When Cancer Lands

Stage III lung cancer. She didn’t see it coming.

But when her persistent cough sent the Rev. Dr. Mary Holder Naegeli to her doctor, she exited her world of vibrant good health and activity and entered a whirlwind confinement of blood tests, biopsies, chemo, nausea, radiation, surgery, and stamina-breaking fever and fatigue.

She dubbed the inoperable tumor pressing against her aorta, esophagus and trachea The Beast.

And in her new book Deep Breathing: Finding Calm Amid Cancer Anxiety, she shares what happened from the first appearance of her symptoms to that beast’s eradication in 2014. With perspective colored by her life as a daughter, wife, mother, parent, pastor, and intimate friend of Christ, Mary walks readers through her cancer experience authentically, wisely, hopefully.

For anyone undergoing cancer treatment, Mary’s a friend you’ll want in the infusion room with you.

If you’re walking alongside someone undergoing treatment, she’ll help you love and support that person well.

And if you’re contending with a different sort of spiritual, emotional or health crisis—and are searching for perspective and truth, this book is a gold mine of wisdom and encouragement.

Was her journey terrible? Dangerous? Harrowing? Empowering? Uplifting? Hopeful?

Even joyful?

I say all of the above.


*I met Mary at a writer’s conference a few years ago, when we were gathered with agents and editors to pitch and discuss our current works in progress. Mary had recovered from her cancer by then. Her optimism, insight, and depth as she talked about her experience promised what I now know, after reading, is true: her book is sure to fortify those who choose to savor it.  When she asked me to join her launch team, I enthusiastically agreed. Officially launched this past Wednesday, you can find her book at the usual outlets—in paperback (at $21.50) and on Amazon Kindle for $9.99.


And in an eggshell, here are posts from earlier this week:

5:40 am, Sunday. Gonna be a hot one today, friends. Might even need to drink from a hose.


Harvest holdouts.
“You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong.”

—James 5:7 MSG


Miss Baker had always dreamt of a sunset ride in a fast convertible, her scarf swirling every which way.


“Jesus answered: ‘I have explained the secrets about the kingdom of heaven to you . . .'”
—Matthew 13:11


(Picture Lake, WA).

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.”
—Proverbs 3:5-6


Myopia, Hyperopia = 20/20 vision in 2020.
Dear God, give us clarity.


Blessings, friends. I’m glad you’re here.

Watching Nature, Seeing Life: Through His Creation, God Speaks

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Love the outdoors? I can take you there. Rural & wild PNW posts and photos from a naturalist, faith writer, and author of three books, including the award-winning novel Sugar Birds. Member of Redbud Writers Guild.

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