Saturday, January 31, 2009

Help for those suffering from cancer

As many of you know, cancer has played a big role in my family. I lost both my only sibling and my father to cancer, and my mother is a lung cancer survivor (so far). And I, like everyone I know, have also had many, many friends who have fought this insipid disease, and some of these friends have won and some haven't.

Having been in the position of cancer patient caregiver, I've seen many different things that can work to help cancer patients. In addition to traditional Western methods (chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, etc.), I've seen nutritional programs, prayer, acupuncture, massage therapy, meditation and imagery all play a role in cancer recovery.

My father considered himself an atheist. Despite this, he used both meditation and imagery daily in his fight against cancer. Although he eventually succumbed, when he was first diagnosed he was given a year and a half to live. He extended that time, through many different treatments and Herculean will, and he lived 9 more years, years that saw my nephew grow into a young person, saw my marriage, saw me enter a doctoral program at his alma mater. These were huge life events for him, and we're all delighted that we were able to share those times with him.

Diana Losciale edited PINK PRAYER BOOK.

From the Amazon page:

Here in one special book are the prayers, hopes, fears, and comforts of women who have had breast cancer and the families affected by the disease. The all too common diagnosis of breast cancer can send a woman into such a frightening place that the support of others becomes terribly important, and their prayers essential. This book can turn the "mourning into dancing" for thousands of women. --Cokie Roberts, ABC News, NPR, author and breast cancer survivor.

Product Description
Inspired and written by breast cancer patients and survivors, and the mothers, daughters, sisters, brothers, husbands, and friends that surround them, Pink Prayer Book is deeply personal, yet universally evocative.

From the first realization of diagnosis through treatment, recovery, and the hope of lasting remission, Pink Prayer Book offers prayers for the journey into healing. Incorporating Scriptures and Psalms, this book offers support within a joyous healing network. These wonderfully personal prayers lift hearts and voices to ask for God's healing and never-ending love.

Diana is now putting together a second collection, and she's putting out a call for help:

"I am trying to reach people in every state this time and would appreciate your sharing this if you would consider it.
This is NOT an evangelical book.
It will be, simply, a collection of originally written prayers.
All contributors whose prayers are accepted for publication in the book receive two copies of the book.
And a byline, mentioning their name, their relationship to the cancer survivor AND the state/country from which they hale.

I know. This is a bit of a presumption on my part; but I learned when doing PINK PRAYER BOOK book that it doesn't hurt to ask. Those who can write and share a prayer jump right on doing it; others demure, which is totally cool.

In case you would consider participating and even in sharing this request, here are the "rules":
1) Original prayer written by cancer survivor OR friend OR family member.
2) Length: Anywhere from two lines to 20 ... or more.
3) Include name, email address, relationship to cancer survivor (i.e., survivor, friend, family)
4) Can be any faith; or, along the lines of a mantra or "something special" repeated as verbal offering.
5) The book will be divided into 3 sections which they can keep in mind as they write, or not! (a ) prayers upon hearing the diagnosis b) prayers during treatment and healing c) prayers on surviving and thriving

That's it!
Of course, I am putting this collection together in the next 6 weeks and would love to have prayers within the next 2 weeks or so. I have found that if people are interested and want to do it, they just go ahead and do it.
Prayer writers do NOT have to be writers. Nor professionals at all in terms of writing."

This is a generous offer from someone to allow us to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients and in the lives of those who love them. I know I would have taken a great deal of comfort from such a collection.

I know that many writers read this blog, but more importantly, that many compassionate people read this blog.

If you feel you can help, please send your writing to:

dlosciale at sbcglobal dot net

Thank you, and have a lovely Saturday!


glamah16 said...

I'm confused. So this author is doing another book compiling prayers? I prayed and focused all the time but dont remember my exact words, just the stages,and other things.I may do this.Will bring back a lot of painful memeories but if it can help others.

Jen said...

Yes, Glamah, she's compiling a second book that's more generalized. The sections will be those listed under "5" in the requirements.

I know what you mean - I keep thinking about all that, too. What can I say? How can I say it? I think I'm going to do my best to participate, though.

Virtualsprite said...

This sounds like a wonderful project, and I hope it can bring comfort to everyone. My grandma and her two sisters all died of cancer, and my aunt is a survivor. My cousin and I had a close brush, but we found it early enough. It's startling to think how many lives cancer has touched.

Korie said...

Sadly I don't know any survivors of cancer I don't think. They've all lost in the end.
Oh wait, nm, there's my grandpa...I may submit something

Jen said...

Sprite, I know. That's the horrid thing about cancer. I'm glad you and your cousin escaped.

Lilac, I think you can write in honor of folks, too. I don't think you have to just focus on survivors.

Anonymous said...

Dear all, No you don't have to focus on survivors. You can write in honor, in celebration, in memory of if you wish. You can write as a friend or relative to someone who has/had cancer.

Many thanks and hugs to those of you who have even thought about participating; I hope you do write and forward it.
And special thanks to Jen already as this project gets underway.
I will have something up on my blog tomorrow (Monday) about the project but thank you, Jen, for sharing the news here with all your readers!
signed, Diana (aka Oh)

Liz Dwyer said...

I've had two friends affected by breast cancer in the past year, and in my family as well, so I'm so glad you're letting folks know about this. Hugs to you.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jen,

Thanks for showcasing this opportunity. My son considered himself an atheist before he got sick. While he never prayed to God to for healing, he now believes it was the prayers of others who saw him through.

I submitted my prayer to your friend -- and to Him.

Anonymous said...

Excuse the many errors in my post. Early morning and sick does not make for good grammar or excellent sentence structure.

Jen said...

Oh, I'm planning to send my work your way today or tomorrow.

Los Angelista, I'm sorry to hear that you have friends and family affected by cancer - again, I see this as such an important project.

Edeevee - you were one of the first people I thought of when Diana e-mailed me. I find it so empowering to have a chance to make a difference. The story about your son is very interesting, too.

And hey, I make early morning mistakes all the time... like doing a post about playlists and not spelling playlist properly. Genius, huh? ;-) And FEEL BETTER!

Anonymous said...

Ya know, this is a lovely idea...sadly, I have absolutely no prayers or thoughts to offer up on this topic...I have been so utterly poisoned by this horrific disease that I simply cannot find words that would serve any healing purpose....I know that is really sad...but, that is how I feel ...glad others don't share that melancholy

Jen said...

Hotmama - I understand completely. I think, if I contribute that it will be a focus on that person managing to have joy in that particular day. It's a hard task.

w said...

Hubby's mum died of cancer. It was so shocking how she was diagnosed and after like 6 months she was gone...I am sorry I can't help by writing prayers as I am not good at it but I wish you all the best with the project.