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Joy Is a Plum Colored Acrobat
45 Life Affirming Visualizations
for Breast Cancer Treatment and Recovery

by Wendy Burton

In Joy Is a Plum Colored Acrobat, author Wendy Burton uses visualizations, imagination and joy to spread healing and positive thoughts. Imagery is her therapeutic gift to herself and her readers. Wendy’sbreast cancer triggered her book, Joy Is a Plum Colored Acrobat. It is a representation of how she gave her mind unfettered rein to roam during treatment and how it brought her to tiny Cirque du Soleil acrobats leaping lightly through the ducts in her breasts, to bright beach umbrellas protecting the good cells in her breasts from the radiation, and to infinitesimal chimney sweeps who whisk away the cancer cells that remain.

"It is a mystery to me why I was able to find at the core of my experience with cancer a deep sense of joy and gratitude. I have felt inexplicably that I was in a state of grace. Our instincts rightly tell us that cancer is darkly frightening. It is life-threatening. But when it showed up, unbidden and unwelcome at my doorstep, I was somehow able to take a few very deep breaths and embrace this stranger. It wasn't that my arms were open to the cancer. It was more about being open to the journey that the diagnosis of cancer would take me on. I didn't feel as if I had chosen this ride, but since I was on it, I wanted to be on it with clarity and an open heart.

"I had an extraordinarily positive experience with breast cancer, due largely to the visualizations I did during treatment. After I finished six weeks of radiation therapy I woke up one morning and announced I was going to write a book. I sat down at the computer and literally didn't surface for 48 hours. I would guess that 50% of the manuscript had presented itself at that point.

"There are two themes to the book. The first has to do with embracing the journey that a diagnosis of cancer necessarily takes you on. Cancer is not a word that anyone wants to hear coming out of their doctor's mouth. But for me, once I received the diagnosis, I wanted to wholeheartedly be present for the ride.

"The other theme is about the power of visualizations and trusting your imagination to provide you with what you may need at any given time. I found that when I relaxed deeply, and gave my imagination free rein, I was able to provide energy, comfort, whimsy, and healing to myself. And very importantly I gave myself a sense of control in circumstances that are necessarily sterile and can be very frightening. Although many people who undergo treatment for cancer feel that they need to summon the 'warrior' within, the imagery I used during treatment was motivated by joy and humor and it worked beautifully.

"My hope is that whatever stage your cancer is in, visualizations may ease your way as they did mine, and help you to heal through surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. These visions lifted me out of what could have been a sterile medical experience, full of fear and uncertainty, into a fertile, creative, warm, and safe state of mind where I gave myself a kinder sort of control over my situation. Every time I lay down on the treatment table, I imagined my wheat-colored fields of gratitude and acceptance. With tall grass beneath my feet and my arms outstretched, I called for the comfort and companionship of my body's own little band of healers."

Wendy chose to embrace the journey that breast cancer would take her on, and approach the process with positive energy, peaceful thoughts, and joy. She allowed herself to relax deeply and let her imagination create colorful characters that strengthened her and helped her deal with the sterile hospital environment, radiation, and, most importantly, fear. Wendy shares these images in JOY IS A PLUM COLORED ACROBAT: 45 Life Affirming Visualizations for Breast Cancer Treatment and Recovery (Harmony Books, September 28, 2004), a full color book combining her whimsical images with a clear, encouraging guide through the process. The forty exquisite illustrations by Simona Mulazzani are a perfect complement to Burton's graceful prose, and truly distinguish this volume from any other book in the marketplace.

About the Author
Wendy Burton has worked in the publishing industry for 27 years. She was vice president of sales and marketing and eventually named associate publisher of Stewart, Tabori and Chang, and worked at Simon & Schuster for more than twelve years, as a sales rep in Northern California, national accounts manager, and associate publisher for both Prentice Hall and Poseidon. She is a freelance literary agent, a book designer, and a photographer.
Joy Is a Plum Colored Acrobat is her first book. She lives with her husband in Red Hook, New York

Joy Is a Plum Colored Acrobat
45 Life Affirming Visualizations for Breast Cancer Treatment and Recovery
by Wendy Burton
Illustrations by Simona Mulazzani
Harmony Books / September 28, 2004

To Purchase:
   • Joy is a Plum Colored Acrobat at
   • Joy is a Plum Colored Acrobat at Amazon UK
   • Joy is a Plum Colored Acrobat at Amazon Canada


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