Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor's Soul: Stories to Inspire, Support and Heal

( 8 )


Along with the shock, fear and loss many women face upon a breast cancer diagnosis comes unexpected strength, wisdom, and strong networks of sharing, support and healing. In Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor's Soul, survivors and their family members talk openly about how difficult their fight with breast cancer has been and how they made it through the dark times with a belief in a higher power and the support of those closest to them.

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Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor's Soul: Stories to Inspire, Support and Heal

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Along with the shock, fear and loss many women face upon a breast cancer diagnosis comes unexpected strength, wisdom, and strong networks of sharing, support and healing. In Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor's Soul, survivors and their family members talk openly about how difficult their fight with breast cancer has been and how they made it through the dark times with a belief in a higher power and the support of those closest to them.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This addition to the popular Chicken Soup series should help anyone diagnosed with or undergoing treatment for breast cancer, as well as their close friends and family members. Divided into categories such as love, healing, challenge and courage, the wide-ranging first-person accounts set a positive but realistic tone. Donna St. Jean Conti describes how a saleswoman, seeing Conti's scar from a mastectomy, whispered that she had found a lump in her breast and asked her for advice on what to do. Beverly Vote writes about the difficult problem of holding on to her sense of herself as a woman after undergoing a mastectomy and of how her husband's devotion helped her. In the face of her beloved sister Meemee's diagnosis, Barbara Curtis dealt with her fears by cooking and freezing healing foods for Meemee during her treatment (Curtis shares a recipe for Chemo Popsicles to fight nausea). Jennie Nash details how difficult it was to handle the worry about who would raise her children if she died. The editors touch all bases by including a useful account of a male breast cancer survivor. B&w drawings. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The "Chicken Soup" chefs have cooked up another batch of personal stories, this time focusing on breast cancer. They blend in tales of "Love," "Support," "Challenges," "Character," "Healing," "Courage," "Survival," and "Gratitude" to create a four-star dining experience for those trying to master this disease. More than food for thought. For all patient health collections. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781623610494
  • Publisher: Backlist, LLC - a unit of Chicken Soup of the Soul Publishing LLC
  • Publication date: 8/28/2012
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 195,376
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Canfield

Jack Canfield is cocreator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, which includes forty New York Times bestsellers, and coauthor of The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. He is a leader in the field of personal transformation and peak performance and is currently CEO of the Canfield Training Group and Founder and Chairman of the Board of The Foundation for Self-Esteem. An internationally renowned corporate trainer and keynote speaker, he lives in Santa Barbara, California.

Mark Victor Hansen is a co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Mary Olsen Kelly co-owns the Black Pearl Gallery fine jewelry stores in Hawaii with her husband, Don. After thirteen years in the pearl business, she is known as an expert in pearl sorting, grading, and lore. Having survived many of life’s challenges and hardships, Mary is a joyful, living testament to the inspiring words in these pages. She is the editor of Fireside Treasury of Light and the author of Finding Each Other.


While Jack Canfield himself may not necessarily be a household name, it's very likely that you have heard of his famed Chicken Soup for the Soul series and nearly as likely that you have at least one of them sitting on your very own bookshelf! Having got his start as an inspirational speaker, Canfield's own story is nothing less than inspirational.

Jack Canfield had been traveling around delivering key note speeches and organizing workshops to help audiences build their self-esteem and maximize their potential when he had an in-flight brainstorm that changed his life. While flying home from a gig, Canfield realized that the very same advice he had been delivering during his in-person addresses could potentially form the basis of a book. Canfield used inspirational stories he'd gleaned over the years as the basis of his speeches, and he thought it would be a terrific idea to gather together 101 inspirational stories and anthologize them in a single volume. Upon returning home, Canfield approached friend and author Mark Victor Hansen about his concept. Hansen agreed it was a great idea, and the two men set about finding a publisher. Believe it or not, the mega-selling series was not an easy sell to publishers. "We were rejected by 123 publishers all told," Canfield told "The first time we went to New York, we visited with about a dozen publishers in a two day period with our agent, and nobody wanted it. They all said it was a stupid title, that nobody bought collections of short stories, that there was no edge -- no sex, no violence. Why would anyone read it?"

Canfield wisely practiced what he preached -- and persisted. Ultimately, he and Hansen sold the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book to a small press based in Deerfield Beach, Florida, called Health Communications. The rest, as they say, is history. There are currently 80 million copies of the Chicken Soup books in print, with subjects as varied as Chicken Soup For the Horse Lover's Soul and Chicken Soup For the Prisoner's Soul. Canfield and Hansen ranked as the top-selling authors of 1997 and are multiple New York Times bestsellers. Most important of all, the inspirational stories they have gathered in their many volumes have improved the lives of countless readers.

