There are a lot of books about cancer. It can be hard to know which books you should read. For every book I write a review on, five more are discarded. This isn’t to say that they were not important, only that other books provide more complete info, are better organized, or contain a clearer message. The books that I don’t review, that I don’t recommend to others, I could see them as a waste of time, but I’ve come to see that they do serve a purpose. While I may not remember their title or author, chances are they have helped to shore up my belief system in some way. They may help to support my theory that healing requires belief that it is possible. Or that our mental and emotional selves must be included in healing. They may provide me with one more person who has survived a deadly disease or terminal illness. They may be an example of someone healing from something that has been considered incurable. These cancer stories make a huge difference. They provide hope.
It’s hard to move to a different drumbeat when the main beat is so damn loud. The beat of mainstream culture, that pretends that our choices and ultimately our lives revolve around materialistic ends and that we don’t know what causes the multitude of chronic illnesses we see in our society, can drown out other beats. It’s easy to stumble, to lose your footing, as you try to listen to the beat that plays softer below the mainstream. Sometimes you lose it completely.
Everything I read helps me hear the beat that I move to. The beat that plays underneath the one that is broadcasted by media, corporations, and institutions. My beat tells me that we can heal holistically. My beat says that our energy plays a major role in our life story. My beat empowers me to find my fulfillment from within, instead of outside myself.
I’ve read a lot of memoirs from people who have healed from cancer. Some have used the conventional route, others the integrative path, and a rare few a holistic path. I am grateful for my surgeon from my original diagnosis. She is the only doctor I encountered in the standard healthcare system that acknowledged that people were having successes with nontraditional methods. In fact, she told about another of her patients who had gone on to write a book about their experience. I would go onto purchase that book and what I would read would be reflected in many other cancer stories I would come across.
Cancer is a disease of transformation. Those who live through the process are changed. Every book I read on this disease only further supports this belief. Often the person will change their lifestyle, quitting a job, changing their diet, or becoming active. Others will find themselves changing their relationships, no longer allowing unhealthy treatment to continue. Some discover their purpose and become inspired by life. Still others will discover how much they are loved when they had felt very alone. Yet others will transform in all areas. These stories tell of their specific transformation in the hopes it will help others to achieve their own.
It’s a message many are trying to tell since we know that to not do so can mean death. Our healthcare system with its drugs and treatments does little to empower people. It acts as if healing is dependent upon the treatment instead of the body that is receiving the treatments. The treatments are there to stimulate our healing processes. The healing comes from within. It requires our participation.
Every book I read about cancer and even the broader category of healing reminds me of this. I don’t look at them as wasted even if in the end I feel like I didn’t learn anything new. Instead they serve to add fuel to my fire that says we don’t have to die from illness, we don’t even have to spend our lives ill, the cures to many diseases are already here, the answer lies inside of us if only we will stop to listen. Take it from a woman that was diagnosed with cancer before she’d even contemplated her own mortality. Seven years later I’m still here adding my story in with all the others to try and inspire. Trying to remind them and myself that it is not hopeless, and you are not alone. Many others have walked this path and are still here to tell you about it. You can join their ranks.
While I’ll never recognize all the books that help me along my path individually, I am very aware of their impact on me and I am grateful for everyone that shares their story.