Here are some books, music and websites that I recommend for healing from the inside out:
Now That I Have Cancer I Am Whole– Meditations for Cancer Patients and Those Who Love Them. Very powerful series of short readings that help us to embrace cancer as a gift instead of a hindrance. Lots of faith, humor, and spiritual insight. Readings are gathered around categories like this:
- When You First Hear “That Word”
- When a Part of You is Gone (Surgery and Recovery)
- When You’re Bald and Strangely Beautiful
- When the Night Frights Come
- When It’s Time to Give Thanks
- When It’s Time to Say No
- When It’s Time to Say Yes
Broken Open– How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow. Written by Elizabeth Lesser, the co-founder of Omega Institute, this book is full of humorous insights, practical guidance, and personal stories. There are powerful tools here to help us make the choice we all face in times of personal challenge. She shares tales of ordinary people who have risen from the ashes of illness and other difficult life situations. She draws on the worlds’ great spiritual and psychological traditions to support us as we learn to break open and blossom into who we are meant to be. By Elizabeth Lesser.
Surviving Has Made Me Crazy– Mark Nepo is one of my current favorite teachers/authors. As a survivor of a rare form of lymphoma in the late 80’s, he has created some beautiful, thought-provoking poems that “explore the landscape of inner experience that is transformed by illness.” By Mark Nepo.
Fighting Cancer From Within– How to Use the Power of Your Mind for Healing. I found this one especially helpful when healing from surgery and chemo treatments. Includes the healing powers of imagery, as well as simple techniques you can use to help you relax, alleviate stress, and relieve pain. By Martin Rossman.
Healing with the Mind’s Eye: How to Use Guided Imagery and Visions to Heal Body, Mind, and Spirit. Another powerful book about using one’s “inner eye” of imagination to stimulate healing of any kind. Also recommended by Bernie Siegel, Dean Ornish and Christiane Northrup. By Michael Samuels.
Surviving Cancer– One Woman’s Story and Her Inspiring Program for Anyone Facing a Cancer Diagnosis. I devoured this book the first time I had cancer back in 2002. Includes many relevant, helpful ideas on affirmations, reaching out, visualization, choosing an advocate, networking, how to deal with “well-wishers,” prayer, nourishment, support groups, unconditional love, exercise, movement, music and sound, acupuncture, forgiveness, creating a sanctuary and lots, lots more. Very very helpful! By Margie Levine.
Creative Healing– Focuses on many creative ways to tap your hidden creativity (even if you don’t think you are creative), for healing body, mind and spirit. “Being creative is as simple as seeing through your eyes the beauty, mystery, and artistic quality of life. Your art, whatever form it takes, is your vehicle to go there.” By Michael Samuels and Mary Rockwood Lane.
She Who Dreams– Fascinating account of one woman’s diagnosis of breast cancer and how she used dreamwork to weave her way through the journey. I am drawn to this book because the author is unflinchingly honest in her expression of the feelings she went through on each stage of the journey. NOT JUST FOR WOMEN WITH BREAST CANCER. By Wanda Easter Burch.
A Cancer Survivor’s Almanac: Charting Your Journey. There’s a wonderful section in this comprehensive book called Taking Care of Your Emotional, Spiritual, and Social Needs. This section covers Mind and Body, Family Challenges (Communication and Teamwork), The Power of Peer Support (Benefiting from the Wisdom of Other Survivors). From the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.
The Sunday List of Dreams– Read this lovely novel and your own imagination will take flight. Find out what happens when a retired nurse sets out to really live the “list of dreams” she’s been keeping in her pocket for over twenty years. You’ll be inspired to create your own list of dreams, I guarantee. By Kris Radish.
After Cancer: A Guide to Your New Life- This book has been around for a while, but the section called “Emotional Issues of Survivorship” is completely relevant, no matter what year it is. By Wendy Harpham.
