A Little Touch of Cancer and How it Made Me Well:
One Woman's Travels Through Ovarian Cancer

by Betsy Horn



Serenity Publications, 2013. ISBN 978-0-615-89877-3.
Reviewed by Anita Lock
Posted on 03/25/2014

Nonfiction: Memoir

Three weeks before her sixtieth birthday in 2001, the last thing Betsy Horn wanted was to undergo surgery. Speculative until the time of her operation, ovarian cancer was confirmed when Horn learned during recovery that she had had a complete hysterectomy, the surgical procedure her doctor stated would happen if he found cancer. Leading up to that dreadful day, a flurry of thoughts ran through her head, one of which was the concept of death.

"This was the first time I had ever truly thought about the possibility of dying ... My first grandchild, Miranda, was brand new, born just that April, only a couple of weeks before [her ominous sonogram]. For a moment, I wondered, 'Is she my replacement in nature's birth and death cycle?' Too dramatic, not acceptable, I was not ready to be replaced. But the possibility that I would not be able to watch her grow up, see her milk teeth fall out, discuss the tooth fairy's generosity, get to see her face alter—that prospect rendered me defiant. Dying was not in the cards, I decided, at least not right now."

Horn also reflected on her past. While early pictures of her depicted a happy child, later ones were opposite. Her stern countenance reflected a lack of contentment in her childhood. And though Horn recalls pleasant moments growing up, there were others filled with sadness, particularly in regards to her father. Correlated with this unhappiness were the disturbingly repetitive nightmares that "remained constant" in her life: "from my teens until they mostly ceased about ten years ago."

During her five-day recuperation at the hospital, Horn learned that she had an aggressive type of carcinoma, and her malignant tumor would have to be addressed with chemotherapy. Dealing with the devastating aftermath of weakness and hair loss, her road to recovery was slow but progressed nicely. However, as the months passed by, she came to terms with the fact that she was an unhappy woman, and worse yet she really didn't know who she was.

"I still felt confused about life's direction. I only knew I craved a life that would let me integrate all the hard-fought changes I had struggled to make before the illness. So I demanded one more very big step, that of fully regaining every aspect of my health—to include body, mind and spirit or soul. I was judiciously seeking a more perfect health, a balanced health, for the first time."

Considering her options, Horn decided that biological medicine (which "emphasizes the detoxification of the body and de-acidification of the cells, tissues, and the milieu [the totality of one's surroundings]") made the most sense to her. With that thought in mind, she made an appointment for three weeks of treatment at Dr. Rau's Paracelsus Clinic in Switzerland. Her experiences there were life changing, in particular during her hyperthermia sessions, which were nothing more than breakthroughs as she came face to face with the disturbing haunts from her past.

Horn's treatment revitalized her for the long run. Today, more than a decade later, her goal is not only to stay healthy, but also to share her wellness "toolbox" (which is at the end of her memoir) with other women. I have never had cancer. However, as I age, I am constantly looking for ways to remain healthy. Horn's debut book has made an immediate impact in my life, as I have already begun to apply some of her "toolbox" ideas. Eloquently written, A Little Touch of Cancer and How it Made Me Well is more than a story of one woman's journey with cancer. It offers eye-opening health information that can make a positive difference in your life.


Betsy Horn's mission is to help women approaching mid-life and beyond to hone and balance their energy and enjoy the present moment. A writer, motivational speaker and total wellness advocate, she will help you discover the best solutions to dynamic, graceful aging and a host of other health challenges. For more information, visit her website.

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