We all have within us the capacity not only to heal from crises but also to turn our sorrow into something new and strong.
— Mary Pipher,
If you are a woman who is walking a cancer journey (or if you love one who is), you just might be wishing you could send out an SOS signal for HELP.
SOS is the internationally recognized symbol for the Morse Code distress signal. Years ago, ships at sea who were in danger would flash or tap out the SOS code in order to let others know they were in need of help/rescue.
I chose SOS for this site’s logo because both times I was diagnosed with cancer (2001 and 2011), I was in as much inner distress as those ships at sea! I felt bewildered, angry, frightened, betrayed by my body, depressed, uncertain, and very unhappy. Can you relate? If I had a Morse code machine, I would have been tapping out the * SOS * signal loud and clear, a hundred times a day.
My Cancer Journeys
But I was able to get through it, all of it.
Soon after each diagnosis, I slowly learned that I had a choice to make about how I would deal with this life-threatening illness. I could let the cancer bring me down, close me off, scare me into smallness. Or I could sanction its presence in my life, embrace the flow of never-ending changes, and allow it to transform me.
And yes, this included getting myself through two surgeries, 3 months of chemo, and 42 radiation treatments.
During both of these cancer journeys, my life really sloooooooowed down, and I was able to see clearly that the best way forward on a journey like this involves staying connected to myself, to others (in some way) and to Spirit (however one chooses to define the Divine).
Staying Connected to Self, Others, and Spirit
For me, keeping myself focused on these important connections was how I avoided the shipwreck that occurs when SOS signals aren’t responded to.
Maybe you will find it helpful to focus on these kinds of connections too. You can read more on these pages:
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. — Anne Marie Bennett
I’ve Been Through It Too
As a two-time cancer survivor, I know what you’re going through. I may not have had the same kind of chemo, and my cancer may have been in a different part of my body than yours, BUT I do know most of the feelings you are going through.
I also know that most cancer treatment programs don’t talk to you about the emotional side of cancer, the spiritual aspect, the financial dimension, the sexual implications… or even how to manage the fear that accompanies a cancer diagnosis. I hope that through this site, we can bring some of these areas to light and find strength in sharing our own journeys with one another.
You have found this site because your life has been touched by cancer in some way. Maybe you’ve just received the diagnosis. Perhaps you love someone who is struggling through treatments. Maybe you have already completed your treatments and are wondering what is next for you, how to live with the fear of recurrence.
We share a unique connection because cancer has swooped down and interrupted our lives in some way. I would love to join you on your own journey with whatever kind of cancer you are going through.
I feel blessed and grateful that you are here today.
And I hope that you will feel equally blessed and grateful after spending some time here, as well as comforted in some way, and a little lighter in spirit.
Cancer Healing Resources Just For You
- inspiration for before, during, and after your own cancer journey
- suggestions for creative self-expression
- back issues of monthly newsletter STILL LIFE WITH CANCER
- audio interviews with Anne Marie about her cancer journeys
- suggestions for caregivers
- extensive resources (books, CD’s, guided imagery, music and DVD’s) to assist you on your journey towards healing