Managing Publication With Cancer — Barbara M. Britton ( + GIVEAWAY)
Today I’m happy to welcome author Barbara M. Britton as she shares what happened when she was diagnosed with cancer during her publishing career. Read through to the end to enter her giveaway.
Thank you for having me back, Donna. The last time I was here I gave practical tips for writers, but today I’m getting personal and talking about my most difficult writing obstacle—breast cancer.
Little did I know when I signed my first publishing contract in the spring of 2015 that my publishing journey would collide with cancer. I lived the theme to my debut novel, “God is in control even in the chaos of life.”
Previously, I had gone in for a mammogram. I paid extra for new 3D technology. Something showed up on the mammogram, but nothing was visible on an ultrasound. I was told to return in six months. When I returned in the summer, that suspicious spot was still on the mammogram and still invisible to ultrasound. The radiologist was worried. I was worried. A breast biopsy concluded that I had cancer.
This couldn’t be happening. I had waited 8 years for a publishing contract and now I had the “C” word. Would I live to see my dream realized?
No worries. God had this chaos. The cancer was small. I would have a lumpectomy and radiation and be on my way to author bliss. I had a lumpectomy in October of 2015. On my follow-up visit, I heard the words no one wants to hear, “You still have cancer.”
What? How? The 3D imaging had picked up a piece of my tumor. The rest of my tumor was invisible to modern imaging. I had a lot of cancer still inside of me.
God is in control even in the chaos of life. I wanted life. I wanted to survive. So, in December I had a double mastectomy because not only did I have cancer, I carried a genetic mutation called BRCA-1 that lets cancer through my genetic door.
The Lord is faithful. I walked out of my hospital room two days after my major surgery, pain-free and feeling good.
And God has a sense of humor. As I lay in bed at home still connected to drains, my galley arrived for “Providence: Hannah’s Journey.” I rested in bed and read through the pages one last time looking for errors (I know there are a few, but I blame it on the surgery). My publisher emailed me and said my book would release in print in October of 2016. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In October of 2015, I was newly diagnosed with breast cancer. In October of 2016, I was a breast cancer survivor and published author. Thank you, Jesus!
I praise God for life and creativity. I also remind women not to follow in my footsteps.
Schedule a yearly mammogram, preferably with 3D technology.
Do not wait to biopsy if something shows up on your mammogram.
Advocate for yourself and your health. Not everyone’s cancer is the same.
Rally prayer warriors to lift your needs before God.
And remember, “God is in control even in the chaos of life.”
Question: How has God shown up in the chaos of your life?
I am happy to give away a copy of one of my novels (reader’s choice, print or e-book) to the random commenter that Donna picks. The winner must be in the US for a print book.
About the book:
Barb’s latest book in her stand-alone Tribes of Israel series is “Jerusalem Rising: Adah’s Journey.”
When Adah bat Shallum finds the governor of Judah weeping over the crumbling wall of Jerusalem, she learns the reason for Nehemiah’s unexpected visit—God has called him to rebuild the wall around the City of David.
Nehemiah challenges the men of Jerusalem to labor on the wall and in return, the names of their fathers will be written in the annals for future generations to cherish. But Adah has one sister and no brothers. Should her father who rules a half-district of Jerusalem be forgotten forever?
Adah bravely vows to rebuild her city’s wall, though she soon discovers that Jerusalem not only has enemies outside of the city, but also within. Can Adah, her sister, and the men they love, honor God’s call? Or will their mission be crushed by the same rocks they hope to raise.
How deserted lies the city, once so full of people! How like a widow is she, who once was great among the nations! Lamentations 1:1
Seventeen-year-old Adah bat Shallum breathed deep. Deep enough to carry the pomegranate, cassia, and aloe scents from the length of her nose to the depths of her lungs. Was this fragrance a treasure or a stench? She trusted her senses. Her patience had produced a precious perfume worth several silver coins. Possibly some gold ones too. Careful not to spill a single drop, she poured her afternoon’s labor into small glazed jars, and lined them one finger length from the edge of the shelf and one thumb width apart. A piece of whittled poplar closed every opening and kept her fragrance captive.
“Adah. Judith.” The summons echoed down the street. A harsh inflection deepened her father’s voice.
She peeked through a hole in the wall—a rough-edged reminder of Nebuchadnezzar’s siege—and spied her father’s forward-leaning march. Wiping her hands on a clean rag, she scurried around the acacia wood table, a centerpiece to the small space she recently called her own. She crossed the threshold of her storeroom and hastened into the dirt lane.
Judith stood across the street in the doorway to their home, forehead furrowed, hands clasped. Did her sister think the booming call was Adah’s fault?
Barbara M. Britton lives in Wisconsin and writes Christian Fiction for teens and adults. She has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. Barb brings little known Bible characters to light in her Tribes of Israel series. The next installment in her stand-alone series “Lioness: Mahlah’s Journey” will release in October of 2019 (Breast Cancer Awareness Month).You can find out about Barb’s books on her website, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.