I met this lovely lady through a blog tour invitation, and I already adore her! Her message of hope and healing for women dealing with cancer is so very timely. After my own breast cancer scare, I have a deeper love and concern for women battling with this disease, so I'm delighted to kick of the tour for "Have A Heartful of Hope".
Now, let me kick off this blog tour by introducing you to the author behind the book, Yvonne Ortega!
1. Recently I received the phone call from the radiologist that something “was not right” in my mammogram, and I know the feeling I had after that phone call. What counsel can you offer the woman who has received the call?
I would advise her to have all possible views of a mammogram done and also have an ultra sound. Most types of breast cancer show up on a mammogram, but some do not. I took a friend with me when I had both a mammogram and an ultra sound. The mammogram didn’t show anything. However, after the ultra sound, the doctor told me he couldn’t rule out cancer and recommended that I see my surgeon as soon as possible. My friend stood by me and offered support, encouragement, and prayer.
2. Your book is titled Hope for the Journey through Cancer. Can you briefly tell my readers why you believe we can have hope when we have been diagnosed with cancer?
We can have hope because God loves us and has promised never to leave us or forsake us. Prayer support from family and friends provides nuggets of hope on a daily basis. Each day is a gift, and Scripture overflows with hope. In the Old Testament, two people stand out. The first one is Joseph. God took him from the pit of slavery to the palace as second in authority only to Pharaoh. The second one is Job. He lost everything he had, but he remained faithful. God blessed him with twice as much as he had lost. In the New Testament, Paul endured hardships of all kinds but wrote thirteen books of the New Testament. In God’s economy, nothing is wasted. God can also let good come from our circumstances no matter how grim they seem. That’s hope.
3. What is the first thing you recommend a woman or man does when receiving a cancer diagnosis?
I recommend that the person call a family member or friend right away and not carry the burden alone. I always think of the child who said, “I want God with skin on when I’m afraid.” God can use our family members and friends to minister to us. When I received my diagnosis, I called a dozen local friends before I found one at home. I left a voice mail message for the others and asked them to pray. The one I reached went with me a few hours later to the doctor to discuss surgery. I’m glad I didn’t go alone because I felt numb and didn’t remember much of what the surgeon said.
4. How are you doing in your health today?
On January 19, 2008, I celebrated my seven-year anniversary of being cancer-free. I take vitamins and minerals, drink homemade carrot juice, and walk outside almost daily.
5. According to statistics, I will most likely have several readers who have either battled cancer or who have someone who is in the battle. What is the one thing you want them to take away from this book?
I want the readers to be honest with God. He knows what we’re thinking any way and longs to help us. He won’t be disappointed or fall off His throne if we experience fear, depression, or anger. These are normal emotions, and God won’t love us any less for being human. He made us with tear ducts, and it’s OK to cry.
God is our heavenly Father and loves us with an unconditional love. We can put Him to the test, and He will pass it.
6. As believers, what can we do for those who are in the battle against cancer that will help them the most?
Expect cancer patients, even Christians, to ride an emotional roller coaster. Listen to them without judging them. Send cards, post cards, or e-mail greeting cards. Make a meal for them and take it in a disposable container. Help with household chores and yard work. Buy groceries and run errands for them. Watch comedies together and laugh with them. Pray daily for them and share Scripture passages that encourage them.
Don’t tell those in the battle against cancer about the people you know who had cancer and died. Tell them about the ones who fought and lived.
7. Are there any other projects or websites you’d like to share with my readers?
My website at www.yvonneortega.com has a links page with several cancer links posted. On my website, Stepping Stones for Survival is my blog which has other tips for cancer patients, their families, friends and caregivers and information on Relay for Life, a breast cancer survivors’ retreat, cancer support groups, and other related topics.
I am a contributing author to the book, The Embrace of a Father, Bethany House, 2006. The chapter I wrote, It’s Part of Life, is about my father’s unconditional love for my mother who has Alzheimer’s and how his care and devotion remind me of our heavenly Father’s love for us.
My thanks to Yvonne for graciously allowing me to interview her, and for following God's leading to write this book. Visit her website by clicking here. Purchase a copy of her book, Hope for the Journey Through Cancer by clicking here.
Soon I'll be posting a review, and offering a giveaway...so be watching!!