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Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Growing Through Pain: Author Interview with D.N. Grace

My author interview today is with D.N. Grace, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2016 when she was 28 years old. At the point of enrolling in her dream school for a master's degree in counseling. she found life taking her down a twisted and ugly path full of pain and frustration. And through it all, she achieved amazing growth beyond description. Her story shows how to hold onto faith during the darkest of times, how to search for hope, and how to understand the purpose of pain. 

Now let’s learn about her journey. 

What made you decide to share my cancer journey with the public?

During my journey with cancer pain, I was always looking for support. I was looking for someone I could relate to, someone who faced the same pain and the same challenges at my age. But, most of the stories and the books I found were mainly about being encouraged all the time. I needed someone who was telling the moments of despair and defeat alongside with encouragement. I felt the need to reflect the inner struggles cancer patients and their caregivers go through.

I needed to write something genuine to cancer survivors. I wanted my book to reflect the emotional roller coaster, the ups and the downs, the moments of courage and the moments of depression. I wanted the readers know they are not alone in having these feelings and it’s not unusual to have moments of weakness.

While I was sick, I heard a lot of comments about the concept of pain and why God is letting this happen to me. I was surprised with how much these comments contained a distorted understanding about God.

Had you written stories or books prior to this life-changing event?

No, I was just writing my diaries and some small articles. But I returned to my diary a lot during my book writing process.

What is the main focus of your book?

Your pain is not a waste. Not a wasted time of your life. Nor a wasted experience.

Before cancer, I had dreams and goals for my life. But cancer halted my plans. I used to consider my illness time a waste. But God used my pain to reshape me and to answer a lot of questions I had about Him. In God’s eyes, your life is more important and valuable than you think.

Who encouraged you to write your story?

 Almost all my family and friends encouraged me.  What really made me eager to start writing was a group of teenagers. I met them in a seminar when I did a speech about “ why did I have to go through pain.”

After the seminar I received more questions. They kept asking me if I wrote a book about my experience with pain to share it with their family members and friends who are facing pain and needed support.

What were your sources for support and guidance?

My most essential supporter and great guidance was the book of Job. Job is so real and authentic in his feelings, principles, and his way of thinking about God. I remember a time when my pain was indescribable, and I decided to read. Job was literally describing my pain and feelings. By frequently reading the book of Job I developed a different type of comfort no one else could give. This was a huge relief for me to know that someone had gone through what I felt.

Talking to my family and friends was also a great support, especially my brother he always knows how to encourage me when I feel down.

What do I want readers to take away from reading your book?

When I felt that losing my battle was not far from me, I started asking myself important questions about the purpose of life, my existence and my faith. I started searching with all my heart for honest answers.

My book comes from the prospective of a patient -- the one who is enduring the pain. It also shows the prospective of the caregivers, which was written by my husband my sister and my best friend. If you are enduring any kind of pain, either as a caregiver or someone who is facing hard times or tough circumstances, I encourage you to walk with me through this journey. You will be encouraged to re-direct your way of thinking and how you perceive life. And it will give you a reason to keep fighting your battle.

What was your writing process?

I already had some small articles and my diary which covered my raw feelings throughout this time. From there, I began to write my story in short chapters and added in what the caregivers wrote.

What do I know about writing and publishing now that I wished I had known sooner?

Writing is the easiest part in this process. Reaching your audience sometimes is much more important and more difficult than writing.

I wish that I had started marketing and pre-orders at least 3 months before publication. By starting early, you give yourself time to create awareness and excitement about your book.

Where are you now in your cancer journey?

I am in remission ️, I have been cancer free since March 2018.

Congratulations! Are there any additional thoughts you’d like to add?

Your feelings are not your reality. If you feel down, depressed, or on the verge of giving up, that doesn’t define who you really are. You are stronger than you think. In one way or another, we all suffer in this life. What makes the difference is your attitude. I encourage you to seek help and connect with people who can give you the support you need.

It took me 3 years in this journey of pain, hope, despair, and faith to come to know who I am and what my true value. I learned how everything worked for my own good.

Every time I was about to give up after receiving bad news, I managed not to surrender to this feeling. I searched for something or someone to inspire and help me fight every day. Every little thing that I encountered during my journey added a little piece to the big puzzle.

If this story reaches out to your heart for yourself or a loved one, I encourage you to buy the book. Here's how you can get more details.  





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