Writing Out the Storm– Using various writing exercises, the author shows us many creative ways to transform anger, despair, loneliness, fear, and other emotions into very beneficial and positive energy. By Barbara Abercrombie.
Overcoming Life’s Disappointments – Another gem by the author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People. This one is about how to continue our journey with grace and love even when things don’t work out the way we expected them to. I found it full of wisdom and comfort. By Harold Kushner.
Faith, Hope and Healing– Inspiring lessons learned from people with cancer. By Bernie Siegel, M.D.
You Are the Best Medicine, by Julie Aigner Clark. A lovely picture book, perfect for sharing with the little ones in your life after you’ve been diagnosed.
To Listen To:
Here are some CD’s of vocalists whose words/music never fails to lift me and make me feel supported:
Grace and Gratitude, by Olivia Newton-John. Soothing, restful chants and songs of healing.
All of Karen Drucker’s songs are written to support healing, affirmation, and living from the depths of our beautiful souls. If I’m feeling low and out-of-sorts, I pop one of these into my CD player and sing along until I’m feeling better. Truly magic.
Ask Your Guides, by Mark Stanton Welch. This is one of my favorite CD’s by Mark, who has accompanied Sonia Choquette for many years and played music during her workshops around the world. Every song here focuses on receiving guidance from a variety of sources and a host of dimensions. I use this music to open up inner channels to receive. His voice is rich, soothing and “just right.”
These are some of my favorite CD’s to play for soothing music that brings me inner peace and calms the whirlwind of fearful thoughts that can take over my mind:
The Healing Spirit, by Diane Arkenstone
Liquid Mind III: Balance, by Chuck Wild
Being Peace, by Marina Raye
Healing, by Anugama.
These are Guided Meditation CD’s that really helped me
on my second cancer journey:
Healthy Immune System, by Belleruth Naparstek. One track is spoken affirmations to strengthen and balance your immune system. The other track is a guided meditation on the same topic.
A Meditation to Promote Successful Surgery, by Belleruth Naparstek. This imagery, found to be highly effective in double blind, placebo-controlled research, creates the context for a successful, safe and comfortable surgery, complete with suggestions to reduce bleeding and speed up mending with minimal discomfort. A separate music track can be played in the O.R., and another track contains affirmations to help you focus on the recovery period.
Anxiety Relief: Relax the Body and Calm the Mind, Manage Fear and Worry, and Cultivate Positive Energy. By Martin Rossman. Powerful imagery. All you have to do is sit back/lie down and listen. I especially like the part about turning fear into positive energy!
The Healing Mind– I used several of these Martin Rossman CD’s during my second cancer journey. Maybe you’ll find one of them helpful also. CD titles on this page include:
* Optimizing Cancer Treatments
* Successful Cancer Surgery
* Transforming Your Fear of Cancer
* Creating Wellness from Within
This CD set continues to provide me with strength and inspiration even though my chemo days and surgeries are long past:
Cancer As a Turning Point– If you’ve been given a diagnosis of cancer, how can you create joy, health, and hope? Here, bestselling authors Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D. (Goddesses in Everywoman), Oriah Mountain Dreamer (The Invitation), Lawrence LeShan (Cancer as a Turning Point), Martin Rossman, M.D. (Fighting Cancer from Within), Wayne Muller (How, Then, Shall We Live?), and others, many of whom are thriving after cancer themselves, reframe the healing process in a positive, creative, spiritual light. In 11 sessions, Cancer As a Turning Point teaches life skills, such as the importance of humor and loving relationships, as well as specific techniques, informed by current research on diet, guided imagery, and the role of meditation in cancer treatment. Central to this collection is a re-visioning of cancer as the “wisdom disease” the illness that can teach us how to live.
To Look At:
Spirit Card Center– Send any of these gorgeous images as e-cards to a family member or loved one to let them know you’re thinking of them. Just looking at this beautiful art lifts my spirits.Cancer Connect– Lots of information here, but I love this site mainly because of its unique and many forms of support. Create a user name and password, and you’ll be able to connect with many other women with your kind of cancer. Post your questions, offer others support, and more.
