Firstly I have to say I think everyone who has been diagnosed with cancer (and their loved ones) should read Radical Remission by Kelly A. Turner, Ph.D., as it is full of positivity and things we can all do! Since reading it I have ordered myself a copy that I can share with anyone I know.
It starts with a great introduction, we really get to know and understand the author and why she wanted to write this book. The whole book is full from start to finish with real examples, clinical studies and proper research. It is exploratory and non-judgemental. There are 9 different chapters each focusing on some of the things that can be done to remain as healthy as possible for as long as possible, whilst living with cancer.
I know the book is called Radical Remission but I don’t actually believe that is the major point. For me, it was about Living Well with cancer, being a cancer thriver, but of course amazing if your cancer does go into remission and that is absolutely possible!
The author covers many of the obvious health benefits of diet, supplementation, exercise and emotional release but she intersperses the chapters with real life stories through the shock of finding out you have cancer to the personal journeys of acceptance and then health. The stories were very raw, honest and full of emotion. I was in tears through a lot of them, they just punched me in the heart! So many authentic emotional experiences were shared in these pages.
‘Emotions should flow through the body like waves crashing on a beach – in and out’ was one of my favourite quotes and I certainly felt this as I read this book!
It was also a lively, joyful book to read full of practical and doable steps that I think anyone with any kind of long term health issue should follow. Everyone reacted and connected to their cancer in so many ways, the most moving for me was Saranne Rothberg who ended up setting up the charity Comedy Cures Charity, I absolutely loved her study and really connected with its ethos and the visit by the author to John of God where she was actually cured of a minor ailment she had.
The nutrition section was informative and almost obvious, we really do have to put goodness in our bodies to make them work well but for me the most interesting bits were all about the emotional and practical support, how our physical bodies can reflect our inner emotions. Learning how to ‘let go’ and to ‘receive’. So hard for so many of us……how stress, nostalgia and loneliness can harm our healing but surrendering to ourselves, accepting love and care from others and even just hugging for 10 seconds every day, can help it…….How Joy and Happiness increase healing hormones like oxytocin, which aid our bodies to heal, repair and get rid of cancer cells by lowering our blood pressure, reducing cortisol and strengthening our immune system.
‘Happy people live longer’ – another great quote! But you don’t have to be happy all the time, you just need to feel your emotions, truly feel them then let them go.
The subjects of this book used a combination of surgery, drugs, radiation alongside nutrition, meditation and complimentary therapies, so it did feel like a very balanced approach to what is available out there for cancer patients. Scattered throughout the book were so many actual clinical studies to back up many points showing that a bit of everything, embracing all approaches was the best way to go forward (great for the scientists out there).
The only criticism I could have is that it is very American but that is no fault of the author, it is what she knows and it makes you appreciate the NHS but I sometime wonder ‘is it easier to say no to Docs and pursue your own route if you have to pay for it?’
The way Kelly writes has a lovely flow to it. I often struggle with non-fiction as it can be very dry but my tears with this book proved it definitely wasn’t! I really cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Review by Sally Light, Client, Penny Brohn UK