A cancer survivor offers an alternative approach to overcoming disease.
When Meer (The Story of the Strange Sandwich, 2012, etc.) was diagnosed with cancer (what type is never specified), she was already struggling with personal and professional problems. A serious illness was the last thing she needed, but after the initial shock, she decided that healing would begin in her mind. “I am going to believe I am well. And if I believe I am well, I will be well,” she recalls telling her doctor. This unconventional outlook informs her approach to treatment and the advice she offers to readers on their own journeys to wellness. Meer begins by advocating that people slow down and consider their options, suggesting meditation and diet changes as first steps before more invasive treatments. “Give up sugar. It is EVIL” is typical of her emphatic recommendations, which are largely based on her personal experience. Some of the advice seems fairly sound, like bouncing on a trampoline to promote lymphatic drainage. Other tips may raise eyebrows, at least for those who usually put their faith in allopathic medicine. Cleanses, a strict plant-focused diet, and a cocktail of supplements (which she confesses to spending $1,500 per month on during her illness) all have the potential to help “cure” cancer, according to the author. Though Meer did receive chemotherapy, she stopped before completing treatment and is frank about her negative experiences with Western medicine. There’s also practical information on coping with finances while sick, the best beauty products for cancer patients, and thoughts on dating after a diagnosis. The guide’s tone is friendly and often funny, and fellow cancer patients should appreciate Meer’s tell-it-like-it-is attitude and her counsel to advocate for themselves and choose treatments that work for them. But more information on how to integrate alternative and traditional medicine would have been helpful for those who wish to combine both approaches. And some readers will likely disagree with Meer’s “look on the bright side” attitude. Though she admits some may find the idea “disgustingly Pollyanna,” her belief is that “major illnesses…show up to heal your life.”
Heartfelt advice for cancer patients, though the embrace of out-of-the-box healing methods may have a limited appeal.