Writing Your Way Through Cancer Summary

Chia Martin

Writing Your Way Through Cancer

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Writing can serve as therapy for people faced with adversities in life. Based on scientific research, writing about difficult challenges that one faces can strengthen the body’s immune system. Since a strong immune system is critical in a successful fight against cancer, cancer patients can benefit from the journal writing techniques outlined by Chia Martin in Writing Your Way Through Cancer. Martin advocates keeping a journal in which one describes the emotions associated with daily successes, fears, and failures. She also suggests recording thoughts and feelings in the form of letters, poems, and dialogues. The writing process provides peace and comfort to the soul.

Diagnosed with cancer in 1998, Martin discovered that she could better cope with her personal health crisis by keeping a journal. In addition to conventional medical treatment and therapy, Martin found that writing about her feelings and emotions helped her confront her pain, anger, unresolved conflicts, and the mysteries of cancer by reducing her panic, fear, and confusion. Using a nonsentimental approach, Martin invites readers to use writing to produce increased self-understanding, acceptance of adversity, healing, and spiritual awareness.

In the first part of the book, Martin provides some useful ideas and examples for keeping a journal and discusses a variety of other writing options for recording one’s journey through life. The second part of the book is divided into four sections: coping with cancer; living with cancer; transforming through cancer; and the unknown. Along the way, some of Martin’s journal entries, essays, and poems provide a guidebook of inspiration to help the reader through similar experiences.