Breast cancer. Far too many women and their families confront these haunting two words. Although we have made great progress in our war against cancer, breast cancer still impacts 1 in every 8 women in the United States. While you do your part to raise awareness and act, take time to reflect upon survivor stories. Whether breast cancer has impacted you or anyone you love, you’ll find these healing books to be remarkable reflections of strength, courage, survival, and hope.
The Unlikely Gift of Breast Cancer by Diane M. Simard
Heal Forward: Transform Emotional Scars into Impact by Diane M. Simard
In both her books, Diane Simard utilizes her powerful voice to captivate and inspire readers. As a survivor of stage 3c breast cancer, Diane writes from a place of both experience and compassion. Whether breast cancer has directly impacted your life or not, you’ll find Diane’s books to be memorable reminders of the human spirit’s resilient ability to endure, overcome, and heal.
You don’t have to read Diane’s books in chronological order to understand her story, but doing so does help you appreciate her remarkable healing journey. Recognized as one of the “best breast cancer books of all time”, The Unlikely Gift of Breast Cancer has been inspiring readers for years. Part memoir part self-help book, it chronicles her 10 months of treatment that ultimately helped her embrace her differences – and brought more attention to the often-overlooked psychological impact of cancer.
In the following years, Diane established herself as a leader who advocates for mental healthcare accessibility and resources for those impacted by the psychological trauma of cancer. Cancer is a trauma is so many ways – and its physical, emotional, and spiritual burden can be overwhelming. But you’ll find that Diane’s empowering spirit is contagious. Her second book, Heal Forward, reveals how she persevered through a lifetime of psychological struggles and adversities (not only her cancer), to heal forward and create impactful change. Cancer can be a monster, but Diane’s writing instills strength, courage, introspection, and joy.
The Jill Hinson Method for Breast Cancer by Jill Hinson
Fitness and focusing on holistic health can be incredibly healing for cancer patients, survivors, and their families. Jill Hinson is the founder of the Core Compassion Project, a 501©3 nonprofit offering post-rehab Pilates scholarships to those who are battling breast cancer.
Her book is a wonderful guide that facilitates healing through movement – focusing on aerobics, range of motion, balance, and Pilates. By prioritizing movement and your health, you’ll find tremendous healing in mind, body, and spirit. In addition to purchasing and reading Jill’s book, I encourage you to check out her nonprofit and find ways to get involved. Her powerful work restores, eases, and strengthens the lives of those affected by breast cancer.
Bittersweet: A Vulnerable Photographic Breast Cancer Journey by Holly K. Thrasher
Poignant yet empowering, Bittersweet is a vulnerable photographic journey documenting the painful and uplifting process of losing and rebuilding a woman’s breasts. Upon her breast cancer diagnosis, Holly Thrasher thought she lost her purpose. But she found her true calling in the support and honor of women with breast cancer.
If you or anyone you love is struggling with the monstrous burden that is breast cancer, this book can be a healing resource for you. Five days before Holly lost both breasts to a double mastectomy, her husband, Wiley, suggested they document the journey with photos. The very vulnerable breast photos show the transformation of her breasts from double mastectomy, through breast reconstruction, and ultimately healing and empowering her as a breast cancer survivor.
Bittersweet demystifies and eliminates the fear of losing your breasts and life to cancer with before and after photos and everything in between. By reading, you will follow Holly’s journey as she shares the painful and uplifting process. If you want to read more books written by Holly Thrasher, check out Bye-Bye Boobs.