Surviving the Storm presents a humanistic psychological perspective on how to support cancer survivors by offering an individualized narrative structure designed to help them tell their stories. This is a book for people who need to tell the story of how they've been touched by cancer. It doesn't tell what to eat, or how much to exercise, or what to think and feel. Instead, it introduces a contemplative perspective and gives readers a pragmatic structure to help them tell their unique story of surviving or living with cancer. It helps them discover their authentic voice, giving them a way to speak in their own words. Workbook sections are the core of this book and offer a narrative structure created for patients, partners, families, and friends with an emphasis on the different needs and questions of each group.
This book focuses on the whole person, their potential, and their natural drive toward authenticity. A contemplative perspective emphasizes shared human needs such as love, belonging, and personal meaning, and expands beyond the learning-based behavioral and psychosocial resources that are currently available to cancer patients and their families. The book provides options that differ from the support group and medical models of treatment, opening up an alternative to the mode of managing or tolerating the issues of cancer into the realm of awareness, exploration, acceptance, and transformation. While it is tempting to find solutions and try to "fix a problem," there is much to be gained from learning how to live with uncertainty and from delving more deeply into the emotional residue of cancer.
Included are definitions of the different phases of cancer survivorship, material that gives survivors a viewpoint that normalizes the challenges they face, and current research and literature. Personal stories of cancer survivors are highlighted, and poetry and writings related to cancer are interspersed throughout the book to make it more personal.