breast cancer journey

Nov. 28, 2011
Breast cancer patient whose online journal brought hope and inspiration to other women confronting the disease has  turned her story into a book.

AMHERST, Ohio—A breast cancer patient whose online journal brought hope and inspiration to other women confronting the disease has turned her story into a book.

Sheri Kay, a dental hygienist and organizational coach, decided to publish HINENI: HERE I AM: One Woman’s Journey Through Breast Cancer after hearing from devoted readers of her blog. Some of these readers had been part of her life before her diagnosis, but others were strangers who discovered her writing on

“People who were reading my blog seemed to find their own stories and lives weaving through mine,” Sheri recalled. “I was told over and over that I helped other people keep their own events and lives in perspective.

“Other women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer found my site to be a helpful resource as they were learning what questions to ask. They found useful information on both the clinical and the emotional sides of what lay ahead of them.”

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Kay wrote HINENI during a period of 10 months, beginning shortly before she underwent a double mastectomy in March 2010. The blog provided her a way to keep friends and family informed during her chemotherapy and breast reconstruction. But it served a larger purpose as well.

“Not only was I able to report on what was happening, but I also found the writing meaningful and therapeutic,” Sheri said. “I experienced great clarity when I sat at my keyboard and got in touch with what was happening mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. I spoke of my fears and coping strategies, my tears and triumphs. Soon, people I didn’t even know were reading my blog and offering words of support. I kept hearing people say the blog should become a book.

“I remember telling a good friend of mine a long time ago that I don’t think I could have made it through the hell that cancer brought if I didn’t believe in my heart that there was a greater purpose to it all. HINENI is that purpose. I know that this book can be helpful to other women facing breast cancer. I also know that it can be helpful to anybody facing life and the challenges that come each day.”

Teryl “T” Johansson, two-time cancer warrior, author, healer, and founder of THE SACRED AERIE, writes of this book, “Life-threatening illness is a great teacher—that’s just very hard to remember when it’s our turn to go to school. Patient or caregiver, family or friend, the brave wisdom woven throughout these pages helps us navigate the still, deep pools and wild rapids that mark every healing journey.”

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