Originally posted on my old website and moved to The Hot Mess Kitchen for our…
There are only a few things in this world that I truly dislike. Things that give me that gut punch feeling when I hear the words and a desire to wish it away as quickly as possible. How could I have such hate in my heart for something? It does not seem right. But, when it comes to this very something that has affected my family directly having seen my own family members struggle with diagnosis, treatment, end of life ….. I think it is ok to say, “I hate cancer”.
I am writing this post on behalf of a good friend Dollie from Joy in the Home. She was so gracious to extend a copy of her brand new journal, 31 Days of Journaling Through Cancer for me to review and share with others whom I know would benefit from in their time of need.
My dealings with cancer hit home on many levels. My mother who defeated both breast and colon cancer and my own diagnosis of a chronic disease that if not caught earlier would have put me at risk for liver cancer. My grandfather who fought an honorable fight and lost his battle to lung cancer and a co-worker who courageously stood up and took a stand to knock cancer flat on its butt and defeat it. Another tiny tot whose smile can light up a room and who never asked nor complained when she stood up and said, “I will beat cancer”.
I don’t think anyone would disagree with me in saying a cancer diagnosis is not fair. It’s a life altering diagnosis that requires an almost immediate life change and challenges the depths of your faith.
One day I hope to see a preventative medicine available to all that puts an end to cancer. A treatment or remedy that takes the worry away from weeks or years of radiation and chemotherapy treatments. A treatment that holds back the financial burdens of this life altering diagnosis. A treatment that ends the diagnosis of cancer.
I was 15 when my mom was diagnosed in 1996 with breast cancer. I don’t really remember much about the diagnosis however I do remember my mom courageously standing against her diagnosis and accepting the treatment without fear in her eyes. I do remember the many friends close to my mom who came to her aid and the aid of our family as my mom returned from each chemo treatment exhausted and zapped of any energy she had managed to muster between the last treatment. I remember sitting in the car while mom went in to complete another round of radiation treatment.
To me as a teenager, sitting in the car waiting, counting minute after minute until my mom came out seemed like a lifetime. Now that I am older I can not even begin to imagine her courageousness as she opened the doors to her doctor’s office counting down to the last time she would have to have treatment.
I wonder as an adult potentially facing this diagnosis myself; How did she cope? Was she challenged in her faith? How did she put the fear of the unknown aside as she walked through the doors of the chemo treatment center knowing she would be poisoning herself to kill the cancer? I tried putting myself in her shoes and just couldn’t so I revamped and thought about my feelings as a family member. Someone who saw her go through this journey not once but twice. If this were to happen to myself or my kids, how would I stay grounded? Who would I talk to? This is such a personal topic. Would anyone relate to what I was going to.
Had a resource I recently found been available when my mom was kicking cancers butt I would have given her a copy of Dollie’s most recent publication, 31 Days of Journaling Through Cancer. Even now as I browse through the beautifully illustrated pages filled with bible verses and illustrations, I could easily find myself journaling for my feelings now having gone through these experiences.
What makes 31 Days of Journaling Through Cancer so special is that it was published by someone who’s own relation to cancer is all too real. Dollie’s strength bleeds through onto the pages as her thoughts guide you through how to use the journal, how to capture positive thoughts of the day and how to release the negative thoughts as well.
This is so much more than a journal about cancer. I believe Dollie’s 31 Days of Journaling Through Cancer serves as a statement piece to exploring your personal believes in your faith, your relationship with family members and it is a refocusing tool that reminds you to reset your way of thinking about a diagnosis such as cancer.
I am truly appreciative of Dollie and the courageousness it took to sit down and put this journal together. Not only was she thinking of herself while writing it, she was thinking of others who may not have the support system she has. Others who are lost in the diagnosis with little hope to find.
31 Days of Journaling Through Cancer is now available for purchase through Amazon as a paperback and would be perfect for anyone who has gone through, is going through or has survived or lost a loved one to cancer. I honestly believe Dollie’s christian approach to finding positivity in each day is the reason why she was able to create such a creative journal.
Whether you choose to journal through or after the process, this would also be a keepsake of sorts for relatives. The one thing I kept during my mom’s first treatment with cancer is her chemo bear. He is a little brown bear, no more than 2 feet tall with a burgundy bow. Nothing special to anyone who would compare him to any old teddy bear but he means the world to me. To know that my mom was given this bear as a gift and it was her source of comfort or something soft she could hug and cry on or squeeze the stuffing out of brings back so many emotional memories.
I would encourage you to purchase a copy of 31 Days of Journaling Through Cancer for yourself or to give or donate to someone you love.