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Tell Us Your Guided Imagery Story for World Cancer Day!

19 Jan

Okay, folks - World Cancer Day is coming up on February 4th, and Cindy and the team thought it would be very cool to invite people to post their stories on how they used guided imagery and other holistic, mind-body approaches to help deal with their cancer.

...Because there's nothing like a personal story to inspire, teach and model a useful approach to a daunting, scary or difficult situation.

So, did you have a natural cancer treatment approach to accompany more standard therapy? Tell us about what you did for your cancer fatigue! (Yep, that's the biggest complaint, folks – cancer-related fatigue far outweighs pain or nausea as the peskiest side effect of treatment.) 

We've actually seen quite a few holistic cancer treatment stories already, because several of you sent in some great ones (with pictures, even!) for our new landing page (being designed even as we speak). Please consider emailing your personal story to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Some of you used integrative, natural cancer treatments to reduce side effects, such as post-op pain, nausea and cancer related fatigue. Others used guided imagery, hypnosis, yoga, breathwork, affirmations or meditation to keep their spirits up, to reduce anxiety, or to encourage their immune cells to do their natural best.

So, just to get the ball rolling, we're going to post two very different breast cancer stories, both on hold for the new landing page.

One woman had a pretty breezy time of it; another had complications that had to be surmounted. Very different experiences, but both of these awesome cancer survivors used guided imagery and other mind-body methods to very good effect. Check it out!

And help us celebrate World Cancer Day with your story!

Here they are: Beth Spring, a marriage and family counselor from Northern Virginia, and Ester Leutenberg, a publisher from Tucson, each with her own story to tell:

BETH SPRING, LMFT Herndon, VA
BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR

beth-smGuided imagery and meditation were among my closest allies and friends through 16 months of breast cancer treatment and side effects in 2009-2010. As a marriage and family therapist, I was well acquainted with mindfulness meditation, and incorporated it into my life and my work.

In February 2009, I attended a week-long training in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Full of good energy and excitement, I returned home and scheduled a class for clients.

Then, just about when the class was scheduled to start in April, I had a one of those mammograms where a long, cold wait in a little paper gown leads to all kinds of fears and worries taking root. I was sent immediately to an ultrasound tech, then biopsied, and before I knew it, meeting with my surgeon. My head was spinning, and the first thing I asked my surgeon was, "Can I still hold my class for clients?" Wordlessly, he gazed at me and shook his head, "no." Read More

ESTER LEUTENBERG, Tucson AZ
RADIATION THERAPY FOR BREAST CANCER

ester-smMy kind of breast cancer was Paget's Disease. Only 4% of breast cancer is that. It took my going to three doctors 'til the third one recognized that it was a problem and not just a sore nipple. Dr. Malgieri of Hillcrest Clinic knew what it was. This was February of 2003, when I was still living in Cleveland.

After months of being upset because no one believed me, I was at a fairly anxious state.

The surgery went easily. They removed the nipple and whole area around it, then checked the lymph nodes and all was well there.

Radiation was indicated. I always needed my husband Jay with me for a scary procedure. I was fearful and anxious of being alone in the room. He wasn't allowed in the room with me. So I had a brilliant idea – I knew about

Belleruth's Radiation tape!

I emailed or called Belleruth, don't remember which. She asked if I wanted the tape or if I wanted her to come with me (for which I will always be grateful). I told her the tape was fine. Read More

So there they are – two very different experiences. Would you share yours?
All best,

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award.