Bangers And Mash

Keith Hern

Eating away Cancer with some NLP help

altThis small book carries with it a big punch. We are invited to follow Keith the patient into the ranks of the affected. I wrestled with this review for a few reasons, first Keith's approach to his cancer didn't align with my own philosophy regarding nutrition. The humor in that statement is the in-your-face title of Bangers and Mash. I see the title as a metaphor for eating cancer. Keith's approach to his cancer is an active one. One gets to experience cancer through the determined energy of a fighter and the humorist all in one. Fighting cancer and eating cancer have a lot in common. Both are dominated by hunger to move on, to become satiated, to be well. The value of this point of view is that it is an honest approach to battling cancer. The intention for bringing these materials to the reader is to broaden the scope and the approach to cancer in a clients own words, in a variety of levels of experience.

Curious , read on!

That said I still felt this approach of Keith's a bit skewed by gender, which in fact is the value of this book. My initial interest in this work had to with Keith as a creative visual artist and photographer, which made me interested in his treatment,  his personal narrative and his relationship with his coach Helen and his integrating into his therapy guided imagery , NLP coaching combined with CD’s or self-hypnosis. I venture to say that throughout this book there is scant mention of his work with both, but the irony is that when it is mentioned - it makes a point. And the point is perspective, a perspective that opened doors to healing. Keith the self-proclaimed skeptic regarding things that fall into the world of a self hypnosis that spins the positive prosperity message he finds as a bit much yet by the end of the book he finds himself deepening his own healing process by drawing on works by Candace Pert's The Molecules of Emotion and Bruce Lipton's The Biology of Belief. A well for sure!

The second disconnect and where I wrestled with this book was with the final message and that was Keith's Mantra " at last cancer free–at last cancer free!” Not having cancer myself, the little voice of I know what’s best, I wanted Mr. Hern to be more retrospective and take care, be more conscious (nice projecting on my part). Again after a few moments of reflection the realization that everyone approaches life and for many living in the presence of cancer, having a second go at it - is about a great gusto. I guess in the end that's where the title comes from Bangers and Mash, the great gusto for living. Keith has moved on but he hasn't forgotten and that's the reason for this book, this review and for the guided imagery collective.

The ranks of the affected

Summing -up most poignant sentence for me personally as a caregiver is when Keith in his words feels he is “joining the ranks of the affected”. This book does affect us for the better and is highly recommended for everyone who finds their journey detoured by the cancer diagnosis as patient or caregiver. The more we uncover the absurdity that culturally the fear of cancer has had over us the more we can shed light on the compassion and love that comes when deepening our humanity and in Keith's case an ongoing hunger for life. 

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