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Healing EEs/EHEs/Healing Process
Record Type: Review   ID: 148

Conversations With My Healers: My Journey to Wellness from Breast Cancer

Ploski, Cynthia

This is a marvelous book by a woman who was faced with the fact that she had cancer and became transformed because of her response to her healers. The heart of the book is comprised of 9 chapters in which she interviewed those who had a part in her healing. She not only went the standard route of allopathic medicine but also explored several holistic approaches. She begins with her surgeon, who performed the biopsy and operated on a malignant tumor. The best part of this book is that the primary operator is not the specialist featured in each chapter but Ploski herself. In fact, for the period of her journey from illness to wellness, it is a kind of EHE autobiography, because she did have exceptional experiences. The first may have occurred in the midst of her depression over the diagnosis, when she felt powerless, victimized, fearful almost to the point of being out of control, but "somewhere in the depths of that depression was born a germ of determination that led to an unconscious decision to fight" (p. 15). At first, this took the form of searching for information, or, as she puts it, "for shreds of hope, for other people’s miracles, for positive energy anywhere I could find it" (p. 15). This sense of radical openness was a counterpart to her fear.

One thing that stands out in the interview with her surgeon, William J. McIver, was the stress he placed on good communication with the patient. Also his emphasis on the importance of the patient needing "to take responsibility for informing themselves" on what to do to stay cancer-free and what might be dangerous. He had helped to dispel some of "cobwebs" in her knowledge of cancer, and before she saw the oncologist for chemotherapy, she found that "some innate drive took over, the mouse in me became a lion roaring "I am not a statistic … I am me, damn it!" (p. 34). She became determined to get well. Next came the chemotherapist who outlined the drastic treatment and could make no promises of recovery: When a woman from the American Cancer Society, a cancer survivor, came to give her tips, that encounter and others made her realize how dependent she was on others and that they could truly help her. They helped her gain "enough nerve to start sailing my own ship" (p. 59). And so it goes, throughout the book, as her attitude and then she herself was transformed. There are chapters on the acupuncturist and shamanic healer, the radiation oncologist, the shaman, the nutritionist, the naturepath, and "the others" (family, friends, support systems). The cancer provided the impetus for her to have experiences, some exceptional, which she potentiated fully. She entered a process of recovery from illness and at the end found herself involved in a life of wellness. The process of taking control and also being able to surrender to the various treatment modes, punctuated by exceptional experiences, brought her to the point where she looked at her cancer as a blessing, one that led to a new life, a new self, and a new worldview. In her turn, she offers helpful hints to others who have to cope with cancer.

Publisher Information:Tulsa, OK: Council Oak Books, 1995. 278p. Ind: 268-278; 53 refs
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