Marriage and cancer take both partners on a journey in which survival of the marriage and surviving cancer are both uncertainties. In this emotionally honest memoir, Alice Hardesty writes about the two successive terminal diagnoses which her husband survived and the wide range of therapies tried: conventional with chemo, surgery, and radiation, mind-body-spirit, spiritual-psychic, and various alternative treatments, as well as individual, couples, and group psychotherapy. Just as it helps to read about what other travelers, pilgrims, or explorers encounter when venturing into the unknown, so it can for those who find themselves on a cancer journey.
-- Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D., Jungian Analyst and best-selling author of Goddesses in Every Woman and Close to the Bone: Cancer as a Soul Journey. Her latest book is Artemis: The Indomitable Spirit in Everywoman.
An Uncommon Cancer Journey is an unusual memoir about a subject that has been written about quite often. What makes it unique is not only the outcome for the author's very sick husband, but the journey through which they both travel — from conventional medicine to alternative treatment, to even more far-out alternative treatment; a spiritual journey from western to eastern, from fear and resignation to hope and persistence. From the author's regular acupressure treatments on her husband's body to the intense therapy through which they heal an almost-broken marriage, this story is written with such remarkable clarity and honesty that readers will accept, and perhaps even want to pursue, roads to healing that are open to the truly open-minded.
-- Judith Barrington, award winning poet and memoirist, author of several books, including Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art, and coming soon, The Conversation, her fourth collection of poems.
My experience and my belief is that cancer often is a “soul event.” Alice Hardesty’s book offers us such a good example of how that looks in real life. Alice writes about their ‘amazing physical healing amid the interplay of emotional and spiritual forces’ with refreshing honesty. Her story is compelling, illustrating what extraordinary experiences ordinary people can have.
-- Jan Adrian, Executive Director of Healing Journeys and founder of the conferences: Cancer as a Turning Point, From Surviving to Thriving.
Alice Hardesty makes it very clear that anyone on a cancer journey - patients or family caregivers - cannot remain unchanged. That wake-up call challenges and changes who we are, what matters to us, the depth of our relationships, even our view and understanding of life itself. We become more authentic, stronger than we knew, and more open to life's possibilities and deeper dimensions.
There is no guidebook for any individual path. This book is the author's unflinchingly honest personal story of her husband's diagnosis, their search for treatments, his recovery from a deadly illness, and both of their healing. Readers learn the three things she says she wants us to know: that caregivers have emotions they feel they shouldn't be having; that people even with the worst kinds of cancer can be cured, sometimes in non-traditional ways; and that a crushing blow of fate - "a cosmic kick" - can bring unexpected and profound gifts.
-- Ruth Bolletino, Ph.D. Co-Director with Lawrence LeShan of Cancer as a Turning Point - Mind-Body Psychotherapy and Counseling, also author of the book How to Talk with Family Caregivers about Cancer.