How to Improve Life with Chronic Illness:
Healing and Purpose

This page shares a guest article about one inspiring lady's healing journey with chronic illness, and the important part played by the cultivation of a sense of purpose.

Over to Cam Auxer to share about her journey and her collaborative book.

Stories of chronic illness healing book collaboration

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Chronic Illness from the Get-Go

As a child, I had asthma, allergies and pain. As the years went by, other chronic conditions crept in that occasionally hindered and bothered me but didn’t stop me. 

It wasn’t until I had three heart attacks over eight days, lost my short-term memory for two months, developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and was diagnosed with a rare disease that my life stopped in its tracks. 

I dove into a dark funk, plastered to my bed or recliner for days at a time, life feeling hopeless and meaningless.

Things went up and downhill for a few years before I finally had enough of my negativity, the isolation and everyone’s judgement.  I could either totally collapse into myself or make the best out of a bad situation.

Coming Out of the Funk

I began to blog on a website called
Connecting with others who were ill helped curb the feeling of isolation and was enormously reassuring.  I received positive feedback about my blogs, so in 2012 I started my own website called Pajama Daze (

Pajama Daze began as “my” blog but became richer with guests sharing wisdom and insight, and new sections featuring art, creating income, resources, book reviews and entertainment.  Pajama Daze became a hit and soon received nominations for awards.
The biggest reward, however, was the sense of purpose that it gave me.

When Bodies Break

After 10 years of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I suddenly found myself in an inexplicable remission in 2015!  I decided to put together a book featuring Pajama Daze contributors. That sense of purpose again! 

Our collaboration produced the book When Bodies Break: How We Survive and Thrive with Illness and Disability.  Published in December 2018, it features people in four countries with a spectrum of conditions and situations, telling their unique stories while highlighting the common experiences we share. 

The book includes advice on the following

  • self-care,
  • navigating the medical system,
  • finding passion and purpose,
  • a bountiful reading list
  • the Take-Charge Patient Tool Kit (courtesy of Martine Ehrenclou). 

During the second day of promotion, the book hit #22 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in Health and continues to receive five-star reviews!  It’s available on Amazon in paperback, e-book and audiobook.


During the summer of 2018, in the midst of preparing the book for publication, I relocated to New England, learning that same day about my sister’s suicide after being denied pain medication. 
Two weeks later, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. 
Completing the book was a healing process as I mourned my sister and killed my cancer.
After a year of treatments and surgery, I’m cancer-free but the post-treatment fatigue rivals Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. 
Hopefully it will subside.

Moving Forward

This year I started a new website, Live Well with Chronic Illness to promote the book When Bodies Break and showcase products and information for people with chronic illness and explore types of passive income. 

I am currently trying my hand at affiliate marketing and sharing my experiences. 
I also want to start a Reiki practice, officiate weddings and housesit to create income, doing things I enjoy that aren’t physically demanding. 
I’m learning to paint and play music, too.  That sense of purpose keeps me moving forward!

Even if you are bed-bound, it’s important to have a sense of purpose, if only to meet a goal of sitting up or listening to an audiobook or writing a poem.  Purpose is a healer on so many levels.

chronic illness healing book collaboration

 Click to buy When Bodies Break:  How We Survive with Illness and Disability
All royalties go to autoimmune research

Back to Katherine:
Dear Cameron, it has been a delight to 'know' you a little via twitter over the years and to get to know you a little more through this article.
Huge congratulations on the achievement of the book and the websites.
Thank you so much for sharing your healing journey with us on
And I wish you health both within and beyond illness.

I wish all you reading this a sense of joyful purpose in your life :-)

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© Katherine T Owen. All articles on this website are copyrighted. I am delighted if you choose to click above to share this page on social media, but please do not copy, print or otherwise use without my permission. Thank you.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical practitioner. The articles on this website are not to be taken as medical advice. Please consult a medical practitioner as necessary.

Disclosure: On some pages, there are affiliate links, for example to Amazon. If you click and then buy within a certain time period, I will receive a small commission which goes towards the running of this healing website. Abundant thanks :-)