Supporting Others by Sharing My Healing…


Supporting Others by Sharing My Healing Journey

Feb. 2, 2024 | by Tania Amardeil

Going for walks and spending in time in nature and by the ocean was one of the things I turned to consistently. There’s a reason that doctors recommend being outside for 20 minutes a day – it has so many therapeutic benefits. And studies show that exercise helps with chemo side effects. Yoga and meditation were invaluable to me too, as was cultivating a positive mindset. I set my mind that I was healing and developing into a more beautiful person than I was before as a result of everything I’ve been through. I did guided meditations for healing, imagining that the cancer was going away and sending that energy out to the universe.

Because I live in rural Nova Scotia, I had to travel for my breast cancer treatment, including moving to Halifax for six weeks for 20 radiation sessions – leaving my two teenaged kids home with my mother and step-father. It has been a long road to recovery, and it hasn’t been easy. But I’ve found ways to soften the journey and to process what I’ve gone through. I’m doing a lot of processing lately. I’ve checked all the boxes: surgery, chemo, radiation, hormone therapy, and immunotherapy (well, I’m still going through that last one). Now that I don’t have a million appointments to get to all the time, I have more time and space to realize all that I’ve been through and where I’m going next, and to come to a sense of peace with it all.

And that is how writing became another part of my therapeutic process. I got to know myself a lot better by facing cancer head-on and through writing and journalling. In the past, I’ve dealt with things by trying not to think about them – through denial, I guess. But with cancer, it was different. At first, I just wrote about what I was going through, but then I realized I could help other women going through a similar experience. For me, connecting with other people who had cancer was super helpful, and now I’m able to support others in that same way. I can appreciate what they’re going through. I’ve walked in their shoes. 

I recently wrote a book called Sunshine in My Eyes: A Healing Journey. It’s about how I got through my cancer journey and it’s full of steps that others can take on their journeys. It has chapters for every stage of cancer treatment and for topics like parenting, going back to work, treatment after-math, and the road to recovery. The book also has a journal section for people to add their own reflections, self-affirmations, intentions, and more.

I want to show others that it’s possible to find joy during cancer treatment. I’ve had joy, I’ve had experiences of laughter and happiness and contentment and enjoying the day, even in what would otherwise be a really cruddy time in my life. Having cancer wasn’t just the most horrible time of my life – there was happiness in there, too. And I want to leave people with hope – to lift them up and encourage them. When I was going through treatment, so many people said to me, “You’ve got this.” I wish they would have followed that up with how I’ve got this. For example, “You’ve got this because you can take care of yourself,” or, “You’ve got this because I’m going to be there for you – you can call me or text me any time you need someone to talk to.” Now it’s my turn to offer support, and that’s what I aim to do with my new book.