An Interview with Ronnie Hammer

by Babette Bergner
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The diagnosis of Breast Cancer is a terrifying one that we all hope we will never hear. But it happens to some people; it happened to Ronnie Hammer. How do you go on and manage the disease and the treatments? The fear is paralyzing. The loneliness is staggering.

Discover Ronnie’s visualization technique that combats the terrible feelings of isolation and being alone during the treatments.

En Garde reveals and discusses a visualization technique she used that brought her feelings of comfort, companionship and courage.

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  • Ronnie, En Garde is a brave book to have written. Can you remember what drew you to the subject?

I remember very clearly what drew me to the subject.  When visualization was so helpful during my own crisis I started sharing the story with others.  As I did, many recipients suggested that I write to share it with others.

  • Did you realize what approach you intended to use?

The approach I used was telling the story from the beginning, as there were parts of the treatments that were unknown tome and that caused more fear than was necessary.  I wanted others going through this experience to be forewarned and prepared.

  • There’s a sense of anger as well as sadness at the lack of explanation offered to you.  Did you want to alert others faced with similar choices, remain “on guard,” so to speak?

I did not feel anger for the lack of explanation offered to me. I realize that there are two schools of thought about how much information to give to patients.  I prefer to be aware of what to expect, but that knowledge might cause more anxiety in others.  Some procedures sound worse than they turn out to be.

  • Visualization offered you a unique approach to managing the stress of treatment. Please explain why you found this method so important.

My discovery of visualization was extremely helpful to me because it provided a warm feeling of companionship and emotional support.  The isolation one feels in a radiation treatment room can be overwhelming, as it was to me. Feeling a presence gave me the courage and strength to tolerate the treatments. I did not feel not alone.

  • The methods and suggestions you offer can transfer to facing any trauma.  Did you realize these extra benefits?

Yes, the benefits of visualization do transfer to other unwanted situations. I found the technique important to get through other traumatic situations. We all want to be stress-free, and anything that helps us toward this goal is worth trying.

  • You often thanked the members of your Madison Group of WWW. Would you bespecific?

Thanks to many valuable critiques, I now eliminate unnecessary words and meaningless descriptions.

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