Book Review: Healing With Words by Diana M. Raab
Title: Healing With Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey
Author: Diana M. Raab
Paperback: 206 pages
Genre: Memoir; Self-Help
Publisher: Loving Healing Press
About the Book:
Healing With Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey
is a compassionate and wry self-help memoir written by an award-winning author, nurse and poet, who at the age of forty-seven found her life shattered first by a DCIS (early breast cancer) diagnosis and five years later by another, seemingly unrelated and incurable cancer—multiple myeloma.
Before I begin my review, I’d like to share a passage from Diana M. Raab’s new book, Healing With Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey:
“It seems as if the past couple of weeks have been surreal. A thick cloud suspends over me. How did I get here? I was diligent about my annual mammograms and check-ups. On the first day of my menstrual cycle, I religiously did self-breast exams in the shower. There is no cancer in my family. Why am I lying here all mutilated?”
Healing With Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey is Diana M. Raab’s second foray into the world of writing but her first journey into the world of healing. By combining the two, she has written a memoir that not only pulls on the heartstrings but helps to show us the power of the written word in our everyday lives and how we can utilize that to heal. Keeping that in mind, I began to read Diana’s story.
At the age of forty-seven, Diana (who incidentally had no cancer in her family) was diagnosed with breast cancer. Enduring a mastectomy and the pain and embarrassment associated with it, Diana never really fully healed mentally. She found herself depressed (she had every reason to feel this way) after the operation which left her feeling less of a woman. Five years later, she was diagnosed again with an incurable cancer this time – multiple myeloma.
This is Diana’s story. What is unique about her story is that over the course of her journey dealing with cancer, she decided to take up journaling to talk about her experiences and in so doing discovered something so powerful that pills couldn’t even touch – the power of healing through words – intimate words, gut-wrenching soul-searching words that enabled her to talk about her feelings and emotions that were always bottled up inside of her, thus inhibiting her ability to full heal until they all spilled out onto paper.
Thus, Diana decided she not only was going to tell her story but by incorporating an interactive question and answer section to the back of every chapter, it would enable those who had cancer themselves to put their own words on paper and discover what a healing process it was. By doing this, they would find it would alleviate some of the stress which is so detrimental in the healing process.
Healing With Words: A Writers Cancer Journey takes us down Diana’s path of fears and frustrations. You’ll definitely need something to wipe your eyes as this is a story that will touch you deeply, no matter if you have cancer or not. Diana’s words are powerful, yet sensitive to the plight of a woman’s journey who is given the diagnosis of cancer and should not only be read by victims of the disease, but loved ones as well.