I had read about the upcoming release of Susan Wener’s memoir, Resilience: A Story of Courage and Triumph in the Face of Recurrent Cancer and reached out to her via social media. While I usually do not read memoirs about people who have struggled with cancer, I was intrigued by her story. She miraculously survived both colon and lung cancer as well as several other serious medical issues. Her tumultuous journey included both traditional medical treatments and alternative ways to treat illness. I was eager to read her story.
Susan will be participating in a book giveaway. See below for details.
I was delighted when she agreed to send a complimentary copy of her book. As I started to read, I was looking for answers to several questions. Two questions immediately popped to the surface.
- What tools did she use to overcome the physical and psychological aspects of her cancer treatment and recovery?
- Could people who were not coping with cancer learn something from her experience?
If her story revolved around personal growth, I was convinced that everyone could learn something from her words. With pencil in hand, I underlined all of her thought provoking statements. By the time I had completed the book, I had a large selection of inspirational ideas.
The following sampling of Susan’s words provides a quick insight into how she was able to cope with her situation. Despite her persistent and debilitating medical issues, she decided to take charge of her life. Even in her darkest hours, she was able to regroup and regain the hope that she needed to move forward.
“As we age, we realize how quickly time moves and wish we could slow it down. We often try to bargain just to get a little bit more of it.” (1)
“I was surrounded by a moat, and only those who had actually experienced the disease firsthand could come anywhere close. Everyone else remained across the water.” (36)
“I found comfort in the notion of God. I did not expect Him to alter the course of my life or take away my hurts and pains. What I wanted was to know that I did not have to walk this journey all by myself. (42)
“Remorse forces us to make amends, but guilt just eats us up alive.” (46)
“…living a life where no hope exists is not living!” (63)
“I find it very interesting that when we go to a cemetery and look at a tombstone, the date of birth and the date of death are what appears most prominently. Everything that exists for us, however, takes place in the space between the two. That’s where our focus needs to be; in the space between.” (114)
“There is so much out there that we dont’ know and will probably never understand. It affirms my belief that there really is magic in the world.” (141)
“Each time I conquered one goal, I created a new one.” (174)
“I’m not sure where the fire comes from, but for me as long as possibility exists, the flame burns so brightly. It becomes my beacon of hope, lighting the way and propelling me forward.” (185)
“What is it that creates resiliency? What is it that keeps us going through the darkest of the darks? Some call it faith, but I call it hope.” (198)
“None of us can be certain what lies in store for us. What we do know is that even when the rug is pulled out from under our feet, we are capable of getting up.” (207)
As you can see from this selection of quotes, Susan called upon her inner strength and faith. Her thoughts are not just for people suffering with cancer. They are universal principles that can be applied to every day life.
Thank you Susan for taking the time to write your story and share your wisdom. Cancer victims will appreciate your honest comments about traditional medicine and alternative treatments. People with young children will commiserate with how you had to balance your family obligations with taking care of yourself. Most readers will benefit from your message of hope. Hope is an essential fuel that can propel people out of ruts and send them forward. Susan’s ability to maintain a consistent level of hope throughout her life allowed her to tackle each obstacle that was placed in her path. Her story will definitely inspire others to maintain their hopes and dreams whenever obstacles block their path.
If you are able to connect with any part of Susan’s story, I highly recommend that you read Resilience.
Anyone who leaves a comment on this blog by Sunday, May 18, 2014 will be eligible for a book giveaway. The randomly selected winner will be sent an autographed copy of Resilience from the author.
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