Breast cancer can interrupt a life and demand that we pay more attention to the way we live. In this lyrical and inviting account, Patricia Greer explores associations and images that surround her experience of the disease. As a Jungian analyst, she works with metaphors and meanings related to the illness and uses her dreams, inner journeys, and poetry to deepen into and under the reality of cancer. She shares her exploration with the hope that it may help others reflect on their experiences and find insights from understanding cancer as a source of wisdom.
This intensely personal yet universal account demonstrates that breast cancer can be a soul journey for all those who have been touched by cancer, as well as for those who love them, care about them, care for them.
“Women diagnosed with breast cancer often describe the experience as having many layers—physical, emotional, psychological, relational, social, spiritual, and even financial. Considering the experience as a journey of the soul is an opportunity to move beyond the effects of breast cancer and into a more expansive, meaning-making exploration. Patricia’s story is a generous gift to all who have experienced breast cancer and felt drawn to a deeper understanding of the point where one’s essence and illness intersect. This is definitely a trip you’ll be glad you took.”
—Jeannie Cella, MS, LCPC, executive director of Wellness House“With compassion and intelligence, Patricia Greer offers a readable and generous personal exploration of the potential meanings of breast cancer. Embracing the symbolic attitude of Jungian methods, which activate and engage unconscious layers of psyche, she focuses on cancer as teacher, a metaphoric guide to deeper self-awareness and self-knowledge. This soulful meditation on the healing power of image is a rich, sensitive contribution full of embodied wisdom, evocative language, and transcendent depth. An inspirational book for therapists, patients, and for all women and their families and friends whose lives have been touched by cancer and illness.”
—Judith Cooper, PsyD, clinical psychologist and Jungian analyst “Patricia Greer creates a profound pathway for those with cancer and their loved ones. She intimately shares the sacred healing capacity of dream and image that she personally experienced during her long journey with cancer. Her image of the single redbud tree resonated for me long after I put the book down. Joining Patricia on her underworld journey with cancer, I too was immersed in a deep experience of navigating the darkest nights of the soul. I am deeply touched by Patricia’s work and feel her offering is tending the soul in and of the world.”
—Stephen Aizenstat, PhD, chancellor and founding president, Pacifica Graduate Institute