Cork-based writer Anne Alcock has been journalling since the age of 12, but having been diagnosed with breast cancer, the hobby became a lifeline.
When Anne was diagnosed with breast cancer at 71-years-old, she engaged with many things but especially important was journalling, and this has led to her new book, “Cancer, A Circle of Seasons: A Way to journal and pray through life’s challenges”.
It is a beautifully written reflective account of that recent journey, and it includes sharing many personal moments with us, such as when she first notices her bra strap irritating her, to the diagnosis of her condition.
Those early incidents occurred in spring, and the reader travels through the cycle of the four seasons with Anne, as each honest revelation unfolds.
Much has been written and some studies done, on the benefits of journalling, including freeing the writer up to tap into and release emotional expression, both in sickness and in health.
A US study published in 2008, by Nancy Morgan, at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Centre, in Washington DC, revealed that even one 20-minute writing session may be sufficient to alter instantly the way people with cancer think and feel about their disease. She found that this still had a beneficial effect on the person’s quality of life three weeks later.
For Cork-based Anne, writing has helped her maintain a record of her own life since she first read The Diary of Anne Frank, at the age of 12.