My Healing Journal

CURE, Winter 2007, Volume 6, Issue 6

Healing journal by Debra Goldstein

When I bought my house I added a den and master suite with large windows that guarnateed lots of light. After I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997, my house was my solace and my protector. It also helped me cope with my mother's death from leukemia, which was brought on by her breast cancer treatment. A few years after her death, I left my job as an attorney for a large firm to become interim CEO of Gilda's Club North Texas, which I helped found.

Journal Photos by Beatriz Terrazas

Sometimes during my cancer treatment and recovery, I'd find comfort in the simple act of retreating to my bedroom. At times, I crawled under the covers and pulled them over my head.

One of the things I found therapeutic during my cancer recovery was gardening. Because of my heavy workload while still working as an attorney, I used to garden at night, calling myself the "nocturnal gardener."

One of the healing sounds in my backyard is the burbling of water in the fountain.

My backyard and deck was, and continues to be, a gathering place for all my friends. During my treatment they came by to bring food or just hang out. Today, we sit out and remember friends and plan for the future.

I love that I can see the deck and yard through the den and the bedroom patio doors. I also love the natural light.

Zoie (left) and Mozart are a source of comfort and healing for me. They have been a big part of my recovery from cancer.

At Gilda's Club I felt at home because as one of the founding board members I helped define how the space feels. This room is named for my mom, Sherry Goldstein. I bought the Everhart print above the sofa because it says "comfort."

"Come as you are" is one of the Gilda's Club sayings for cancer survivors or anyone touched by the disease. This pillow hangs on a chair in my office.

I call this candleholder, which sits on the table in my garden, my "circle of friendship." It's a reminder of my cancer support group and friends.