case there were tiny cells floating around in me somewhere. I didn’t (don’t) want them growing … I wanted them GONE!  So from September 2011- February 2012, I experienced/received 12 chemo treatments of Gemcitabine and Taxol.

Also, during all of this, I began seeing a Naturopath who specializes in cancer treatment, Dr. James Belanger, and he gave me many more tools with which to diminish/vanquish any cancer that might be remaining in my body.

Needless to say, it’s been QUITE a journey!  I know a great deal about throwing out S.O.S. flares to the Universe, to Spirit, and to those in my community circles. 

It’s nearly impossible NOT to panic when a doctor tells you you have cancer.  But it’s definitely possible to live a cancer journey with grace and peace, and yes…. even Joy.

My life today is rich and rewarding.  I believe that I am cancer-free.  My Naturopath gives me an excellent prognosis as a result of my work with him.  My Allopathic doctors don’t have a prognosis to give me because the second cancer I had was so rare.

Nowadays my life is filled with an abundance of family and friends, both online and offline.  Jeff’s children have graced us with the absolute sweetest 8 grandchildren on the face of the earth (Ok, now I’m bragging!).  I love wearing bright colors, trying out all kinds of dark chocolate, and traveling to new places with Jeff.  I also continue to make solitude and quiet time a priority because I receive much joy and inner guidance from these alone times.

I’m a SoulCollage® Facilitator and Trainer, and this work that I do in the world® comes to life on my other website, KaleidoSoul.  I strongly believe in the power of the SoulCollage process to meet us exactly where we are, even on cancer journeys!  You can see the SoulCollage® cards I made for my cancer journey on this page.

I am honored to connect with many amazing women who are on the creative spiritual journey with cancer also.  I am so blessed.

Please stay connected with me/us on our SOS Cancer Journeys private Facebook page, or send me an email (use the Contact button on the top of this page). I look forward to sharing journeys with you!

Click here to read more about our SOS Cancer Journeys Mission.