This review is by Vicki Porter is a medical writer and editor who lives on Long Island with her husband and cats. She was diagnosed with colorectal cancer at the age of 46 and has been battling the disease since 2008. With the help of her loving and supportive family and friends – and her excellent healthcare team – she feels like she is winning the battle. Vicki is grateful for the many inspirational books, DVDs, and Web sites available to people with cancer, from which she has gained much strength and knowledge.
Britta Aragon has written a beautifully inspiring and informative book, “When Cancer Hits: Your Complete Guide to Taking Care of YOU Through Treatment”, that is sure to help anyone with cancer get through the illness and the treatments. A cancer survivor herself, she offers a multitude of practical tips and detailed advice on how to manage and cope with the side effects of treatment such as acne and skin rashes, hair loss, lack of appetite, nausea, and fatigue. She offers her specific recommendations on the use of organic personal care and household products (e.g., skin lotions, shampoos, carpet cleaners, laundry detergents, etc.) and foods.
Her chapters on coping with negative emotions and accentuating the positive are extremely helpful. Aragon writes: “Cancer will change you, but who you become through the course of your journey is up to you.” These chapters are not just empty pep-talks; the author offers her recommendations for tapping into a variety of resources such as prayer, meditation, yoga, Reiki, massage, acupuncture, guided imagery, journaling, music/art therapy, pet therapy, and walking – and she elaborates on these various techniques, providing readers with valuable tools that will not only guide them through the roller-coaster ride that cancer throws them onto, but that can also be applied throughout their lives.
There is also an excellent chapter on dealing with the “aftermath” of the illness, beyond the last treatment — as this phase of a cancer victim’s life requires a gradual adjustment to “normalcy.” In this section, Aragon addresses the universal fear of recurrence, and describes steps readers can take to prevent the cancer from returning, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising, practicing regular stress management techniques, reducing exposure to toxins, and regaining passion for life by reconnecting with their dreams and doing the things they’ve always wanted to do.
Readers will no doubt find the appendices valuable, as they contain a wealth of information on relevant organizations, support groups, ingredients to avoid in personal care products and in foods, and places to find “safe” products.
Perhaps the most powerful message to take away from this book is that, throughout the cancer journey, self-love and self-care are essential to recovery, as is allowing others to provide help and support. Aragon leaves readers with this powerful message in her chapter on “Final Thoughts”:
“. . . I think what I’ve learned, most of all, is that we must listen to that little voice inside us and always believe we are worthy of the best life has to offer. Whether you call it the subconscious, the witness, intuition, or God, your inner voice knows what’s right for you. You must listen and follow where it leads. Those of us who have lived with cancer share a bond, and many of us have similarities in our lives, but at the same time, each person is unique, each diagnosis is different, and each experience unlike any other. In the end, you are the foremost authority on your body, your health and your spirit. Trust yourself.”
It’s hard to imagine anyone with cancer not being able to identify with and derive benefit from this book.
When Caner Hits is NOT just for Cancer Patients
My friend Vicki was gracious enough to read the book and reviewed it with a perspective of someone who has special needs due to her challenges. I am grateful for her words and her thoughts about the book as most of us don’t have the profound appreciation of what cancer treatment must feel like, nor even the true meaning of the word, cancer.
But reading this book made me realize that we shouldn’t be frightened by the word ‘cancer’ nor should we let it make us be fearful. If anything, it should empower us to do everything we can to prevent it and fight the battle before we become a victim.
And ironically, even though Aragon’s book is called, “When Caner Hits“, it teaches us how to live healthier lives even if we don’t have cancer. I personally love the chapter on “Emotional Coping”. Here is a list of what the author does daily too keep her life balanced.
- Be Still
- Affirmation in the mirror
- Take a few slow deep breath
- Do something nice for someone
- Stay present
And as Vicki mentioned, I love the “Complementary Therapies” chapter. Aragon explains the benefits of various alternative therapies and she even mentions a chiropractic technique (ok, I’m biased since I am a Chiropractor), B.E.S.T. – Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique – a therapy she uses to ‘center’ her energy. I LOVE that she uses alternative therapies to keep her properly aligned.
So, in reading the book, I didn’t feel that the book was only good for cancer patients but for any one who wants to live a healthier life. But for cancer patients, the book has great chapters on how to apply make up, how to take care of dry skin and hair, how to use wigs and scarves, etc. The book is filled with real-life stores from survivors and medical advice from doctors and health experts. It’s all about taking charge of your life and encouraging your own healing.
Want a copy of When Cancer Hits?
I highly recommend this book if you know anyone who is
battling managing cancer. And to show you how much I love this book, not just as a cancer reference, but as a resource book for general wellness for a.n.y.o.n.e., I asked the author to offer a book for my readers and she graciously accepted.
So I am giving away a paperback copy of the book “When Cancer Hits” to anyone who is my e-mail subscriber. But please check out Britta’s website and her blog. And follow her on Facebook and Twitter too. Tell her you read about her book on ecokaren.
To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment what challenges have you faced when diagnosed with a condition, any condition, that needed support.
If you don’t want to enter the giveaway and buy the book, you can order it from Amazon, here. I’ll make a few pennies if you decide to buy it from the link.
In addition, because she is very concerned with the awful side effects from stressful cancer treatment on the skin, she has developed a skin care line called CV Skin Labs. Stay tuned for the review and a giveaway for the “Rescue + Relief Spray” this Wednesday!