Writing through pain: A cancer survivor guides patients with pen and paper

Sharon Bray, a breast cancer survivor, has led other cancer patients and survivors in “expressive writing” workshops for more than 15 years.

In 2013, Lynn Scozzari was staring at a photo of a naked woman seated on a rock, her arms thrust open to a valley below. Scozzari herself was seated at a table with fellow cancer patients and survivors in a conference room at Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla, Calif.

They were part of a writing group, and their assignment was to write about one of the many black-and-white photos spread across the table.

“The photo spoke to me, and I was able to express something inside of me,” said Scozzari, who was recovering from stage 4 breast cancer. “The group helped me open up.”

Scozzari credits the group’s organizer, Sharon Bray, for that. Bray, a woman in her early 70s with a soft, gray bob and wire-framed glasses, has led cancer patients and survivors in “expressive

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