Healing with Words by Diana M. Raab is a writer’s cancer journey.  Diana chronicles through her diagnosis with breast cancer, all the appointments she had to go to in order to figure out what the best way to combat the cancer would be, second opinions, surgerys, etc.  Throughout the book are poems that Diana has written, which I thought were an interesting addition to the book.  You can really tell from the poems how she felt during each of these stages in her life and I thought that kind of helped me get in to her headspace a bit more and really understand how she felt and what she was going through (although not having had to deal with anything like this in my life, I can never really, truly know how she felt and I am sure that a lot of the diagnosis and things doctors told her were incredibly scary)

After each chapter there are also questions that you can ask yourself (if you have been through a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment) to think about how your reactions and thoughts different or compared to those of Diana’s as mentioned in each of her chapters.

This is a great book for those who have dealt with breast cancer and for those who haven’t as well.


About the Book

Healing With Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey is a compassionate and wry self-help memoir written by an award-winning prolific author, nurse and poet, who at the age of forty-seven found her life shattered first by a DCIS (early breast cancer) diagnosis and five years later by another, seemingly unrelated and incurable cancer–multiple myeloma. The book includes the author’s experiences, reflections, poetry and journal entries, in addition to writing prompts for readers to express their own personal story. Raab’s journals have provided a safe haven and platform to validate and express her feelings. Raab views journaling to be like a daily vitamin–in that it heals, detoxifies and is essential for optimal health.

Readers will learn to:

  • Understand the importance of early cancer detection and how to take control of their own health
  • Discover the power of writing to release bottled-up emotions
  • Learn how the process of journaling can facilitate healing
  • See how a cancer diagnosis can be a riveting event which can renew and change a person in a unique way
About the Author

Since childhood, she has been fascinated with the written word. As an only child of working parents, she spent lots of time alone, which she filled with reading and writing in her journal. These hobbies set the platform for her life’s passion as a poet, memoirist and essayist. She teaches at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and in various conferences and festivals around the country. She frequently writes and lectures on the healing powers of writing.
Her award-winning poetry and memoirs have appeared widely in journals and anthologies. Her self-help memoir, HEALING WITH WORDS was released in June 2010. Her memoir REGINA’S CLOSET: FINDING MY GRANDMOTHER’S SECRET JOURNAL won the 2009 Mom’s Choice Award for Adult Nonfiction and the 2008 Indie Excellence Award for Memoir.

She’s the compiler and editor of WRITERS AND THEIR NOTEBOOKS a collection of essays written by esteemed writers who about their journal-keeping habits and how they use their journals as a source of inspiration. The book won the Eric Hoffer Award for University Presses (2011). The foreword is written by Phillip Lopate.

She has three poetry collections, DEAR ANAIS: MY LIFE IN POEMS FOR YOU, FOR YOU, winner of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Award For Poetry, MY MUSE UNDRESSES ME, and THE GUILT GENE.

For more information, please visit her website: http://www.dianaraab.com and blog www.dianaraab/blog.


I received a free copy of this book in order to write the review. All opinions are 100% mine.

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