Patricia Greer
Patricia Greer

A breast cancer survivor’s journey into her inner sanctuary.

One in eight women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer but countless others are affected. Breast Cancer: A Soul Journey was released last year by Chiron Publications and is written by a breast cancer survivor. Patricia Greer, MA, PhD is a Jungian psychoanalyst whose own journey with cancer began 26 years ago.

Breast Cancer: A Soul Journey, speaks to the sisterhood of women that breast cancer creates—and to all those who love them. Greer works with metaphors and meanings related to the illness “in the hope that it may offer examples for other women who want to reflect on their experiences and find insights and lessons that may be gained from viewing cancer as a teacher.”

Greer says of her journey, “I have learned to savour and feel gratitude for the small and ordinary moments of life.”

She is not naïve about the devastating fears evoked by the words breast cancer—the fear of disfigurement, the fear of treatment, and the fear of death.

Breast Cancer is an underworld experience where every woman is a Persephone taken to the underworld, but Greer reminds us that every woman is also Hecate who hears Persephone’s cries for help. Every woman needs to hear her own cries for help, to learn the language of the unconscious, and to learn to read the text of her story. Breast cancer was that summons for author Pat Greer and can be for many other women.

In celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October, Chiron accelerated the production schedule for the book. For all those who have been touched by the disease and for those who love them, care about them, care for them, breast cancer can be a soul journey.

Breast Cancer: A Soul Journey takes the reader through Greer’s experience with dreams and imagery to show the many ways the psyche expresses itself. Hers is a non-linear journey, “a circling around the reality and metaphor of cancer, allowing meanings to appear and shift and transform.” Moving in this world establishes a sacred space or “inner sanctuary where images can be held and honoured.” To begin, Greer shows how one must first clear space, creating an inner emptiness that is rich with potential. She then describes several methods she found useful to access and honour the language of the soul, including journaling, poetry, active imagination, drawing, sandplay, and work with dreams. The result, this book, is rich with the harvest of Greer’s journey including her own poetry.

Patricia Greer, MA, PhD is a Jungian Psychoanalyst and a breast cancer survivor.