Updated: Apr 19, 2022
It's been busy but in a good way. Through my own platform, I'm teaching creative writing virtually to kids and teens worldwide. Friday night was Hong Kong and tonight, teens from all over the US. As a children's author and teacher, it's my passion and brings me great joy (integral to the healing process). Kids now more than ever, need to connect with their creative & imaginative selves. www.kellytooman.com
As with any new entreprenuial endeavor, it's a lot of work. Learning to pace, not pressure myself, will always be my work in progress. More on that subject later.
We never travel on these healing journeys alone, and I am eternally grateful to those who light a torch along the way. Healing on all levels~physically, emotionally, spirtually, and energetically, is deep work, and it's not done all at once. One of my physicans was surprised that I was still "doing all of that." It's as if once the cancer is gone, everything is fixed. All better. In a sense, yes. However, for me, healing is a life process. Cancer was the shrill bullhorn that awakened me. I'd like to keep it on snooze forever.
I'm sharing some of the few wonderful books that I turn to again and again. For more amazing books, please visit my first blog of this series
A Return to Love by Marianne Willamson. This beautiful book was given to me when I found out I had cancer. It's the journey back to yourself and God. An eye-opener on so many levels. My book is dog-eared, plastered with post-it notes, and underlined through and through. It's a keeper.
Chris Beats Cancer by Chris Wark
"Two days before Christmas and at 26 years old, Chris Wark was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. He had surgery to remove a golf ball-sized tumor and a third of his colon. But after surgery, instead of the traditional chemotherapy, Wark decided to radically change his diet and lifestyle in order to promote health and healing in his body. In Chris Beat Cancer, Wark describes his healing journey, exposes the corruption and ineffectiveness of the medical and cancer industries, and shares the strategies that he and many others have used to heal cancer. These strategies include adopting the Beat Cancer Mindset; radical diet and lifestyle changes; and mental, emotional, and spiritual healing, as well as advanced integrative therapies"
I highly recommend this book to anyone just diagnosed with cancer and to those in their inner circle. Cancer patients are often initially mentally & emotionally overwhelmed and need additonal support (brain power). Be their research guides! Read. Knowledge is POWER. Chris advocates that patients ask the right questions and not make hurried, fear-based decisions they may regret later.
In my own research, I learned that in most cases, with the exception of rapidly growing cancers, by the time a cancer is diagnosed, it has been in the body for a very long time. According to Dr. Bita Badakhshan, a tumor shows up after 8 years.
From my own experience, take the time needed to make decisions that feel right for you. Don't be afraid to get second opinions. Shake off the fog and fear so you can think clearly.
It's your life.
In addition to the steps Chris took to heal, he also focuses on the importance of spiritual healing/forgiveness. His second book, Beat Cancer Daily, is full of empowering daily devotionals. Even though I am cancer free, I still read this book. You can follow Chris on Instgram, Youtube and through his website, www.chrisbeatcancer.com
Mind over Medicine, by Lissa Rankin. M.D. It's funny how books that are meant to be for you-somehow mysteriously appear in their own ways. Right about the time of my 2019 diagnosis, a friend was on the phone with her son, a male nurse working a temporary position out in CA. He shared how a cancer patient of his had just raved about this book. Kismet.
One of the many interesting facets about this book, is that it's written by a former doctor. In one of my former blogs, RX: The Powerful Healing Force of a Compassionate Physican. Lissa Ranin discusses the impact nurturing care imparts on a patient’s well-being and the body's ability to self-repair. This was certainly the case with me. In many ways, my onocologist was instrumental to my healing.
In an easy to read format, chapters highlight the detrimental effect of stress and overwork on the body (and how to counteract it), the importance of happiness in our work and relationships, radical self-care, preventing disease, and steps to healing oneself. https://lissarankin.com
The following is from Lissa Rankin's recent FB posts regarding her newest book, Sacred Medicine. She discusses the vital imporatnce of healing emotional trauma:
"Doctors and physiologists know the body has natural self-healing mechanisms, a well known but incompletely understood phenomenon that I explained at length in Mind Over Medicine.
In that book, I made a systematic case for how our thoughts, beliefs, and feelings impact the nervous system.
Whenever the nervous system is revved up into the sympathetic nervous system, the “fight or flight” stress response or the parasympathetic dorsal vagal "freeze" stress response, the body’s self-healing mechanisms are physiologically disabled because the body is prioritizing fighting, fleeing or freezing, not resting and repairing. But what makes us start looping the kinds of thoughts, beliefs, and feelings that activate stress responses?
In one word, trauma.
Just to give an example, we all make cancer cells every day. For most of us, our immune systems function effectively to prevent us from letting a cancer grow. If someone gets a cancer diagnosis, by definition, the immune system has failed to rid the body of the unwelcome cells.
When I’m working with someone with cancer, it’s natural for me at this point in my journey to help the patient explore inside what might have happened to cause the nervous system to default to either a sympathetic overdrive "fight or flight" stress response or a disembodied, dissociated dorsal vagal "freeze" state that could lead to the breakdown of the body’s self-healing mechanisms.
Of course we need to treat the cancer, whether we treat it with conventional oncology or surgery, Sacred Medicine methods, holistic health measures, or all three, because it poses an imminent danger to health and mortality. But I now believe it would be medical malpractice not to also determine and treat whatever might have allowed the cancer to grow in the first place.
If we don’t go digging for the answer to what caused the nervous system dysregulation that can lead to immune system failure, we might remove the cancer, but the nervous system dysfunction- and the impact of that on the immune system, endocrine system, microbiome, and inflammatory response in the body- would likely lead to either a cancer recurrence or another kind of illness...
Now, I think this is one of those paradoxes of healing. Getting a cancer diagnosis is traumatic itself, and some cancers (not all) may even be the end result of untreated trauma in the body. It's also true that cancer can be a wake up call if we survive it and allow it to be an opportunity to learn, heal, grow, gain insight into our wounds, treat the traumas that dysregulate the nervous system, and make lifestyle changes that may have put our bodies at risk of either toxic exposures or nervous system dysregulation in the first place."