I Wish You Enough – wonderful site full of hopeful and inspiring true short stories. Click on the topics on the left (sun, rain, happiness, pain, gain, loss, hello’s, good-bye’s) for more stories.
A Touch of Grace– Facing a challenge or question? Check this out! This is author Cheryl Richardson’s site… just click on the Touch of Grace box in the upper right corner and follow the directions…. you will receive a touch of grace from a beautiful star!
There Is Nothing Wrong With You– You’ll want to listen to this affirmative recording/slide show over and over. Excellent self-esteem booster.
KaleidoSoul– If you enjoy collage, you might find the simple process of making SoulCollage® cards helpful for your cancer journey. This link leads you to some SoulCollage® cards that I created to express some of my feelings after my surgeries and treatments were over. On this site, you will find step by step instructions for how to begin making your own SoulCollage® cards.
Simple Abundance– Sarah ban Breathnach’s page on keeping a gratitude journal.
A Place for the Heart– This is a great page on affirmations. If you’re feeling adventurous, scroll down and click on Create Your Own Affirmations or Pick Your Own Affirmations From Our Cards. See what you come up with!
Elder Wisdom Circle– a nationwide network of Seniors aged 60-103 who offer advice and wisdom confidentially via the internet. Their mission is to promote and share elder know-how and accumulated wisdom, along with the goal of elevating the perceived value and worth of the senior community. Go ahead and try it. Is there something you’re struggling with, or have a very big question about? Send an email on this site and you’ll hear back from one or two wise senior women. I tried it and was amazed with the clarity and depth of the two answers I received. This site truly is a blessing for any woman on this journey.
Light a Candle– A beautiful sacred ritual to do online! Try it and see… doesn’t cost a thing!
Annie Appleseed Project- There are so many simple steps that can be taken to increase our chances of surviving and beating cancer. This site is dedicated to helping you make more informed treatment decisions.
Naturopathic Care for Cancer Patients
Dr. James Belanger is Anne Marie’s Naturopath and has been instrumental on her second healing journey from cancer. Dr. Belanger was on a radio show “Survive and Live Well” in 2013, talking about the role of naturopathic medicine in cancer care. He’s very easy to listen to and gives clear explanations for how he works with cancer patients.
Specific to Breast Cancer
Even though the focus of this website, SOS Cancer Journeys, is women with ANY kind of cancer, I would like to share two books specifically about the breast cancer journey, since that was my first experience with cancer. And besides, I wrote the first one, and my essay “Lessons from a Hot Tub” is in the second one!
Bright Side of the Road: A Spiritual Journey Through Breast Cancer, by Anne Marie Bennett. Take a private peek inside Anne Marie’s journal from the moment of the “bad mammogram” through biopsy, surgeries, chemo, radiation, and living beyond the cancer. Even if you don’t have breast cancer, you’ll find the emotional honesty of this book uplifting and encouraging.
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Healing for Your Breast Cancer Journey: Surviving and Thriving During and After Your Diagnosis and Treatment, by Julie SIlver. Lots of inspiring stories in this lovely book, including “Lessons From the Hot Tub,” by Anne Marie Bennett! Excellent gift idea.
We’ll be sharing LOTS more resources (to read, to listen to, to watch, to explore) in upcoming issues of our monthly newsletter, Still Life with Cancer. You can subscribe by putting your first name and email in the blue box on the upper right side of this page.
As a thank you, we’ll also send you, right away, our popular 20 page e-book:
The ABCs of SOS: 7 Ways to Brighten a Cancer Journey by Connecting to Self, Others, and Spirit.
Please use the “Contact” button on the top of this page to send us suggestions for books, music and websites that you have found helpful on your own cancer journey. Thanks!