Saturday, November 21, 2009

Anne Marie Bennett's "Bright Side of the Road - A Spiritual Journey Through Breast Cancer

Is There Really a Bright Side to a
Breast Cancer Diagnosis?

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


Welcome! My name is Anne Marie and I’m a 7-year Breast Cancer Survivor. I would love to walk with you on your own spiritual journey through breast cancer (or any other difficult thing you’re going through).

I feel blessed and grateful that you are here today.

And I hope that you will feel equally blessed and grateful after spending some time here, as well as comforted in some way, and a little lighter in spirit.

When I was diagnosed with Stage 2 infiltrating ductal breast cancer in 2001, I never in a million years thought I would one day create a book about my journey. I was devastated, bewildered and frightened. Nor did I think I would headline the front page of my website with this particular Ralph Waldo Emerson quotation. Those days right after my diagnosis definitely did not seem like the best days of anybody’s year!

Long before my breast cancer journey began, I read about people who believed that being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness was the most important, life-giving thing that had ever happened to them. I read about these people from the safety of my own little world, my cancer-free world, and I could hardly believe they could possibly be serious. It seemed to me that these people were not in touch with reality, that their cockeyed optimism was just a mask to hide their real feelings and experience.

woman with butterflies

Art by Melissa Harris

Now, much to my surprise, I find that I am one of “those people.”

Soon after my diagnosis, I realized that I had a choice to make about how I would deal with this life-threatening illness. I could let the cancer bring me down, close me off, scare me into smallness. Or I could sanction its presence in my life, embrace the flow of never-ending changes, and allow it to transform me.

My book, Bright Side of the Road, is about that choice I made… which turned into a stream of choices that flowed into a new way to live my life. Was it all sweet-smelling roses and laughter? Definitely not! There was plenty of anger and doubt and insecurity and grumpiness (just ask my husband, Jeff!). But I allowed that to be part of my journey as well.

I decided to write this book for many reasons, but mainly because of you. You have found this site because your life has been touched by breast cancer in some way. Maybe you’ve just received the diagnosis. Perhaps you love someone who is struggling through treatments. Maybe you have already completed your treatments and are wondering what is next for you. Or maybe you are simply curious about what women with breast cancer go through.

We all share a unique connection because breast cancer has swooped down and interrupted our lives in some way. Because of this, we are deeply connected even though we have never met, even though we may never meet.

Bright Side - Chapter One

I am happy to be a part of Anne Marie Bennett's Blog Tour informing my visitors about her remarkable book, "Bright Side of the Road - A Spiritual Journey Through Breast Cancer". I found out about Anne Marie's book from a friend who sent me a link to Anne Marie's blog describing her book and offering a free book as part of her blog tour. After reading the download of the first chapter, I immediately ordered the book and could hardly wait to resume my reading. The book was delivered promptly, and I read it in one sitting, totally mesmerized by its contents. It brought back many memories of my experience with breast cancer, which I had so neatly tucked away for many years. I laud Anne Marie for her honesty and for sharing some of her most intimate thoughts and moments. If you are in any way curious about how one travels this difficult and truly soul baring vision quest, I invite you to read this book. You can find all information about Anne Marie and her book at

1 comment:

Summer Gypsy said...

Thank you Barbara for sharing this book and story. My son-in-law's mother's best friend was just diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, it has already spread from the breast into the lymph nodes and lungs. The only symptom she has had is extreme lumps..yes 2 types of cancer within her breast. Heartbreaking.. I will be passing this along to her. Congratulations on your personal victory! Have a blessed Thanksgiving.