Monday, March 10, 2008

Hope for the Journey Through Cancer - Yvonne Ortega

We're talking about a nonfiction book today.

You are writing nonfiction. Do you also write fiction?

No, I don’t.

What would you like for our readers to know about you personally?

I’m an extrovert and love to laugh. Since I’m a “winter,” I prefer the deep vibrant colors for my wardrobe. I’m 5’ tall, but remember that diamonds and dynamite come in small packages.

Tell us about your family.

I am divorced. I have one son who is grown up and lives on his own. He insists I drink a lot of water daily and abstain from red meat. I do both. My parents inspire me to exercise every day and stay fit. If they can at their age, so can I. My younger brother and I both share a love for music.

Have you written other nonfiction books?

I am a contributing author to the book The Embrace of a Father, Bethany House 2006. The title of the chapter I wrote is It’s Part of Life, which tells about how my father’s care of my mother who has Alzheimer’s reminds me of my heavenly Father’s care for us. The more I need God, the more closely He hovers.

What other books have you written, and where can the readers of the blog find them?

I haven’t written any other books yet, but they are floating around in my head. How I wish I had more time to write.

Do you have any other books in the works right now?

I am working on one for people with habits that are not in their best interest.

We all need to read that. Where on the Internet can the readers find you?

My website is at

What kinds of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?

Reading is one of my hobbies. The Bible is my favorite book. I participated in the Bible Memory Association for seven years and in Awana Club for two years. When I walk five-seven days a week, I review my Bible memory verses. I’ve been a children’s leader in Bible Study Fellowship and taught Sunday school and Precept Bible studies.

I enjoy the beach. I feel restored after walking at least two or three miles on the beach early in the morning and again late in the afternoon. The sound of the waves refreshes me and stirs up my creativity. I have lots of beach toys and make sand castles and collect shells.

I relax as I work in my garden. The kid in me loves to play in the dirt and splash water everywhere. I plant flowers in all different colors and for the various seasons, so that I can feast on yellow mums in the fall, yellow and purple pansies in the winter, and Mexican heather, Blue Hawaii, portulucca in the confetti mix, red or hot pink super tunias, and geraniums in an assortment of colors in the summer. I also have perennials I planted years ago.

How I love music. The only way I can motivate myself to clean house is to listen to praise and worship music. I grew up with classical music and took piano lessons eleven years. I listen to classical music and easy-listening music at work. I also play the keyboard and the autoharp and sing while I work in the house or in my garden. I play the piano monthly for the Sunday morning worship service at a local retirement center.

The few times it snows in Virginia, I throw snowballs at the neighbors and make snowmen and angels in the snow. When it rains, I like to put on my knee high boots and splash in the puddles.

Why did you write the featured book?

I wanted a book full of Scripture, prayer, and hope. I also wanted one that with honesty and boldness would address the emotional roller coaster that cancer patients, even Christian ones, ride.

What do you want the reader to take away from the book?

I want the reader 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 has promised never to leave us or forsake us. We can put Him to the test, and He will pass it.

Thank you, Yvonne, for spending this time with us.

Readers, if you want to win a free copy of the book, leave a comment.


Anonymous said...

Greetings from Yvonne Ortega,
I pray that you will overflow with hope,no matter what you face.
Love & Prayers,
Romans 15:13

Jenni Saake said...

Since my father-in-law was recently diagnosed with cancer, would love to have this book.

Anonymous said...

Love the interview and learned a lot more about you, Yvonne. The book must be awesome. Haven't read it yet, but it sounds great, and I know you're well qualified both by life experience and as a psychologist.


Abi B said...

Oh, I'd love to win this book. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. So I've been trying to find books for her. What a wonderful gift this would be to her. She loves to read nonfiction.

ChristyJan said...

Please enter me.

Anonymous said...

Hope -- a word every pain-filled soul needs to hear. May your messages, faith and honesty touch every reader, Yvonne.

Love and prayers,
Rev Jeanne Breden

Anonymous said...

I am a breast cancer survivor and have read Yvonne's book. It is an excellent source of hope, comfort and courage! I highly recommend it for patients and loved ones alike.
Thank you, Yvonne, for sharing God's love with us through your book.
Karen Schlender

Dawn Michelle Michals said...

What a touching and much-needed book. God is using you, Yvonne. Keep up His good work. :o)

God bless!

Dawn Michelle Michals

Betsy said...

I know someone who is not a believer and going through cancer right now. This book might help her!