It's been five years since I stapled the first edition of my book at Kinko's. Looking back to that time, I never would have guessed that my early efforts at writing about my own cancer recovery would have spread so far and that so many meaningful changes for cancer survivors would be happening.
Of most significance to me is that The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) has expanded their mission to include nutrition education and research for cancer survivors. They are committed to helping answer the questions about what foods may help reduce the risk of a cancer recurrence or a second newly diagnosed cancer. AICR even sponsored national conferences on this topic to raise national awareness of the urgency for research funding and appropriate staffing by Registered Dietitians in cancer centers in order to thoroughly address these unmet needs.
The proceeds from the sale of my books, including the Spanish translation of A Dietitian's Cancer Story, continue to fund my endowment established at AICR in 2000. The Diana Dyer Cancer Survivors' Nutrition and Cancer Research Endowment funds research projects to help define nutritional strategies after a cancer diagnosis, either during treatment or recovery, that will help enhance the odds for long-term survival. I have recently helped to fund my first project, which is very meaningful to me. Additional donations to my endowment are welcome; call AICR at 1-800-843-8114 for more information.
In addition, it has been gratifying to hear of so many cancer centers around the country that are now offering various complementary therapies to newly diagnosed cancer patients as means of helping them gain control over their disease. Strategies such as nutrition and cooking classes, meditation, creative and guided imagery, yoga, T'ai chi, Qi Gong, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, art, music, and dance therapies, journaling and writing sessions, along with support groups are some of the many ways that cancer centers are helping survivors heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually from the trauma of a cancer diagnosis. Ongoing research will give us data to show if these therapies also enhance the odds for long-term survival.
I have connected with so many of my readers since 1997. Reaching outside of myself and advocating for all of you has given me incredible energy. While much has been accomplished, there is still so much to do, particularly in the area of cancer prevention. I urge you all to work in your little corner of the world to bring about positive change in some area of importance to you. It is never too late, and no effort is too small. Only God knows how far the ripples from your efforts will reach! The results of all our efforts are a testimony to my belief in the power of "active hope" to change ourselves and also our world.
your health, healing, and hope!
Diana Grant Dyer, MS, RD