This year, expect to see Canfield's name gracing the covers of such titles as Chicken Soup For the Scrapbooker's Soul, Chicken Soup For the Mother and Son Soul, and Chicken Soup For the African American Woman's Soul. He and Hansen have also launched the all-new "Healthy Living" series and 8 titles in that series have already been released this year. There is also the fascinating You've GOT to Read This Book!, in which Canfield compiles personal accounts by 55 people each discussing a book that has changed his or her life. The most compelling of these may be the story of young entrepreneur Farrah Gray, who read Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success at the age of 11 and made his first million dollars at the age of 14!

With no sign of slowing down, Canfield continues to be an inspiration to millions, who fortunately refused to give up when it seemed as though he would never even get his first book published. "Mark and I are big believers in perseverance," he said. "If you have a vision and a life purpose, and you believe in it, then you do not let external events tell you what is so. You follow your internal guidance and follow your bliss, as Joseph Campbell used to say."

Good To Know

Canfield is the founder of two California based self-esteem programs, "Self-Esteem Seminars" in Santa Barbara and "The Foundation For Self Esteem" in Culver City.

Writing the first Chicken Soup book was a lot more daunting than Canfield expected. After the first three years of research, he and Mark Victor Hansen had only compiled 68 stories -- 33 tales shy of their goal of 101 stories.

Along with co-writing dozens of full-length books, Canfield also publishes a free biweekly newsletter called Success Strategies.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Canfield:

"My inspiration for writing comes from my passion for teaching others how to live more effective lives. I started out as a history teacher in an all-black inner city high school in Chicago, graduated to a teacher trainer, then psychotherapist, then trainer of therapists, then large group transformational trainer and then a writer and keynote speaker. All along the way, my desire was to make a difference, to help people live more fulfilling lives. That is what I still do today. Most people don't know this but I was not a good writer in college. I got a C in composition. Nobody would have ever believed I would grow up to be a bestselling author."

"I play guitar, and I am learning to play the piano. I love movies and some TV shows. My favorites are Six Feet Under, Grey's Anatomy, House and Lost. I love to play Scrabble, poker and backgammon with my in-laws, nieces and nephews. We really get into it. I love to travel. I have been to 25 countries and try to add two or three new ones every year."

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    1. Hometown:
      Santa Barbara, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 19, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Fort Worth, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

You'll Never Feel So Loved

Where there is great love, there are always miracles.

-Willa Cather

A few days after hearing the devastating news that the shadow on the mammogram was indeed cancer, I received a call I'll never forget from an aunt who was a breast-cancer survivor. The only part of the conversation I remember was one simple line: "You'll never feel so loved."

At the time I had no clue what that could mean, but I thanked her for calling and began the journey that every cancer patient goes through.

I began to understand the power of these five little words a few days after my aunt's call, when I telephoned my daughter about the diagnosis and the upcoming surgery. Her first words were simple and direct: "I'm on my way!" Not, "What can I do?" Or, "I'll try to come," or even "Do you want me to come?" but simply, "I'm on my way!" With the support and encouragement from her husband,
my daughter was with me until I no longer needed her help. I felt so loved.

Later that same day, with only twenty minutes' notice,
a friend volunteered to meet my husband and me at the doctor's office to be the extra ears and note taker. Quietly,
in the background, she was the one who held it together when my husband left the room (sick), and I began crying.
She asked all the right questions and later went over the facts one by one, helping us comprehend all that was happening.
What a gift! I knew she cared about us, and I felt so loved.

In spite of all the frightening, horrific things that were taking place, I began to understand how the love of God and others would carry me through, and I knew I would be able to conquer this thing called cancer. The love was manifested in so many ways: cards, calls, prayers, meals and sometimes just one little sentence would carry me through a difficult day.

I remember my husband holding me in his arms, reading from a book given to me from a coworker of his, also a breast-cancer survivor, who was sure we would both enjoy reading it. I was too tired, so he read aloud every night, and we laughed and cried together. I not only felt his love, but also was touched by the fact that someone I had never met cared enough to think of me.

I had retired the year before my diagnosis, and one day a former coworker of mine stopped by with a basket full of thoughtful gifts from friends at the office: a warm hat to cover my thinning hair, inspirational books to lift my spirits,
aromatherapy candles and bubble bath to soothe my body, and much more. They cared enough to remember me, and I felt so loved!

In times of need, everyone knows that family will be there for you, but I was overwhelmed by the way my immediate and extended family came through. Parents,
sisters and in-laws joined together to provide support and encouragement in so many wonderful ways. They were with me every step of the way. In fact, my sister was there when I had my last chemotherapy session, and a niece planned a big surprise party to celebrate the end of my treatments!

