Healer Becomes Heal-ee

Love Copyright 2013, Janet Hovde
Copyright 2013, Janet Hovde

On May 14, 2013, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This was followed by surgery, chemotherapy, reconstruction, occupational and physical therapy, etc. It has been a ridiculously hard process.  And I found out that I am deeply loved by so many people—who knew!  I have another surgery next week, which is the last planned procedure related to my diagnosis. My health is continuing to improve, and I have every reason to expect that I have a radiantly healthy, long, happy life ahead of me.  

During my treatment process, I have happily continued to do healing work with clients, though only by phone or email. My in-person massage-table client practice has been on hold. My energy level dipped, especially with chemo, and my studio time was cut way back. However, I discovered a new mode of expression. I have been writing haiku, and have found it to be an inexpensive and effective form of therapy. I am going to share some of my breast cancer diagnosis and recovery process through haiku in my blog, starting today. 

Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry which is typically 3 lines when written in English, a 5-syllable line, a 7-syllable line, and a 5-syllable line. I mistakenly wrote some of mine in a 7-5-7 format, but have left them that way. 

My ultrasound tech
Likes the dark at work so much,
She dims her home, too.
Unexpected biopsy.
No one said, “Are you okay?”
Shaking, I made my way home.
 I could not do it.
The MRI was too much.
The tech rubbed my sobbing back.

A haiku is a snapshot of an experience. I invite you to write a haiku about anything in your present experience. Share it here if you like. I will continue to share haiku about my breast cancer experiences in coming blog posts.


  1. Janet, thank you for beginning to write about your walk on the cancer road. And I love how your voice is expressed through poetry. My short walk on that road forever altered how I view life.
    Ruth Packard recently posted..What is Baseline?My Profile

  2. Welcome back Janet. It is so nice to see you back able to write and share. I love your new style of sharing through haiku writing about your experiences. Sending love and healing your way for your upcoming surgery and continued improvements with your radiantly healthy, long and happy life. Blessings! xoxo
    Suzanne McRae recently posted..Time in nature to fill my soul!My Profile

  3. Janet, so glad to hear you are on your healing way and that you are finding a new way to express your creativity. Be well!
    Sue recently posted..Comment on Colormixing vibrant colors in Watercolor by SueMy Profile

  4. Janet–though this is my first visit to your blog, I feel like I know you. I think you are beautiful. And wow, what experiential knowledge about healing. Thank you for your open heart and willingness to share your cancer project. (I have one too.) What a bright idea to shine light on your experience via Haiku snapshots. I send warmth and energy for continued healing.

    drip drip drip drip drip
    no hate no fighting no war
    loving every drip

    drips becoming hearts
    filled with healing love and hope
    a transformation

    xo to you, Janet
    Susan Michael Barrett recently posted..I chose my word: smile. Oh, and I’m keeping a list of my laugh attacks.My Profile

  5. Janet – so glad you are feeling up and getting back to blogging. Your openness and willingness to share is refreshing. Looking forward to reading more of your Haiku’s. Best to you, Julie

  6. I’m celebrating your continued healing into perfect health Janet, as well as your return to blogging. How brilliant of you to find a new creative outlet as you navigated these past months, and I’m so glad you’re sharing your wonderful haiku. All the best!

  7. Yes, creativity heals. Looking forward to getting to know you and your creativity.
    Linda Watson recently posted..A Gamp, A Shawl and A NotebookMy Profile

  8. Such deep emotion through so few words. Thank you for sharing, Janet, and blessings on your continued healing (or heal-ee) journey!
    Heather Koshiol recently posted..Share: Inviting Happiness into Our Lives NowMy Profile

  9. Janet, I’m so glad you’re blogging again. This is my first visit to your blog, and I am very glad to have met you. First, I want to honor you for your work as a healer and a heal-ee. I also went from healer to heal-ee in the past couple of years, and it was a very hard journey for me. Only now am I starting to do healing again for others. I am deeply impressed that you were able to continue sessions during treatment. Your haiku is beautiful. I’m looking forward to reading more. (PS I just saw, in looking through the rest of your site, that you’re interested in the relationship between art and intuition. So am I! It’s one of my areas of passion right now, especially when related to intuitive animal communication. Looking forward to connecting with you on this someday!)
    Harmony Harrison recently posted..Climbing a Dune in the Brilliant Light, then Curling Up in the Shadow: an explosion of joyous photos and an exploration of restMy Profile

    • Harmony, Nice to meet you! I look forward to seeing more of your stunning photos and learning more about you in your blog.

  10. So glad you are here
    Sharing yourself with others
    Full of life and love.

    Thank you for challenging me to write some haiku. It is the first time I have done so. ♥ Much love, blessings and peace to you, Janet! ♥

  11. Janet, our friend,
    Struggles with the diagnosis
    We try to support her.

    • Oh, you didn’t only try, Jan. You, and other friends, have been wonderfully supportive, and in ways I couldn’t even imagine! Thank you for writing and posting your haiku.

  12. You have found a way,
    To gracefully share your pain
    With pure truth in words.
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  1. […] about with a new diagnosis, in my case, of breast cancer.  Here I continue to share my process, started here a few weeks ago, of capturing moments of my journey in […]

  2. […] own haiku (3 lines: 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables) about the topic of your choice. See Healer Becomes Heal-ee for more description about my process of using this form of poetry to process my breast cancer […]

  3. […] Healer Becomes Heal-ee for more information about using this form of poetry to process my breast cancer […]

  4. […] you are new to my blog, see Healer Becomes Heal-ee for the first of my weekly posts sharing haiku related to breast cancer recovery. If you like, leave […]

  5. […] your own haiku (3 lines: 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables) about the topic of your choice. See Healer Becomes Heal-ee for more description about my process of using this form of poetry to process my breast cancer […]

  6. Embodiment says:

    […] after my breast cancer diagnosis last May, I wrote healing statements for myself: I choose life. I am clear about my next steps to […]

  7. […] postings started here. I invite you to write your own haiku (3 lines: 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables) and/or share […]

  8. […] you’ve been reading my blog, you know I’ve been using haiku as a part of my journey of healing from breast cancer (and its treatment!) I thought I’d give you a brief tutorial on writing […]

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