When I was diagnosed with cancer, one of the first things I started to do was write. I filled notebooks with my worries and fears and questions. I literally wrote my way through my experiences (see my previous post, "A Way with Words").

Woman Writing in JournalLooking back at what I've written has allowed me to see myself and all that I've gone through from a new perspective, and it has helped me to find strength and growth within myself. There is a comfort and clarity that comes with writing, as well as sharing with others.

If you are at all curious about how expressing yourself through writing might benefit you (cancer or not!), I encourage you to take a peek at this article on expressive writing from Cure magazine, and then experiment with the writing prompt below.

Finding Meaning in Change

Review the dictionary definition of change. Take some time to compare the different meanings the word carries and consider the following:

  • Is change something that happens to you, or something you do?
  • Is change inherently good or bad?
  • Change happens every day; what makes a specific change meaningful to us?

Change is just change, until you decide what it means to you. The value that you assign to what's changing, and whether or not you feel the change is taking something away or providing something, can affect how you feel about the changes you encounter. If you perceive a loss, you may worry about and fear change. If you perceive that there is something to be gained, you may look forward to change and be excited about it. In this way, we decide what the changes that we face mean to us and how they will impact our lives.

It is human nature to fear change if we believe it will lead us into the unknown — as long as we are comfortable where we are, we often prefer to stay that way. But change is an inevitable part of life, and even the most challenging changes have the potential to positively impact our lives.

Free-write for 15-20 minutes, considering the following: Recall a time in your life when you experienced a change that you didn't know you needed, and what the shift in perspective meant to you. How did you manage the transition or transformation? How did you view your experiences while they were happening, versus now as you look back on them? What have you learned?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section of this post, and consider joining the next Healing Words session on Oct. 10!

Share Your Thoughts

Have you put pen to paper since your cancer diagnosis? How did your writing affect you? Did you share what you wrote with others? Share your comments below.

About the Author

Marloe's passion for women's health and wellness has intensified with her recent diagnosis of breast cancer, at age 29. Despite her professional experience in oncology, traveling through the cancer world was mystifying and lonely. Finally on the upswing of her treatment, she is continually looking for ways to support others who are facing this incredibly personal journey.