As of January 2021, more than 3.8 million U.S. women and a small number of men have a history of current or past breast cancer. With those individuals in mind, Louise B. Lubin delivers healing tools based on her decades of experience as a licensed clinical psychologist and educator. Her goal is to provide techniques that offer hope and strength for the ongoing life challenges that result from a cancer diagnosis.
Clinical information about breast cancer—its diagnosis, treatment and possible reoccurrence—is readily available. As a psychologist, however, the author uses her expertise to emphasize how the mind/body/spirit connection can enable both physical and mental healing. Peppered with “lessons learned from my patients,” the author’s easy-to-use tools are designed to help breast cancer patients create a roadmap to becoming a more fully balanced and integrated person.
Addressing everything from initial fear and uncertainty to struggles with physical intimacy and finding internal strength, chapters provide tutorials and exercises to cope with cancer’s challenges. Many of Lubin’s tools involve acronyms. For example, to address fear, she advises readers to: Face it; Explore it; Accept it; Respond. Others are bulleted lists. To practice self-compassion, she tells readers to “Remind yourself that you are not alone and that struggle is part of life,” amidst a list of other suggestions.
Some of Lubin’s advice is unexpected and fresh. For instance, she notes that it’s easy to hurt others when you feel “poorly or irritable” and explains how to apologize appropriately. Other suggestions will be overly familiar to readers of self-help books; e.g., she writes that laughter “may be some of the best medicine” and tells readers to beware of negative self-talk.
As such, this is a mixed bag. Still, those facing breast cancer can pick and choose from the advice offered, and they will likely find helpful tips throughout. Additionally, the book is nicely indexed, allowing readers to easily search for topics of interest.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.