Your support group in a book, filled with boundless strength and profound hope - until the fight is won. Along with the shock, fear and loss many women face upon a breast cancer diagnosis comes unexpected strength, wisdom, and strong networks of sharing, support and healing. In Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor's Soul, survivors and their family members talk openly about how difficult their fight with breast cancer has been and how they made it through the dark times with a belief in a higher power and the support of those closest to them. Find strength in the encouraging stories of how family members confront their fears and show genuine affection for one another through gestures such as a granddaughter cutting the hair off of all her dolls so that they will look more like her grandma, who is bald from chemotherapy, and the gentle touch of a three-year-old son on his mother's back giving comfort to his sick mommy, and a husband who shows his wife the depth of his love during a weekend getaway after she heals from a total mastectomy. Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivors Soul will show you the beautiful side of the human spirit and spark the optimism sometimes lost in the mist of an illness. It is for everyone with breast cancer and everyone who loves someone touched by the disease.
You'll Never Feel So Loved Where there is great love, there are always miracles. -Willa Cather A few days after hearing the devastating news that the shadow on the mammogram was indeed cancer, I received a call I'll never forget from an aunt who was a breast-cancer survivor. The only part of the conversation I remember was one simple line: You'll never feel so loved. At the time I had no clue what that could mean, but I thanked her for calling and began the journey that every cancer patient goes through. I began to understand the power of these five little words a few days after my aunt's call, when I telephoned my daughter about the diagnosis and the upcoming surgery. Her first words were simple and direct: I'm on my way! Not, What can I do? Or, I'll try to come, or even Do you want me to come? but simply, I'm on my way! With the support and encouragement from her husband, my daughter was with me until I no longer needed her help. I felt so loved. Later that same day, with only twenty minutes' notice, a friend volunteered to meet my husband and me at the doctor's office to be the extra ears and note taker. Quietly, in the background, she was the one who held it together when my husband left the room (sick), and I began crying. She asked all the right questions and later went over the facts one by one, helping us comprehend all that was happening. What a gift! I knew she cared about us, and I felt so loved. In spite of all the frightening, horrific things that were taking place, I began to understand how the love of God and others would carry me through, and I knew I would be able to conquer this thing called cancer. The love was manifested in so many ways: cards, calls, prayers, meals and sometimes just one little sentence would carry me through a difficult day. I remember my husband holding me in his arms, reading from a book given to me from a coworker of his, also a breast-cancer survivor, who was sure we would both enjoy reading it. I was too tired, so he read aloud every night, and we laughed and cried together. I not only felt his love, but also was touched by the fact that someone I had never met cared enough to think of me. I had retired the year before my diagnosis, and one day a former coworker of mine stopped by with a basket full of thoughtful gifts from friends at the office: a warm hat to cover my thinning hair, inspirational books to lift my spirits, aromatherapy candles and bubble bath to soothe my body, and much more. They cared enough to remember me, and I felt so loved! In times of need, everyone knows that family will be there for you, but I was overwhelmed by the way my immediate and extended family came through. Parents, sisters and in-laws joined together to provide support and encouragement in so many wonderful ways. They were with me every step of the way. In fact, my sister was there when I had my last chemotherapy session, and a niece planned a big surprise party to celebrate the end of my treatments
Excerpted from Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor's Soul: Stories to Inspire, Support and Heal by Mark Victor Hansen, Mary Olsen Kelly, Jack Canfield
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