Surviving the Storm

Surviving the Storm:
A Workbook for Telling Your Cancer Story

Cheryl Krauter • 232 Pages
Oxford University Press
Published March 2017

It only takes a few seconds to receive the news that you have been diagnosed with cancer. Yet from that point on, your world has been changed forever.

You enter a vast terrain of uncertainty, isolation, and insecurity when you finish treatment for cancer. What is it like to face daily life now that you are finished with treatment? Fear of recurrence, anxiety, and depression related to uncertainty, along with loss and financial difficulties, as well as concerns around sexuality, are all a part of this new territory. You may feel alone and distressed. You have all the knowledge within you to understand and create your own healing, but sometimes you need guidance to help you find where you are and to support you in discovering where you want to go.

This book was designed to help you find your way through the wreckage of cancer so that when you land on new ground within yourself you will have ways to explore who you are as a survivor of the storm you have endured.

Surviving the Storm: A Workbook for Telling Your Cancer Story holds the lamp of exploration and offers maps for those who are looking to discover who they are now that they have been diagnosed with cancer. Surviving cancer is like being in the eye of a storm. After the destructive forces of nature die down, the patient—along with their partners, families, and friends—is thrown from the wreckage back into their lives, forever changed. This book is intended to help all of these people find their own, unique voice in the wilderness that is cancer survivorship.

This is a book for people who need to tell the story of how they’ve been touched by cancer. It doesn’t tell them what they should eat, or how much they should exercise, or what they should think and feel. Instead, it introduces readers to a contemplative perspective and gives them 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.

Surviving the Storm: A Workbook for Telling Your Cancer Story presents a humanistic psychological perspective on how to support cancer survivors by offering an individualized narrative structure designed to help them tell their stories.  Individualized for patients, partners, families, and friends, they offer a narrative structure, provided in a template and created with an emphasis on the different needs and questions of each group. Survivors are given the prompts to tell their unique story so that they may create their own personalized survivorship care plan.

Human beings are not their diagnosis. People are not statistics. Creating personalized plans for the emotional needs of each survivor group provides a voice and a structure for self-advocacy and integrated care. Just like cancer, cancer survivorship is not one size fits all. Helping cancer survivors tell their stories helps move each person into the next chapter of life.