A daughter-in-law, without being asked, came and cleaned our whole house; our sons provided hugs, teasing and comforting words; neighbors and friends brought meals. The prayers, flowers, calls and cards of countless others were all given in the name of love. These are the things I still remember today because they carried me through a difficult time, and I am filled with gratitude.

As I look back, I have experienced what my aunt meant when she said, "You'll never feel so loved." In great part because of this love I am a cancer survivor. Yes, the treatments and advice of wonderful doctors and the prayers of many helped save my life, but I also believe that if the soul is being fed, the body will heal.

If you are going through a journey like mine, look for all the love that is being sent your way, for you will be comforted and treasured. Believe me, you'll never feel so loved!

-Sharon Bomgaars

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix

1 Love

She's My Hero Anthony Burton 2

Night School Kathy Cawthon 6

Sooner or Later Lori Misicka 8

Family Lowell Gere 11

You'll Never Feel So Loved Sharon Bomgaars 13

Food Is Love Barbara Curtis 16

All You Need Is Love Tina Wagner Mattern 20

Reading Charlotte's Web Jennie Nash 25

Locks of Love Leah Cano 28

2 Support

He Doesn't Take "No" for an Answer Ellen B. Leavitt 32

Giving and Receiving Jennie Nash 35

Little Man Christopher Kathy Vancura 39

Debbie's Story Lolly Susi 42

Science Mom Mary Olsen Kelly 45

Enjoy Life! Regina Dodson 47

Filler Bonnie Seibert 50

Heart Massage Pandora Kurth 52

My Heroes Maria McNaught 55

"Tweety Conquers That Mean Old Bweast Cancer" Susan Darke 57

Blessed by Friends Judy Hague 62

The Glow Girls Karen Theis 64

Bring on the Lasagna! Lorna Maxwell 67

Family Scenes Ruth Kotler 70

Joining the Race Ryan Matthew Landis 73

3 Challenges

The First Time's Always the Worst Leigh Anne Jasheway 76

The Hardest Mile Jacqueline M. Hickey 78

One Is Enough Mary Ellen "Barney" LaFavers 81

Blessings Beyond Belief Denise Blunk 82

The Gift of Photography and a Beautiful Breast Pamela Shandel 86

For Richer or Poorer Beverly Vote 88

Sometimes You Just Get Lucky Arlette Braman 92

I Am Not Alone Mary Olsen Kelly 95

4 Character

Laundry Soap Lolly Susi 100

The Esther Bunny Lives Here Ron Lando-Brown 105

Crooked Wigs and Guinea Pigs Kathy Cawthon 109

Sixty Miles Sherrie Page Najarian 113

Angels Pamela Pierce 116

From Stressed to Blessed Carol Ross Edmonston 118

Becoming a Transformed Woman Lillie Shockney 122

The Graduation Heather Haldeman 126

Chockwut Pudding Mary Olsen Kelly 129

Spirit Undaunted! Sue Caruso 132

Women Who Bare Their Breasts Jennie Nash 134

Things Are Looking Up! Teri Reath D'Ignazio 137

Divine Inspiration Mary Anne Breen 139

5 Healing

The Seasons of Our Lives Diana von Welenetz Wentworth 142

You've Got to Play If You Want to Win Lori Misicka 146

A "Gift of Healing" Journey Betsy Ludwig 150

Isabelle and Her Dollies' Hair Paula Young 153

The Bus Ride John de Strakosch 156

He Does Not Live in Vain Suzanne Metzger 160

Stop Changing! Rhonda Richards-Cohen 162

"Shoot the Messengers" Don Kelly 165

Angel Hugh Lolly Susi 171

6 Courage

Knowing What Your Rope Is Myra Shostak 176

A Message from My Marine Kathy Cawthon 179

My Red Badges of Courage Donna St. Jean Conti 181

Courage Comes in All Colors Jennie Nash 184

Courage to Climb Michele V. Price 189

Abreast in a Dragon Boat Susan R Harris 193

Racing for the Cure Ellen Ann Callahan 196

For Josie Doug Manuel 199

No More Fear Mary Olsen Kelly 202

7 Survival

Fifty-One-Year Survivor! Kathryn O. Sharr 207

All the Gifts Pam Arciero 210

Dancing at Evan's Wedding Nancy Jaynes Ida Chipman 214

Joy Is the Simplest Form of Gratitude Karen Theis 217

A Time to Listen Donna Andres 221

The Olsen Girls Mary Olsen Kelly 225

Laughter Is Bubbly! Judy Averitt Hayes 228

Diagnosis: Canceritis Lori Misicka 231

8 Gratitude

The Twelve Gifts of Chemo Sally Fouché 236

My Life Kathy Chamberlin 240

Payback Time Lee Scheinman 241

You're Gonna Eat That? Jami Bernard 245

Another Kind of Miracle Jennifer Basye Sander 248

The Snapshot Elaine Zalar 251

My Guardian Angel Nanci L. Stroupe 254

Hearts and Flowers Joan Persky 256

Light Joni Rodgers 260

I Can't Believe You T. Suzanne Eller 263

The Big "C" Kathy Cawthon 266

Who Is Jack Canfield? 269

Who Is Mark Victor Hansen? 270

Who Is Mary Olsen Kelly? 271

Contributors 272

Permissions 280

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2014

    Dear writer Ocrober 9th writer

    Not every one thinks god is real...i don't and im glad of it!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2009

