Photo by Alina Vilchenko

Journaling and reflecting can lower stress by helping people process feelings and clarify thoughts. Regularly journaling about your cancer experience can provide a comforting outlet and help you cope at any point during treatment.

Researchers find out that there is healing with words as it provides a comforting outlet and helps you cope during your cancer treatment and even the thought of death. 

Getting Started

Few experiences in life are as complex as learning that you have a cancer diagnosis. Powerful emotions are stirred up, which can be overwhelming and frightening, with many people feeling as if their world has been turned upside down. Writing is a way to give voice to feelings such as fear, anger, sadness, and loss that can be difficult to express aloud. It can also be a vital tool for caregivers. Before starting a journal, remember the following:

  • It is the content that is important, not spelling or grammar.
  • Find a private place to write where you feel comfortable and will not be interrupted.
  • Choose the method of writing you prefer, whether pen and paper, a tablet or a computer.
  • Try to write daily, stopping if you feel tired or overwhelmed. Many people find that setting aside a specific time of day, such as the morning, helps them to collect their thoughts and put them down.

A Perfect Example

Writing is whatever you decide it will be—a story, a poem, random thoughts or words, memories, hopes, and fears. Journaling can also be drawings or a scrapbook of sketches. Hopefully, it will provide an outlet for your feelings and, in time, decrease your stress level. Dating each entry helps you look back at previous entries and reflect.

A perfect book example is My Wonderful Nightmare: Spiritual Journals Inspired by Cancer by Erin Higgins and co-authored by Alma Lightbody. It is about a woman’s journey and struggles with Ovarian Cancer. 

The book is a memoir of Erin Higgins, co-authored by Alma Lightbody (the author of You’re Not the Boss of Me). In this inspiring tale of a woman’s dance with Ovarian cancer, readers will get a peek at the anxiety, struggle, helplessness, and transformation that patients must undergo. 

Similarly, the book shares how a devastating diagnosis of Ovarian cancer forces 31-year-old Erin to question her purpose in life. As she decides to make the most of her life, Erin begins narrating her soul and heart through writing journals. These journals, which ushered her during her most challenging moments, have taught and helped others. It is a book of encouragement for those women with Ovarian cancer and all other women struggling with cancer.

“Her research, studies, and practical experiences are revealed in detail to enable everyone to learn what she learns, especially about “listening to your body” Erin chronicles her experiences with conventional and alternative healing and wellness treatments and tells us what works for her and what doesn’t.” (excerpt from book description)

Despite all these challenges, Erin still shares faith, wisdom, and hope through her journals. Erin’s exceptional courage and honesty shine through even when choosing when and how to die.

Authors’ Profile

Erin Higgins

Erin Higgins was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in February 1998. Erin was only thirty-one years old at that time. She then began journaling her emotions, experiences, and treatments. Her family and friends always remember Erin as an animated, outspoken, funny storyteller; only this time, the story was about her. Through this fantastic book, Erin speaks to the reader with intimate and gut-wrenching honesty.

Alma Lightbody

Alma Lightbody is the author of You’re Not the Boss of Me, an inspirational guidebook. Lightbody holds degrees in Medical Technology, an MBA in business, and multiple certificates in Holistic Health and Shamanic Healing, with the last twenty years, focused on Energy Medicine. Alma worked closely with Erin as a wellness practitioner and is proud to co-author this heartwarming memoir.

Moreover, purchase a copy of My Wonderful Nightmare: Spiritual Journals Inspired by Cancer on Amazon and other bookstores. You can also visit Alma Lightbody’s website for more details and information.