Cancer: A Pilgrim Companion
In this wise and compassionate book, cancer survivor Gillian Straine proposes that this journey through illness, pain and anxiety be reconceptualised as a pilgrimage of discovery. The Christian faith is that we are never abandoned by God, and this promise holds wherever we might find ourselves, whether that is in the doctor's waiting room, in a chair receiving chemotherapy or lying on the surgeons table. Following the journey of Jesus through the darkness of Gethsemane, to the cross and into the silent waiting of Holy Saturday, this book invites the reader to seek God in their experience of cancer and, by pointing to the glimmers of resurrection hope in remission and beyond, to find healing in their own story of illness.
It is rare to find a book that is a true spiritual companion in the midst of illness and suffering. But Gillian Straine’s beautifully-observed book offers empathy, compassion and deep solace to those who are walking the lonely and dark path that cancer often brings. Few spiritual writers can turn their own experience of suffering and depletion into something wholesome and sustaining for others. This book not only manages that, but does so with realism, authenticity, wisdom, grace and hope. This is a profound and practical book that nourishes and nurtures – soul and body alike. Gillian Straine has given us a gem to treasure.’
Gillian Straine has produced a deeply personal and searingly honest theological reflection on her own experience of joining what she calls the ‘cancer community’. Tackling major themes such as ‘meaning’ and ‘vulnerability’, she explores the ‘gift of cancer’ – which is the way in which it exposes the myth that we are truly in control of our own lives. Her recurring emphasis on the importance of relationship and her use of pilgrimage as a metaphor for her own journey makes this a valuable and readable book of practical guidance and encouragement for fellow travellers. The message is clear and simple: God is with us, and there is hope.
A ‘searching, wise book’ that ‘gives valuable guidelines’.