twelve weeks

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Harvard Medical School Center for Health and the Global Environment, March 2012 Newsletter

Karen Lee Sobol, an accomplished artist, describes her journey through treatment for a rare life-threatening blood disease with eloquence, wit, and occasional tears. She opted for aggressive experimental therapy at a leading cancer center, and combined it with a holistic approach to achieve wonderful results. Karen Lee’s narrative is warm, insightful, inspirational and skillfully illustrated with her own artwork. Twelve Weeks is sure to benefit patients, family members, physicians, and nurses as it successfully conveys a message of healing, humanity, and hope.

Marvin J. Stone, MD
Baylor Sammons Cancer Center
Dallas, Texas

Twelve Weeks is a true account of the power of the mind-body connection and one artist’s journey to become cancer-free. This is an amazing story of how the force of inner strength and belief in one’s intention changes a person’s physical being—one that validates the connection between our physical embodiment and the spirituality of life, willpower, courageous steadiness, and the commitment to self-care. Karen Lee Sobol’s journey will teach you to take charge of your own life... regardless of the obstacle.

Ellen Comerford
Reiki Master and Owner, Core de Vie Wellness Center
Boston, Massachusetts

Karen Lee Sobol's Twelve Weeks paints a vivid portrait of Karen Lee Sobol’s journey into the world of cancer survivorship. Using elegant and at times humorous prose, not one to mince words or gloss over difficult and highly personal passages, Karen Lee’s hon­est and heartfelt writing leads us through the symphony of emotions experienced by anyone who has ever received a diagnosis of cancer. Beginning with the somber sonata of disbelief and fear, followed by the slow but steady development of increased self-realization and courageous determination, and finally ending in victorious and joyous celebration—in this wonderful book of love and compassion, Karen Lee hits all the right notes!

Guy Sherwood, MD, FAACP, FCFP
IWMF Board of Directors Trustee,Cancer Survivor
Muncie, Indiana

Twelve Weeks is a must for all physicians, nurses, and other medical personnel. It places the reader in the “shoes” of the patient. One feels that he is with Karen Lee Sobol during the tests and treatments. Medical personnel must realize that most patients are unfamiliar with medical terminology and it must be “translated” for the patient. Diagnostic procedures, tests, and various treatments need to be explained to the patient so that they are understood. This would go a long way in reducing patients’ anxiety and make diagnosis and treatment less frightening.

Robert A. Kyle, MD
Professor of Medicine, Laboratory Medicine & Pathology, Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minnesota

When doctors care for patients, they learn from them. Karen Lee Sobol's story is personal, as well as an insight into Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia. It should be required reading for all doctors who listen to their patients.

Fred H. Hochberg, MD
Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts

I stayed up all night making my way through the labyrinth of fears, questions, and resolve that Karen Lee Sobol’s diagnosis occasioned, and then found myself following her (and her family’s) brave journey through the underworld of treatment and its aftermath—and finally to the breathtaking clarity of 0.0.
As a fellow artist and teacher, I am so moved at the way Karen Lee chronicles her treatment and celebrates her recovery through her art. In an intense and accessible personal visual journey, she acknowledges and shares her fears and hurdles, as her brush and pen transform the “stuff of treatment” into a light at the end of the tunnel.

Annie Zeybekoglu, Artist
Senior Faculty in Visual Arts, Lexington High School,
Lexington, Massachusetts

When I read Twelve Weeks I could not put it down and read it in one seating. I laughed, I cried, I pitied, and I rejoiced with Karen Lee Sobol throughout the entire book. Her honesty in expressing her emotions was heart-felt. The artwork is part and parcel of the book. May KarenLee’s life be filled with love, joy, and health!

Stephanie A. Gregory, MD
Professor of Medicine and Director, Section of Hematology
Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois

Twelve Weeks should be required reading for all medical students. Karen Lee Sobol has been able to share an experience that illustrates the significance of the patient-physician relationship and the importance of respect and communication between patients and healthcare providers. This is a book of trust, confidence, and respect. As a healthcare executive, I am impressed with Karen Lee’s desire to explore every conceivable avenue in the treatment of what was initially characterized as an incurable disease. Twelve Weeks serves as a vision of hope for all patients, regardless of their diagnosis.

Thad Johnson
Executive Vice President (retired), All Saints Health System
Racine, Wisconsin

Working in diagnostics and research, it is very easy to become overly-focused on science. Twelve Weeks gives an enlightening view of diagnosis and treatment from a patient’s perspective. The brave and frank discussion about the effects that diagnosis and treatment had on Karen Lee Sobol and her family are a powerful reminder that everything we do, no matter how insignificant it may seem to us, has an effect on the patient and their family. Keeping this in mind is powerful motivation indeed!

Ruth de Tute, Advanced Biomedical Scientist
Haematological Malignancy Diagnostic Service, St James Hospital Leeds, England

As an oncologist, and having Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia myself, Twelve Weeks has been very interesting for me to read. Karen Lee Sobol appears as an extremely conscious and vivid person who managed to turn all her strength and mind into one purpose: fighting the cancer cells to become cancer-free. Her most important weapon was obviously to receive modern biomedical treatment by a highly professional medical team, but she also adopted alternative methods including regular meditation, positive thinking, and sound therapy. And she won!
Karen Lee’s success increases my firm belief that the strong connection between body and mind is important in healing cancer. I recommend this wonderful book to cancer patients, their relatives, doctors, and healthcare personnel. They will recognize feelings and reactions beautifully described, and I am sure they will be inspired and encouraged in their fight against cancer.

Eva Hoff Wanderås, MD, PhD
Specialist in Oncology, Oslo University Hospital
Oslo, Norway

Karen Lee Sobol’s Twelve Weeks combines western medicine with holistic alternative therapies. A synthesis of ancient wisdom and modern science resulted in her successful healing and freedom from a cancer considered to be incurable. Karen Lee’s healing journey will inspire and bring the light of hope to the many who feel helpless and doomed with this disease. What a gift this book brings to the individuals and families facing life and death choices. Thank you Karen Lee, for writing and sharing your amazing experience.

Kathleen Krantz, MS
Reiki Master and Theta Healing Practitioner
Eugene, Oregon