- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: HCI; 1 edition (June 1, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1558744029
- ISBN-13: 978-1558744028
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #930,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Chicken Soup for the Cancer Survivor's Soul: 101 Healing Stories About Those Who Have Survived Cancer Paperback – June 1, 1996
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About the Author
Beverly Kirkhart is president of Comeback Press, Inc., a publishing company dedicated to providing resources for those struggling with life threatening diseases. She is a breast cancer survivor, national speaker and the author of the successful self-guided journal, My Healing Companion, and co-author of the revised version of Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul. After conquering cancer, Kirkhart made the decision to devote her life to helping other cancer victims take control of their lives. In 1996, she co-founded the highly-regarded Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara with surgeon and best-selling author Dr. Susan Love and several other concerned survivors. Kirkhart has been heard by millions across the country as a guest on national television and radio stations, as well as featured inspiration keynote speaker and workshop leader. Her popular 'Empower Yourself Through Words'© inspirational workshops include strategy-packed sessions on My Healing Companion. She also shares her wisdom in her powerful presentations 'How to Turn Setbacks into Comebacks' (five steps to survive and thrive after life challenging situations), 'Healing the Soul After Cancer' (five ways survivors can reclaim their life), and 'Caregivers with Compassion…Healers with Heart' (loving and compassionate ways to combine medical science with supportive therapies), and 'New Purpose…New Passion' (a personal transformation and goal-setting session to energize cancer patients). Beverly Kirkhart resides in Santa Barbara, California where she continues to devote her life to helping patients everywhere to take control of their lives, and turn their setbacks into comebacks.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The notice was posted next to the tenants' mailboxes in the apartment building I'd just moved into in Brooklyn, New York. "A Mitzvah for Mrs. Green," it read. "Sign up to drive Mrs. G in #3B home from her chemotherapy treatments twice a month."
Since I wasn't a driver, I couldn't add my name, but the word mitzvah lingered in my thoughts after I went upstairs. It's a Hebrew word that means "to do a good deed," or "an act that expresses God's will." It is more than that, really, more like a commandment to do things for others.
And according to my grandmother, it also had another meaning. This was the one she was always pointing out to me because she'd notice how shy I was about letting people do things for me. "Linda, it's a blessing to do a mitzvah for someone else, but sometimes it's a blessing to let another person do something for you."
Grandma would be shaking her head at me right now. Several of my friends at the graduate school I attended nights had offered to help me settle in after the moving men left, but I'd said I could manage. Letting them help would have interfered with my image of myself as a capable and independent woman of 21.
Snowflakes had been tumbling past my window for several hours when it came time to leave for class. I pulled on two sweaters, a coat, a wool hat and boots, bundling up for the trek to the bus stop that the real estate agent had dismissed as a short stroll. Maybe in May it was a stroll, but in this December storm it was a hike. As I topped off my outfit with a blue scarf that Grandma had crocheted for me, I could almost hear her voice: "Why don't you see if you can find a lift?"
A thousand reasons why popped into my head: I don't know my neighbors; I don't like to impose; I feel funny asking for favors. Pride would not let me knock on a door and say, "It's a 10-minute ride by car but a long wait for the bus, and it's a 30-minute bus ride, so could you possibly give me a lift to school?"
I trudged to the bus stop, reaching it just as a bus went by.
Three weeks later, on the night of my final exam, the snow was falling steadily. I slogged through oceans of slush to the bus stop. For an hour, I craned my neck, praying desperately that a bus would come. Then I gave up. The wind at my back pushed me toward home, as I prayed, Dear God, how can I get to school? What should I do?
As I pulled Grandma's scarf more tightly around my neck, again I seemed to hear that whisper: Ask someone for a lift! It could be a mitzvah.
That idea had never really made sense to me. And even if I wanted to ask someone for a good deed, which I did not, there wasn't a soul on the street.
