A Trip Through My Healing Library

by Barbara Cunnings-Versaevel

One of the first things I did when diagnosed with cancer was head to the library. I think I cleaned out the small library in Parksville, B.C. of all their books related to cancer. What was I looking for?

1. Information about my cancer and treatment options.

  1. I looked at all the research, the prognoses for my type of cancer, what types of treatment plans were likely to be suggested, and what were the outcomes.

2. Options other than the traditional methods for treatment.

  1. Since I normally did not take a lot of medication, thinking of radiation and chemotherapy was foreign to me. Unfortunately, the gentler options were expensive, out of country, or required a very strict regime. I had neither the money nor the support in place to pursue these options.

3. MOST IMPORTANT – stories of those who had survived a long time.

  1. I wanted to know what made the difference – why they survived and others didn’t. This would form the basis of my plan for healing. I definitely did not intend to be on the casualty list.

What books did I read first?
Here are some of the books I read in the beginning. They are still relevant today even though there are many more books available now than when I was diagnosed.

1. Bernie Siegel’s books.

  • Peace, Love and Healing
  • Love, Medicine and Miracles
  • Faith, Hope and Healing

2. Louise Hay

  • You Can Heal Your Life

3. Dr. Carl Simonton

  • Getting Well Again

4. Robert L. Veninga

  • A Gift of Hope: How We Survive Our Tragedies

5. Paul Pearsall, PhD

  • Superimmunity: Master Your Emotions and Improve Your Health

6. Robert H. Schuller

  • Peace of Mind Through Possibility Thinking
  • The Be Happy Attitudes: Eight Positive Attitudes That Can Transform Your Life

7. Susan Jeffers

  • Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

8. M. Scott Peck

  • The Road Less Travelled

9. Harriet Lerner

  • The Dance of Anger
  • The Dance of Intimacy

10. John Bradshaw

  • Bradshaw On: The Family: A New Way of Creating Solid Self-Esteem
  • Homecoming: Reclaiming and Healing Your Inner Child

11. Peter McWilliams

  • You Can’t Afford The Luxury of a Negative Thought: A Book for People with Any Life-Threatening Illness – Including Life

As my journey to healing progressed, I branched out to other books that supported what I was doing to change my life. These books provided more details to incorporate into my plan.

These two books addressed how to walk to a different drummer. Lifestyles in this country are crazy and I believe contribute to our national state of ill health. Other countries live differently and are healthier.

12. Stephan Rechtschaffen

  • Time Shifting

13. Richard Carlson with Joseph Bailey

  • Slowing Down to the Speed of Life: How to Create a More Peaceful, Simpler Life From the Inside Out.

This book isn’t necessarily about healing from cancer, but digs into our very soul. With a group of friends, we all went through this book, meeting every other week at a coffee house to discuss our findings. It was an amazing journey for all of us.

14. Julia Cameron

  • The Artist’s Way

The following books take you deep into your spirit and the mind/body/spirit connection.

15. Carolyn Myss

  • Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing
  • Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential

16. Norman Cousins

  • Head First: The Biology of Hope and the Healing Power of the Human Spirit

17. Bruce H. Lipton, PhD

  • The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, and Miracles

18. David Servan-Schreiber

  • Anticancer: A New of Life

The next ones are diet oriented. There are many diet and eating plans out there for cancer healing. I suggest you find one that speaks to you, that you could reasonably follow, and fits your lifestyle. These are the basics – eat organic when possible, eat fruits, vegetables, and grains, reduce or eliminate meat and fish consumption, and limit or avoid dairy.

19. T. Colin Campbell

  • The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health

20. Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo and Catherine Whitney

  • Eat 4 Your Blood Type: The Individualized Diet Solution

The two books below are the only ones so far that talk about long term cancer survivors. Somehow, long term cancer survivors are off the radar screen. Not sure why, but it makes sense to me that we could learn a lot from those who have gone on to beat cancer. This was my starting point – why isn’t it other people’s starting point? Don’t know. It’s a puzzle to me.

Permanent Remissions could also be under the diet category, but it really talks about long term cancer survivors. That is why I put it here.

21. Kelly A. Turner

  • Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds

22. Robert Haas, M.S.

  • Permanent Remissions : Life-Extending Diet Strategies That Can Help Prevent and Reverse Cancer, Heart Disease, Diabetes, and Osteoporosis

There are so many more books I could recommend, some more up to date for sure. Hopefully this can be a starting point for the types of books you might want to read.

At some point, I will list all the books I have in my personal library and post them on my website. In the meantime, this is a start.

Reading and taking charge of your own health is the best thing you can do for yourself. Our medical system doesn’t often cover these areas of the healing process. The system is set up to deal with our physical ailments. When lifestyle, emotional, and spiritual issues impact our health and create illness, such as cancer, the system is sadly lacking. Some doctors are able to guide you through this process, but they are few and far between. It’s up to us to do the research and work to regain our precious health.

What books do you read? It would be great to get a list together, as mentioned above, and share. At some point, a section for a book review can be added to the website. If you have a book that made a difference in your life, we’d love to know. Why and how did it help?

You can share this information at officialcancerhelphub@gmail.com – or onFacebook. Let’s help each other.

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