    An inspiring collection of stories that help get you through a difficult time in your life

    This is a book that has a collection of stories that will make you laugh and cry ... but is very inspirational and motivating to someone receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer. Unfortunately, I have given it as a gift to others to help them through a life changing moment. It was a book I enjoyed reading while recovering .... it made me laugh .... and realize others have gone through the same or worse experience. When faced with a life changing event in our lives we are stronger than we realize. If there is someone going through treatment of breast cancer this is a good book when they are feeling well enough to read it ... buy it!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2008

    I Also Recommend:


    As a breast cancer survivor I did not enjoy this book. I read about 50 pages and recycled it. All it did was make me cry and it was depressing. I wanted to be entertained and enlightened during my treatment, not depressed. If you truly want a loved one to heal from their breast cancer do not buy them this book. Take them to (or buy them) a funny movie instead.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 20, 2013

    Title: Chicken Soup For The Survivor's Soul Stories to Inspire,

    Title: Chicken Soup For The Survivor's Soul
    Stories to Inspire, Support and Heal
    Author: Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen & Mary Olsen Kelly
    Publisher: Chicken Soup For The Soul Publishing
    Published: 8-7-2012
    ISBN: 9781453279137
    E-Book ASIN: B009EIYQ8G
    Pages: 294
    Genre: Religion, Spirituality

    You would be hard pressed to find anyone not touched by in some way by the insidious disease of Breast Cancer, myself included. I have lost two friends and have many more that have been diagnosed with it or know someone else who has. Chicken Soup For The Breast Cancer Survivor's Soul is a collection of inspiring stories. They offer comfort and encouragement to both the person fighting to survive and beat this terrible disease and those that love and help care for them.

    As I read these stories I was in awe of the strength and determination of the storytellers and pray that I display the fighting spirit that they have. As I said I have many who have known the fear felt when the doctor looks at you and tells you you have breast cancer. I have already purchased 3 copies of this book for my friends still undergoing treatment and 2 more for the families of the two I lost over the last year. You will find these stories lifting your spirits whether you know someone fighting for their life or are doing so yourself. If you are feeling you are alone in your fight pick up a copy today and light a spark in the darkness and you will notice the twinkling of hundreds of other lights. Behind each light is another soul reaching out to bring you comfort and offer you a hand to remind you that you are not alone and encourage you along your way.

    A Chicken Soup Book I had managed to miss and am so glad the Publishers offered it for review through NetGalley and I was approved to review it for them. Thank you. I enjoyed Chicken Soup For The breast Cancer Survivor's Soul tremendously. As always this is a quality book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I'd Also Recommend...

    I simply love the Chicken Soup series of books. They are worth every moment spent reading each page. I'd also recommend that you buy "When God Stopped Keeping Score," another great book, which takes an eye opening look at forgiveness. Given the chance, it will change your life. It did that for me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Very Helpful Book For Survivors

    I can't even begin to do the Chicken Soup For The Soul series justice by trying to write a simple review for any of the books in the series. I have read so many of these books that we'd be here all day for me just to give you the names of the ones that I have read. Furthermore, I have given countless others away as gifts to family and friends. All I can say is that each book is everything that I expected and more. I would definitely recommend any one of the books in this series for you and/or someone that you love.

    For anyone who feels bound by their anger, guilt, hurt or pain, I also recommend "When God Stopped Keeping Score." I thought that "When God Stopped Keeping Score" was just about overcoming forgiveness, I soon learned, it was about so much more than that. The author actually pulls back the curtain to his own life, to offer an intimate look at the true power of forgiveness and reveals the emotional price that you must be willing to pay to live without it.

    All of this, while still offering up interesting and often tear worthy stories that showed you just how you should deal with friends, family and more importantly, yourself when things do go wrong. The author more importantly reveals the key to keeping these relationships strong even in the face of adversity.

    Having read it, I feel like a better person. Maybe that's because this book spoke to me and not down to me. I have read a lot of books that was written like I didn't know anything. What the author of "When God Stopped Keeping Score" does is talk to you like a friend. I needed that. You will understand why when you read it for yourself. It is on sale here on

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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