Living With Cancer

Life – Terror. Ecstasy. Fight. Denial. Flight. Failure. PAIN. Forgiveness. Reconciliation. Hope. Love. Peace – Death.

Therapeutic Writing & Living With Cancer

You may never have considered writing (blogging) before, but there’s abundant evidence that it’s a powerful therapeutic tool for people living with cancer.

There are more than 200 studies that show the positive effect of writing on mental health. But while the psychological benefits are consistent for many people, researchers don’t completely agree on why or how writing helps.

During ‘pain’, life has your complete attention.

All our pain comes from stories we’re telling ourselves, usually about the past, that are inaccurate’, William Kenower.

Anyone living with cancer wants to create wellbeing and do so as quickly as possible, certainly for myself this was pivotal in my being able to stop dying and carry on living. Wellbeing is the key to quality of life despite the prospects of a life, a future, of uncertainty and pain.

How do you do this?

You have to become great at creating on purpose. Writing is one tool for creating on purpose.

With cancer, we grieve for what we’ve lost or what we fear we may lose? Writing is an opportunity to feel and move through our grief with compassion to identify what matter most to us.

Cancer disrupts the flow of life and takes us out of the present moment. Writing is a short-cut to accessing the flow of life again—the state of mind where peace, creativity, and healing take place.

Ernest Hemingway famously said that, writers should “write hard and clear about what hurts”. Although Hemingway may not have known it at the time, research has now shown that writing about “what hurts” can help improve our mental health.

Writing is an invitation to reframe the stories we tell ourselves about our pain and suffering—both in the past and the present. When we release our inaccurate stories we experience (peace) freedom. Freedom to live.

Peace is where ‘wellness’ lies

Research shows that writing about something as stressful and challenging as cancer can be healing. Studies show that writing can reduce cancer symptoms and improve quality of life. There is scientific evidence that writing boosts your physical, emotional, and mental health; improves immune system functioning; and reduces inflammation and pain. Writing is well known to reduce stress, anxiety and depression, and to maximise resilience.

Healing (curing) involves eliminating physical symptoms.

Healing involves getting to the root of the disharmony between your body, mind, and spirit. Healing is about promoting physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. 

Why Don’t we Write?

There are many myths about writing that might prevent us from trying; we think that being a writer requires a special talent that we don’t have? We’re not taught that the quality of our writing comes more from our interest in what we’re writing about than from any obvious talent or skill. We’re often, incorrectly taught that, writing is like math—that it’s more mechanical than creative.  But, where do we start, how do we even begin, when most of us are scared of the bank page.

Try, putting into words, an even, an action that made an impact on you?

Writing your story unshackles you from your past, William Kenower

Thanks for Reading


Published by Riff

Husband to my inspirational, (long suffering,) wife Gail, father to two, amazing (adult) children, Aubrey & Perri, teacher, former guitarist. When I started this blog I quickly became granda(r) to my beautiful, first grandson Henderson. Grandparenting, something I was relishing but had began to believe I would not get to experience. I now have three incredible grandsons, Henderson, Fennec and just days ago Nate. I Love people. I love my family, my incredible friends, I have love(d) what I do (my Job), I love Music, Glastonbury Festival, Cars, Everton .... I love many things but, most of all, I fucking love life.

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