An original take on the journey into and through healing
• Study Guide included
In the first section of this very personal book of illness, spirituality, and healing, the Rev. Cricket Cooper receives a diagnosis of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, for which she will need to undergo an 18-week/6 cycle chemo treatment plan. She decides to pair each of the chemo treatments, if possible, with a pilgrimage to some holy site or religious community. The journey's sharp ups and downs lead her to the understanding that there is one path, and we travel it together -- sometimes to unexpected places. After counting down the 18 weeks of the chemo, much to her oncologist's (and Cooper's) chagrin, the cancer is not cured, and she must move on to radiation therapy.
The next section follows her month of radiation. Cooper's terror of this treatment is allayed when she is able to see the radiation as "Healing Light," and realize that December—her radiation month—is also the month of the Jewish Festival of Lights, of the Solstice, of Christian Advent/Nativity/ Epiphany, and other faith-based celebrations of light. Taking as her meditation the Episcopal Collect for Advent 1: "Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light," she explores what this might mean beyond the context of Advent and in her own individual situation.
The book's final section covers waiting for the "all-clear" report from the doctors and Cooper's residual issues of moving from the status of being a patient to the status of being "a Survivor." It is a time of relief tinged with at least a bit of uncertainty, but buoyed by the knowledge that cancer is not just a diagnosis, and not just a journey; today, cancer is a community that welcomes you into its midst.
Audience: Those whose lives have been touched by cancer, care-givers, those who consider themselves "spiritual but not religious," seekers, adult small groups, religious, cancer centers, hospital/clinic gift shops, oncology centers