Mammograms, Mastectomies, and a Spiritual Makeover

16 Jan

Some stories insist on being told.

Whether we want to tell them or not.

Some of you know that I am a writer. I write stories for children. Happy stories. When I got cancer, someone suggested that I write about my experience. But I wasn’t so sure about that. Cancer stories don’t always have happy endings.

I did, however, start keeping a few notes on my computer about my experience with cancer. It was a half-hearted attempt. I didn’t back up the notes or print them out, and when my computer died, I figured that would be the end of having to write any cancer book.

I was wrong.

The story started writing itself in my head. Not just random thoughts — but entire chapters and even a table of contents. It was driving me crazy. Finally, with my brother’s encouragement, I sat down (at my new computer) and started typing — just to get the words out of my head.

In no time at all, I wrote the first three chapters. Then, halfway through the fourth chapter, I abruptly stopped. Reliving one of the worst experiences of my life was too painful. I couldn’t do it. And for a whole year the story lay untouched and forgotten.

Then at the start of a new school year, with the house all to myself, I sat down at the computer, ready to work on happy stories for children. But you know how I tend to be a bit OCD about housework? I’m the same way about my computer. I like the files to be organized all nice and neatly. And so it bothered me to have that breast cancer story just sitting there, incomplete and out of place, on my computer. As my finger hovered over the delete key, I hesitated. I thought maybe I should take one last look at the story before getting rid of it.

An hour or so later, I was still reading that cancer story, and when I reached the point where I had stopped writing, I simply started typing again. Without ever making a conscious decision to do so, I spent the next few months finishing my story.

Because some stories insist on being told.

It’s not a story about me, really. It’s a story about God and the love that He lavishes upon us when we are frightened and hurting. You see, the amazing thing about having your life turned upside down by cancer, or any other crisis, is that God stays so wonderfully close. He sees our tears. He feels our pain. He knows our heartache.

If you’d like to hear more about God’s incredibly amazing love, I invite you to read my story. It’s called — Mammograms, Mastectomies, and a Spiritual Makeover.

Available for presale ordering beginning Monday January 17, 2011 at under “Featured Books.”


5 Responses to “Mammograms, Mastectomies, and a Spiritual Makeover”

  1. bobbiejayne January 17, 2011 at 5:39 am #

    hi jill. what wonderful news. congratulations on finishing your book. i plan to buy it asap. when will it be for sale? hugs and love from bobbiejayne.

    • jillnogales January 17, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

      Hi Bobbiejayne,

      Thank you for your kind words. I’m excited too!
      The book’s official release date is Feb. 28th. At that time it will be available from most on-line retailers (such as and It will also be available in book stores, although they might not have it in stock all the way in Rhode Island! If that’s the case, just ask the book store to order the book for you.

      From Jan. 17 till Feb. 28 the publisher is offering a presale. During this time, the book can be ordered directly from the publisher ( for a discounted price. All books ordered during the presale will be shipped during the week of Feb. 28th.

      Thanks for asking about my book.

      Big, big hugs to you too!

  2. Janet Lea January 19, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. I’m ordering this book. Love you! Janet

  3. writergirldreams January 20, 2011 at 11:55 pm #

    Although I wish it was on a different subject matter, like something really glorious and happy… Me too, me too! Where is my copy? I am so thrilled about this Jill, and so proud of you! I can’t wait to get mine. How will I have you sign it though????? I can’t have one without you signing it for me. It takes courage and transparency and guts and commitment to write about probably the biggest challenge of your life. I’m so proud of you and happy to call you Sister and friend. Woo hoo!!!! wgd

  4. writergirldreams January 27, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    I ordered mine today, how you gonna sign it? Can you have your peeps talk to my peeps about that? 🙂 hug hug, wgd

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