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Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer: 60 Inspirational Readings Paperback – September 1, 2010
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From the Back Cover
Cancer isn't the last word. Hope is.
When you've been diagnosed with breast cancer and you're in the midst of hospital visits and treatments, you may wonder, Where is God? Where is his love and mercy? Yvonne Ortega knows how you feel--she's a breast cancer survivor herself. Through sixty inspirational readings, she walks alongside you with encouragement and compassion gleaned from God's Word.
There will be triumphs and setbacks in this journey from diagnosis to recovery. But Ortega reminds you that even when it looks like you are alone, God is there every step of the way.
"A wonderfully honest and uplifting book. Those who walk through the valley of the shadow of cancer no longer have to travel alone."--Donna Partow, author, Becoming the Woman I Want to Be
"Yvonne Ortega's honesty will create a bond with readers and encourage them to face their own pain and fear armed with the 'Hope Builders' from God's Word that sustained her."--Marlene Bagnull, author, My Turn to Care
"Boldly honest, marvelously comforting, and desperately needed. Yvonne Ortega clearly and unashamedly brings the struggles and, yes, the joys of surviving cancer to light."--Louise Bergmann DuMont, author, Faith-Dipped Chocolate
"This book can help women as they go through their experience with cancer, but it's equally helpful for families and caregivers."--Cecil Murphey, coauthor, 90 Minutes in Heaven
Yvonne Ortega is a certified domestic violence and abuse counselor and a breast cancer survivor. She lives in Virginia.
About the Author
Yvonne Ortega is an eight-year cancer survivor, a certified domestic violence and abuse counselor, and a member of the Virginia Board of Counseling. She lives in Virginia.
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Her book was written, not with the 20/20 hindsight that the passage of time allows but each devotional was penned right in the heat of battle. Yvonne takes the reader from the shock of the diagnosis, to the invasion of surgery, to the struggle to decide what treatment options to pursue, and finally, praise God, to recovery. Because she wrote each devotional right then, they convey the emotion, the desperation, and the sufficiency of God who walked with her every step of the way.
Over and over Yvonne, a single-again working woman, said yes to accepting her limitations, to overcoming pride and to asking for help and God supplied all her needs through friends and strangers alike. She said yes to letting her regularly cleaned house get cluttered. She said yes to wearing a surgical mask and gloves so that she could continue teaching during her treatment phase. She said yes to her emotions and allowed herself to cry, and this allowed friends, medical personnel, and fellow cancer warriors to embrace her and encourage her.
The things Yvonne learned through her journey through cancer have been proven true in her other journeys of suffering as well. After she recovered and was declared cancer free she lost both her mother and her only child unexpectedly within weeks of one another. The things that had helped during treatment -- Bible study, prayer, memory verses, a support group, praise and worship music, and a sense of humor -- continued to be the source of much comfort and healing.
On a trip to Alaska with her father after the loss of mother and son, Yvonne said another yes -- a big one. She said yes to enjoying life again. She also said yes to leaving her secure counselling job and to following the dream that God had placed in her heart many years earlier -- to be a writer and retreat speaker. God has taken Yvonne all over North America and beyond to speak and encourage and bring laughter and hope to people who experience loss. And boy does she have a resume! The school of hard knocks has prepared her well but God has redeemed it all and given her an infectious positive attitude coupled with the passion and drive to serve Him by serving others who need Him.
A popular speaker and certified counselor, Yvonne practiced the writer's version of "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." When life gave her cancer, she wrote a book. In fact, many of the sixty devotionals contained within the pages of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer were written during her treatment and recovery period.
The book's format makes it a perfect match for battle-weary soldiers facing their own cancer wars. Each devotional contains a "Hope Builder" (a single Scripture verse or brief passage), key verse (quoted in full for easy reference), and one- to two-page devotional that ends with a brief prayer. Since the book moves chronologically through the author's personal cancer journey, readers will identify with many of the emotions, experiences, and challenges she faces along the way.
Yvonne's performed a great service in the brief yet meaningful format of each piece. Readers can read a little--and gain a lot. The book's primary strength, however, lies in the transparency the author brings to her subject. Writers--especially those who write from the perspective of faith--can fall prey to the temptation to make ourselves appear godly, righteous, and holier-than-thou. Ms. Ortega's honesty about her moments of despair and days of doubt both endear her to her readers and add credence to the biblical, practical wisdom she shares.
Because of Jesus, there is hope for your journey through breast cancer. Because of Yvonne Ortega, there is an attractive, thoughtful, and personal way to find it.
Each reading begins with a scripture and ends with a short prayer. The author writes with openness and honesty about her fears, disappointments and struggles along the way. She also opens up a full picture of how a cancer diagnosis can change your day to day routine of living. The readings show honest frustration with losses of independence due to physical limitations after surgery and during treatment but at the same time are balanced with growing thankfulness for the love and care that God surrounded her with from friends, family, co-workers and health care workers.
Yvonne Ortega has given cancer patients a great gift in the writing of this little book. I would highly recommend it as a gift to be given to anyone who is currently dealing with breast cancer, particularly those who are newly diagnosed.
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