But as I shoved the door of my apartment building open, I found myself face to face with a woman at the mailbox. She was wearing a brown coat and had a set of keys in her hand. Obviously she had a car, and just as obviously, she was going out. In that split second, desperation overcame pride, and with my breath coming out in white puffs in the freezing hallway, I blurted, "Could you possibly give me a lift?" I hurriedly explained, ending with, "I never ask anybody for a lift, but ...
An odd look crossed the woman's face, and I added, "Oh! I live in 4R. I moved in recently.ö
"I know," she said. "I've seen you through the window. Then, after an almost imperceptible hesitation, "Of course. I'll give you a lift. Let me get my car key.ö
"Your car key?" I repeated. "Isn't that it in your hand?" She looked down. "No, no, I was just going to get my mail. I'll be right back." And she disappeared upstairs, ignoring my "Ma'am! Please! I don't mean to put you out!" I was terribly embarrassed. But when she came back, she spoke so warmly as we plodded our way to a garage across the street that I stopped feeling uncomfortable.
"You know the way better than I," she said. "Why don't you drive?"
"I can't," I said.
Now I felt inept again.
She just laughed and patted me on the hand, saying, "It's not so important," and then I laughed, too. "You remind me of my grandmother," I said.
At that, a slight smile crossed her lips. "Just call me Grandma Alice. My grandchildren do. And you are ...?" As she maneuvered her carone of those big cars, like a tankdown the slushy streets, I introduced myself.
When she dropped me off, I thanked her profusely and stood there waving as she drove away. My final exam was a breeze compared with the ordeal I'd gone through to get to it, and asking Grandma Alice for help had loosened me so that after class I was able to ask easily, "Is anyone going my way?" It turned out that while I'd been waiting for a bus every night, three fellow students passed my apartment house. "Why didn't you say something before?" they chorused.
Back home as I walked up the stairs, I passed Grandma Alice leaving her neighbor's apartment. "Good night, Mrs. Green. See you tomorrow," the neighbor was saying.
I nodded to them and was four steps up the staircase before the name registered in my brain. Mrs. Green. The woman with cancer. "Grandma Alice" was Mrs. Green.
I stood on the stairs, my hand covering my mouth, as the ... grotesqueness was the only word I could think of ... of what I had done hit me: I had asked a person struggling with cancer to go out in a snowstorm to give me a lift to school. "Oh, Mrs. Green," I stammered, "I didn't realize who you were. Please forgive me."
I forced my legs to move me up the stairs. In my apartment, I stood still, not taking my coat off. How could I have been so insensitive? In a few seconds, someone tapped on my door. Mrs. Green stood there.
"May I tell you something?" she asked. I nodded slowly, motioning her toward a chair, sinking down onto my couch. "I used to be so strong," she said. She was crying, dabbing at her eyes with a white linen handkerchief. "I used to be able to do for other people. Now everybody keeps doing for me, giving me things, cooking my meals and taking me places. It's not that I don't appreciate it because I do. But tonight before I went out to get my mail, I prayed to God to let me feel like part of the human race again. Then you came along ..."Linda Neukrug
(c)1988 by Guideposts, Carmel, NY 10512. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Patty Aubery, Nancy Mitchell, R.N. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.
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I read it. They are all engineered to encourage and be insightful and helpful---but not overly sappy, sickly sentimental, or impossible to believe. They do tell it like it is in most cases---but being realistic doesn't equate to pessimistic. I just noticed a small print
saying above this ("Beverly Kirkhart" so now I wonder if the same folks were involved in production as in other Ck. Soup books....??)
That said, perhaps you should read it before buying or gifting a copy. I didn't have time to do so as my friend was in final stage and has since died. I never was told if she even got the book, but hope she did and hope it helped her.
I was given it as a gift when I was struggling with cancer. The stories were a huge encouragement and helped me find a path to survival.
As a twelve year cancer survivor now, I have and continue to give a copy to anyone I know who is finding themself in a struggle with cancer.
Whenever people I know have a death in their family,
I present them with this book and also Chicken soup for the Grieving Soul.
It is of great comfort to them.
Diljit C. shah
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