A diagnosis of cancer or chronic disease can be a jarring, life-changing event — and typically in a negative way. Everything comfortable and familiar comes to a screeching halt. Routines are upended. Resources are stretched thin. And perspectives can quickly turn bleak.
What if such a diagnosis could actually be inspirational? What if it meant a call to community outreach, or the mending of a difficult relationship, or rearranging priorities for the better? And what if those touched by cancer or chronic disease began to write about their experiences, openly expressing their innermost thoughts and feelings?
Every day, millions of people face traumatic changes to their health, and research indicates that expressive writing — dealing with one’s deepest thoughts and feelings — may contribute to improved physical and emotional health.
David Tabatsky, writer, speaker and performing artist, expands that premise in Write for Life: Communicating Your Way Through Cancer and Chronic Disease. Through writing prompts, games and innovative exercises, he aims to help readers explore self-expression, cope with fears and manage the challenges that cancer or any chronic disease can bring.
After the publication of Chicken Soup for the Soul’s The Cancer Book: 101 Stories of Courage, Support, and Love, which Tabatsky co-authored in 2009, Write for Life was created as a companion book for the workshops he facilitated in cancer centers throughout the U.S., including MD Anderson (Houston), Duke Cancer Institute (North Carolina), and Rush University Cancer Center (Chicago), as well as for organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Gilda’s Clubs, and the American Medical Students Association. Tabatsky continues to bring patients, their loved ones and those in the medical community the courage and strength to face life head-on through expressive writing and effective communication.
David Tabatsky received his BA in Communications and an MA in Theatre Education, both from Adelphi University. He is the coauthor of Rx for Hope: A Cancer Care Model to Optimize the Immune System (with Nick Chen, MD), Reimagining Women’s Cancers: The Celebrity Diagnosis Guide to Personalized Treatment and Prevention (with Dr. Mark Boguski and Dr. Michele Berman), among many others. Tabatsky lives in New York City.