Welcome, Marianne McDonough to chat on the couch. It is a great pleasure to meet you.
My couch is located on a desert island where we can get away from the hustle and bustle and get down to the real nitty-gritty things of life.
Marianne – Thank you for inviting me, Margaret.
Wow, you have supplied me with 14 answers! Looks like we might be here a while folks. I hope you all have your cups of tea/coffee and plenty of toast. Sit back and enjoy readers, here is Marianne McDonough.
On my desert island…
Who would you like to be marooned with and why?
Marianne – Pope Francis. Not only is he fascinating, he has the biggest fan base of anyone in the world, and I’m sure millions of people would keep looking for him until they found him.
Smart move there as you would be picked up too. So long as his security team didn’t think you had kidnapped him!
Feel free to have a drink of water Marianne, I don’t want you drying out.
You don’t normally have luxuries on a desert island but…
What luxury would you like to have washed up on the beach?
Marianne – A cell phone with unlimited coverage.
I think that is cheating a bit. And I’m not sure there would be any signal out here. Besides we are chilling, so I’m sorry no cell phones.
Would you like a teacake?
Let’s talk about books..
What book would you crave to read (you already have the bible, so please pick another book)?
Marianne – Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson, the only book I’ve ever read eight times but will probably read at least another eight times.
Anyone got a cell phone so that I can look this up? Oops, I said no cell phones. That means you will have to google it yourselves readers if you haven’t come across this book.
What about your book?
Can you tell me what favourite sentence you like from your most recent published book?
Marianne – “Eagles can teach us about storms. When cancer pounds against us, when we feel alone, when it’s time to confront the storm, ride the wind, and own the sky, we can say to ourselves, “I have the wings for this.”
That is beautiful and especially poignant to me as I love the song, On Eagles Wings. “And He will raise you up on Eagles Wings, Bear you on the breath of dawn, Make you to shine like the sun, And hold you in the palm of His Hand.” The song lifted me up at a very painful time in my life.
If you could be one of your characters which would it be and why?
Marianne – Someday I’ll write a fiction book and would like to create a character whose love for God inspires people to want to know Him for themselves.
I’m sure it will be a wonderful story.
You are allowed to invite another person to stay with you on the desert island, which of your characters would you choose and why?
Marianne – Again, since my book is nonfiction, I’ll do something a little different. If I could invite anyone from the Bible to join me (other than Jesus, Who would be first, of course), I would probably choose Deborah. In biblical times, women rarely ascended to the level of dignity and influence that she had. She must have been an extraordinary human being.
I think Deborah was too and an inspiration to us all. I like reading about the women of the Bible. They make great role models.
I know you like writing but do you have another passion?
Marianne – I love to dance.
It keeps you fit so I hear. I have two left feet so try to avoid it in public!
We have to talk about food, are you sure you don’t want a teacake?
What food would you miss the most being on a desert island?
Marianne – Peanut butter, nutritious and good with bananas. I’m assuming there are bananas on my island.
Oh yes, plenty of bananas, coconuts, mangos, papaya, guava, and passion fruit. I’m sure you will be able to make a tropical fruit salsa to go with the fish you catch.
You are allowed one favourite meal on the island what would it be?
Marianne – Thanksgiving dinner with my family, if possible.
Why not, airlift the whole family in and the Pope can say the blessing.
Let’s move on..
You are given one wish, but there is a clause which means you can only ask to be an animal. What creature would you like to be?
Marianne – Definitely a dolphin. They’re smart, beautiful, engaging, communicative, and courageous. I’ve been blessed to experience two swim sessions with dolphins, and both times were inspiring.
Now that is cool. I’d like to do that. It must have been a wonderful experience and to get to do it twice, fabulous.
As you explore the island..
You find a piece of paper with a pencil left behind from the previous Author who was shipwrecked here, what encouraging message would you leave for the next cast away?
Marianne – “How many times did you pray for a writing vacation? Well, here it is! Enjoy.”
I love this answer Marianne 🙂
You find a rowing boat hidden in a cave, what name would you paint on it and why?
Marianne – “The Big Picture”—I often remind myself that my life and everything that happens to me is part of God’s infinite and omniscient plans. No matter the circumstances (even a desert island visit), everything and everyone derives meaning from that all-encompassing goal called His will, culminating in an ultimate event when all of His purposes will be completed, every knee will bow to Jesus, and all the nations and created creatures will in one accord exclaim exuberant praise. I love Revelation 5:13. It gives perspective to my life.
Sounds like a brilliant name for a boat and I love your reason behind choosing it.
During your time on the island..
You have time to think, can you tell me why you decided to become a writer?
