Thursday, December 11, 2014

Q & A time with Elaine Marie Cooper , author of "BETHANY'S CALENDAR"

Elaine Marie Cooper has released her first non-fiction book, Bethany's Calendar. It is a personal memoir of her daughter who died of a brain tumor and how the Lord was their strength during the darkest journey of their lives.
As a novelist, Elaine Marie Cooper has written Fields of the Fatherless and the Deer Run Saga.Her passions are her family, her faith in Christ and the history of the American Revolution, a frequent subject of her historical fiction. She grew up in Massachusetts, the setting for many of her novels. Visit her website at:

Book Blurb:
In January of 2002, Elaine’s world flipped upside down. What started out as a beautiful New Year for the mom of three, turned into a living nightmare when her 23-year-old daughter, Bethany was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor.
In the months to come, Elaine not only used her nurse’s training, she learned to recognize the hand of God on her daughter’s life. Bethany’s Calendar tells the story of Elaine and Bethany’s journey and the many ways God helped their family to survive.  It is a story of fear and faith, commitment and compassion, told with gut-wrenching honesty while sharing unwavering faith in God.

"Bethany's Calendar" is a five star Non-Fiction account in the life of a young lady and her family's journey with Brain Cancer. I know whatever I say about this book it will not be enough or give it justice!

When Elaine Cooper asked for reviewers to read it and write an honest review, I responded because my mother has cancer, ( lung, breast, bone and it was in her lymph nodes, though the breast cancer is in remission now). Bethany, Elaine's daughter, in her early twenties, had Brain Cancer and even through the cancers were different I felt I could learn something and maybe help her and my sisters and other family members learn to cope and understand mom and her feelings better as well as how to deal with the illness itself. I really hope others are helped by Elaine reliving her pain and sharing this book with other families struggling with this critical disease.

This book is very well written and truly a story from a mother's heart. Elaine is a nurse but this isn't written from a nurse's perception, I have read other books about people that had cancer but they were kinda of technical and "Bethany's Calendar" is not technical at all but a real story about a mother's and caregiver's struggles and heartaches dealing with cancer.

There were times I was literally crying while reading this story,such as this example from my Facebook post
 "I am setting in the dentist's office and trying not to cry. I am reading a PDF file of Bethany's Calendar by Elaine Marie Cooper Author. It is so heartbreaking but I love the notes to self and notes to others after each chapter. And if I start to cry hope the others in the office don't think I'm strange but oh well life is like that and cancer is real and those of us that are affected by it do cry".

No, Bethany's story isn't mom's story but any one going through cancer or taking care of someone that does have cancer or another critical illness have similar heartaches and thoughts. I felt the author shared an honest and trueful account and even admitted that sometimes angry feelings were expressed.  

I want to share one more Facebook post I posted while reading " Bethany's Calendar" 
"Reading "Bethany's Calendar" by Elaine Cooper and I really am struck by this "note to others" at the end of one chapter
"Don't delay visiting those who the Lord draws you to see. You never know if it might be your last opportunity to be with them this side of eternity" 

This is my thought after reading the above note: How many times how we felt the urge to call or go see someone and we don't follow though and then we get that call that let's us know it is too late." 

I encourage everyone to read " Bethany's Calendar" whether you or someone you know is struggling with a critical illness or not, chances are you will soon.

I was given a pdf file by the author for an honest review and I have just ordered copies for my family for Christmas! 

Elaine has agreed to answer questions from you, so if you have a question, just asked and she will answer. 
To order Bethany's Calendar go here:


Judy said...

Great review Debbie. I really want to read this book. In 2003 my husband died of a brain tumor. It was devastating, took a huge toll on me, and also strengthened my faith. I watched him take his last breath.

Question for Elaine: In what ways did you feel God was by your side through this heart wrenching journey?

Elaine Marie Cooper said...

Hi Judy, I am SO sorry about your husband. He passed away the same year as Bethany. ((HUGS))

There were times I did not feel that God was there when the situation seemed unbearable. Yet He always sent His comfort in the form of friends, loved ones, a letter of encouragement, a kind word from a stranger. God was faithful to let me know He was there—even in those darkest moments. God uses His people to be His hands. Bless you, Judy!

Judy said...

Elaine, thank you for answering my question. I know that God can use our darkest moments to help others out. I haven't read your book but I plan to do so. I'm sure this book will touch the hearts of many and you never know when God will use all of it or some of it to help others walking this same journey.


bonton said...

I enjoyed this post, yet it made me emotional - having had cancer twice (the last resulting in a mastectomy this past May) and my father currently having stage 4 cancer. One never gets accustomed to cancer, no matter how often they may have it - and may recover from it, but never forget it.

How one chooses to deal with it varies from person-to-person, I've never questioned "why me"? - rather, "why not me"? - everyone is promised trials and pain on earth. There are always lessons to be learned from them and the opportunity to grow and draw closer to God.

It hasn't been easy, but would have been so much harder were it not for my faith in God - His plan for my life and the knowledge He has everything under control, prayer, scripture, Christian music and the encouragement and prayers of so many Christian friends.

Thank you for writing your memoir, Elaine - I'm looking forward to reading it and pray I'm using the lessons I've learned to help others draw nearer Him, as you're doing!!


I shared this post on my Facebook timeline!!

Elaine Marie Cooper said...

Battling cancer is emotional and I pray the Lord continues to be your strength on this journey. Praying for you and your father. You are surrounding yourself with His presence with his Word and Christian music. And what would we do without the prayers of our faithful friends? You are blessed in your distress. ((HUGS))

Unknown said...

Elaine, you do a beautiful thread with your story, and at times I'm sure tears just streamed down your face. I realized Bethany's homecoming took place close to Christmas too. After the evening when the police came and before you knew what you were dealing with, were you able to talk with Bethany once you knew, so she understood?

Elaine Marie Cooper said...

I assume you mean once her cancer was diagnosed? Yes, Bethany understand about the cancer but she was always at a certain level of confusion about everything. We always tried to explain as much as we could but it was hard at times to know how much she was able to grasp in her thinking. Medications the doctors prescribed help her tremendously. We could see a positive impact of those very shortly after they were started.