What do you do after surviving breast cancer?
Grace Gawler, a cancer strategist with 38 years of experience and more than 14,000 clients, and the author of one of the first books (Women of Silence: The Emotional Healing of Cancer) on the emotional and psychological impact of breast cancer
What I’ve found useful whenever I’ve had a consultation with Grace, is her blend of knowledge and experience of treatments and the psychology of cancer patients. She’s also someone who’s gone through a serious illness, so she knows just what it takes to weather the storms of a life-threatening illness. It is that level of empathy that makes her unique in her services and someone I feel I can talk to because she truly understands!
In this radio show, Grace talks about surviving survival.Two key areas she covers are: (1) the void that is created after the flurry of treatment stops and the gap between monitoring visits to the specialist doctor widens (2) the what-if phase after treatment … “what if the cancer recurs?”
With patients living longer, women often have impaired life quality and declining well-being after breast cancer. The wounds are often unseen. Surviving Survival is about the need to become an alchemist, transforming the threat of losing our life, to helping us find our life!
Updated 15 April 2014 with more personal additions
From the book “Cancer Etiquette” by Rosanne Kalick – one of the best books in the market offering guidance on what not to say and what to say to people who have cancer. [Unfortunately it is only available as a hardcover book. Amazon has some used copies].
I’ve covered some of the mistakes people make when speaking to someone who has cancer in Part 1, as mentioned in Rosanne Kalick’s book.
In Part 2, Rosanne Kalick shares some tips on what not to say, and to say, to someone who has cancer. I’ve since updated this post with my personal additions, so it’s hard to separate what is Rosanne Kalick’s and what is mine, but the bones of this post is from her book.
I was talking to someone who had a device that he claimed could heal diseases (including cancer).
Mid-way through, he said to me: “you know, we’re all going to die some day, so that might help you to face what you’ve got.”
I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry.
Yes, we’re all going to die someday, but mate, you’re not the one with cancer, and not the one with one foot (metaphorically) in the grave. And cancer is not a walk in the park.
Book: “Speak the Language of Healing: Living with Breast Cancer without Going to War“.
Authors: Susan Kuner, Carol Matzkin Orsborn, Linda Quigley, Karen Leigh Stroup
Publisher: Conari Press
This is one of the best books I’ve read on how to deal with cancer.
Most books tell us that cancer is a war. We are told we have to fight it … it is a battle. Cancer becomes a disease filled with aggressive terminology, there are conflicts, it is the enemy to be vanquished, and the people who have cancer are victims. People who make it through the treatment are survivors and winners. Those who die from it are defeated and seen as losers and failures.
For some, using military metaphors is helpful. But for others, this book shows us there is a new way of thinking about and living with a life-threatening illness.