Marianne – One of my favorite attributes of God is His creativity. When I write, I feel as though I have the privilege of knowing Him a little more, and I always dedicate writing time to His glory. As soon as I begin to type, even though hours may pass, I feel as though it’s suddenly time to stop. I might be alone in my office, but I’m never lonely. The words seem subdued in 12-point fonts but extravagant in my soul, sometimes playing hide and seek with my brain. I’m excited that something so small on a computer screen could someday connect to readers I haven’t ever met.
It certainly is a privilege to write for others but above all to spend time writing in the presence of God.
It’s time to leave the island..
In order to leave, you have to describe your main character in five words, can you tell me what they would be?
Marianne – Since my book is nonfiction, if it’s okay with you, I’ll quote my subtitle, “What you believe determines your journey.”
That is a great closing statement – it could become a rule of life.
Well there you have it, Marianne has given us food for thought through her book and in her willingness to share more of her musings on my couch today. Thank you, Marianne McDonough, the pleasure has been all mine.
This interview was brought to you by Margaret Kazmierczak author of “How to Make Victoria Sponge” And a contributor to Heart”wings” devotional.
Click here to purchase your copy!
About the Book
Book: Beating Cancer: One Truth at a Time
Author: Marianne C McDonough
Genre: Non-fiction, health and disease
Release Date: November 6, 2018
Like eagles soaring above a storm, cancer patients tackle an unpredictable disease. To navigate the turmoil, they must dispel the myths surrounding cancer, understand the facts, and determine how they want their journey to look. Armed with their convictions, they can create a path that achieves maximum health and gives them peace. Although support helps, ultimately, they must make their own decisions.
This book is about choices and the beliefs from which those choices emerge.
Beating Cancer One Truth at a Time encourages patients to:
- Confront cultural myths about cancer
- Clarify their own truths
- Proactively plan treatment and prehab activities
- Acquire positive and hopeful mindsets
- Create a vision worth fighting for
- Develop cancer smarts for survivorship
Designed for self-reflection and/or group discussion, Beating Cancer One Truth at a Time guides readers toward empowerment and freedom for a journey they never wanted but have to master.
About the Author
Journalist and author of award-winning 8 Steps to Getting Real with Cancer, Marianne C McDonough believes the way to beat cancer is one truth at a time. She tells patients, “This is your journey. You’re the best person to lead it.” A cancer survivor since 2012, Marianne wants patients to assess the hard questions cancer presents and discover their own truths. She understands patients are stressed, anxious, and exhausted. From her personal experience, she offers a straight-forward book that inspires hope. A Minnesota native, Marianne enjoys lake activities at her cabin with her family, musicals, baseball, bridge, dancing, and walking through the woods or a nearby park.
Guest Post from Marianne C McDonough
Why did I write this book?
Because I’ve battled cancer, and I know what it’s like to face mortality, fall to my knees, and fight an enemy that has lodged itself in my own body.
Cancer changed me. I don’t know how anyone goes through it without changing. The initial sense of powerlessness is overwhelming. It challenged me to the core. I remember learning words, concepts, treatments, statistics, prognoses, and a myriad of data I had never even heard before.
I was tired and confused. But I was also angry with cancer and determined to beat it.
You’re going through the hardest part
Right after I was diagnosed, trying to figure out what to do, I went to a class at my oncology center because I wanted to talk to other cancer patients. When I introduced myself and said I had just been diagnosed, the other patients said something I didn’t expect and can now affirm, “You’re going through the hardest part.”
They were right, and as a survivor for six years, I am writing what I wish I could have found during that initial period of cancer. I didn’t have time for long books or theoretical treatises, so I tried to find short, practical, quick-read books that would give me solid tips for the journey. And I wanted someone to encourage me in simple, no-nonsense terms that I even had a future. But I couldn’t find those books.
Most of all, I needed a gut-level confidence that cancer was not in charge of my life because cancer lies to patients and pompously declares, “From now on I’ll make all your decisions about what you’re going to do, when, and for how long.”
Cancer thrives on myths
Cancer thrives on myths, misconceptions, and fear. Our best weapons are counteracting truths based on reliable data, firm convictions based on faith, and hope based on clarity of vision.
My first book 8 Steps to Getting Real with Cancer was released in 2016 and won the Midwest Book Award in the health division. I geared that book towards patients and those who love them. This second book evolved because my oncologist suggested my approach would work well for support groups. Since 8 Steps was primarily narrative, I decided to write a second book that could be read or discussed, even journaled if desired. Imagining a one-on-one conversation with my readers, I focused more on cancer myths and specifically addressed patients, although family and friends can surely benefit as well.
Finding your own truths
Beating Cancer One Truth at a Time isn’t about me or my journey. It’s about patients finding their own truths in their own way to beat cancer on their own terms. The subtitle states the main premise of the book: what you believe determines your journey.
If you are a cancer patient and you are discovering this book today, please know that the fight is worth it. You can do this. Let’s believe together for a journey you can be proud of.
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