Healing With Words: A Writer's Cancer Journey

Healing With Words: A Writer's Cancer Journey

ABOUT Diana Raab

Diana Raab
I am an award-winning nonfiction writer and poet of eight books. I teach journaling and memoir  at UCLA Extension and in conferences around the country.




Healing With Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey is written by a nurse, and author of eight books who at the age of forty-seven found her life shattered by a diagnosis with DCIS. Five years later she was diagnosed with another, seemingly unrelated and incurable blood cancer—multiple myeloma. The book is a mélange of reflections, poetry, memoir, journal entries and writing exercises for readers to express their own personal story.

In lieu of allowing cancer to destroy her life, Diana Raab has embraced the experience and turned a negative into a positive by creating a memoir and self-help book to help others with a cancer diagnosis. While coping with her loss, Raab found her lifeline to survival was writing about her experience.   

Since early childhood, Raab has drawn strength from the practice of journaling. Her journal provided a safe haven and platform to validate her feelings and she teaches others to do the same.


I am a writer, nurse and journaling advocate and would like to inspire others to also journal during tumultuous times as I did with both my cancer diagnoses.

“Though I am a professional writer, it's hard to find words for the admiration I feel for Diana Raab and her inspiring true story: Healing With Words. Time after time, Diana articulates incisively the thoughts and feelings that convey hoped-for meaning and encouragement.  She is a woman who knows what it is to live fully in the face of mortality.  She will add value to the

life of every person who reads this book.  That she includes the creative impulse to write and the solace offered by contemplating the beautiful as a vital part of human existence resonates at a spiritual level for me.”

         Sena Jeter Naslund, author of AHAB'S WIFE and ABUNDANCE, A NOVEL OF MARIE ANTOINETTE


“One woman's story, beautifully told and inspiring to those for whom journaling will ease a breast cancer diagnosis.”

-Barbara Delinsky, New York Times bestselling author of UPLIFT: SECRETS FROM THE SISTERHOOD OF BREAST CANCER SURVIVORS



“Healing With Words: A Writer's Cancer Journey by Diana Raab offers unique therapy for cancer patients.  Raab is a registered nurse, author, mother of three and happily married woman.  Her compelling and inspirational book reflects her two episodes with cancer over several years. She expertly tells her story and captures the reader with her feelings, frustrations and fears that overwhelmed her from diagnosis of breast cancer through reconstruction and recovery through her subsequent bout with multiple myeloma.  
Descriptions of her personal journey are accompanied with powerful poetry and journal entries she wrote at various stages.  What is unique about this book is that its messages are universal.  Any cancer patient or survivor can relate to and learn from what she experienced.
Included in the masterfully written book are writing prompts to encourage the readers to write about what is happening or has occurred in their lives.
As a college writing professor, I give Diana Raab an A+ for her writing.  As a two-time cancer survivor who has taught Writing for Wellness classes for patients at City of Hope Cancer Center for eight years, I congratulate her for her significant contribution to the field of writing-to-heal techniques.
Her book is a must-read for any woman diagnosed with breast cancer.”



Julie Davey, author of

“Diana Raab has shared her breast cancer journey with an honesty that is truly compelling. Anyone receiving a cancer diagnosis should have Healing With Words ,A Writer's Cancer Journey to turn to time and time again for comfort and guidance. I highly recommend it!”

              Beverlye Hyman Fead,
               Legislative Ambassador and Hero or Hope for American  
Cancer Society and author of I CAN DO THIS


“Healing with Words is a riveting memoir which follows the author's journey through two cancer discoveries in eight years. Within the first thirty pages tears filled my eyes as I felt Diana's pain and rebellion to enter a new life, a new world. The book's structure allows the reader to find her own words to write beside Diana's enlightening story which enlists it as a personal journal. Her poetic flavor of writing with lines like, "My cancer diagnosis became like a stir-fry of emotions cooking inside me," stretched my writer's mind and urged me to post my own note to my computer screen which was gleaned from this book, When it hurts--Write harder.”

Barbara Sinor, Ph.D.



 “As a cancer survivor myself this book touched parts of my soul I thought I'd forgotten about. Ms. Raab did a phenomenal job at writing a memoir while including the reader in her journey. I knew I was in for a great read when I teared up during her Introduction. This will be an invaluable tool to those currently battling cancer or loving someone going through it. It enlightens, inspires and even gets us standing up and cheering the author on her fight. I have always admired those who can go through turmoil and use positive, proactive ways to carry them to tomorrow. Beautiful job and beautiful words. Thank you, Ms. Raab--you'll help many.”
                                                                                     Chynna T. Laird


“Diana’s book,  Healing with words: a writer’s cancer journey documents two processes for her readers. One in eight women is afflicted with breast cancer. I am one of the remaining seven who wonders and worries when and if one of my breasts will be invaded by the cancer that she so thoughtfully and realistically explains at each stage of the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and surviving process.


Even though Diana is a medical professional she documents this process also as a women, daughter, friend, wife, and mother using words juxtaposed with journal questions, entries and poetry. One such poem, A women’s life, utilizes 37 verbs to describe our many developmental stages. One of these identified verbs is writing.


Writing is the second process and gift that Diana shares with the reader. For any individual surviving a trauma there needs to be strategies and tools that can be utilized to help the individual move from feeling like a victim to knowing that they are a survivor. Diana’s shares how writing impacted her journey but also makes suggestion for readers to use writing as a process that can help to increase feelings of strength and personal power.


This is a thoughtful book that will touch the hearts of women and those who love us.”


Theresa Fraser,