God, You Can Take My Mental Illness, Just Not The Part Where You Speak To Me – EBook

“Our questions about how these kinds of things can happen, even when you pray every day, and ask God very nicely could nothing bad please happen, thank you, went largely unanswered …”

God, You Can Take My Mental Illness – Just Not The Part Where You Speak To Me is a collection of raw, honest and refreshingly real essays on faith, family, cancer, addiction, mental illness, rehab, marriage and Christianity. You know … just the usual stuff.

People say …

“Jo Hilder is the kind of person you want by your side through life’s bumps and tumbles. But if we can’t have her next to us, at least we get her on the page, where her humanity displayed is a friend listening to our most shameful stories, judging nothing, because she’s been through it all and come back the other side to hand us all the grace we can’t give ourselves. Do yourself a favor: pick up this book and receive.” Penny Gruener Carothers
 – Social Justice Editor, 
Burnside Writers Collective www.burnsidewriters.com

 “With haunting and hilarious honesty, Jo Hilder can be as reflective as Henri Nouwen, as bold as Anne Lamott, and as thunderous as fellow Aussies AC/DC. Jo’s inspiring faith journey is truly high voltage.” Bert Montgomery, Writer/teacher/minister, Psychic Pancakes & Communion Pizza, Elvis, Willie, Jesus & Me bertmontgomery.com

“Jo Hilder is a refreshing and authentic writer who draws you into the intimacies of her life.  A fantastic read with laugh-out-loud humor scattered throughout, ‘God, You Can Take My Mental Illness’ is a great collection of personal essays.  Jo confronts myth after myth of what the Christian life is supposed to look like. Marriage, mental health and alcoholism are themes she visits often, but it is threaded together with faith, hope and love. This book will provide readers reassurance that God is not looking for perfect lives…just honest ones.” Pam Hogeweide, Author, Unladylike: Resisting the Injustice of Inequality in the Church pamhogweide.com

“The only way I know of to develop a writing voice worth sharing is to become a person who has weathered a great storm well. Jo has weathered more than her share and the result is beautiful. Surviving cancer and marital difficulties has left Jo a witty, gritty, and fearless writer. Reading Jo’s work makes me laugh, think, and get angry. She makes me feel, which just might be the greatest gift a writer can share.” Larry Shallenberger, Pastor and Author, Divine Intention: How God’s Work in the Early Church Empowers Us Today. larryshallenberger.com

Soul Letters For The Cancer Sojourner – EBook

A cancer diagnosis feels nothing like a beginning.soul letter 3D

It feels like a door just slammed shut.

It feels like all your dreams for the future were just cancelled.

It feels like being put off a train at a station in a place not particularly pleasant or interesting, while everyone else gets to stay on the train and keep going somewhere lovely and exciting. And you don’t know if the train will ever be back for you. Continue reading “Soul Letters For The Cancer Sojourner – EBook”

Things Not To Say To Someone Who Has Cancer – EBook

You’ve just received the worst possible news – someone you love is diagnosed with cancer. Before you have a chance to do anything, you’ll need to say something. The usual clichés spring to mind, but surely there’s something better to say than, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”? Just what do you say to someone who has cancer?

Author Jo Hilder draws on her experience as a cancer survivor, advocate and support group facilitator to introduce new ways to talk about cancer, and to the people we love who are diagnosed with it. With warmth and humor, Jo gently eases family, friends and supporters into those inevitable interactions faced after a cancer diagnosis, exploring the most common practical, social and emotional challenges. Identifying, addressing and dispelling the common cancer clichés, Things Not To Say To Someone Who Has Cancer introduces simple and comfortable methods for turning awkward interactions into open conversations about cancer. Sharing from her own journey as a cancer patient and wide experience delivering cancer support programs, Jo helps readers understand the reality of cancer and treatment, contrasting this with common stereotypes and cancer myths. Things Not To Say To Someone Who Has Cancer is a practical guide for the uninitiated, providing information and support for anyone who finds themselves bewildered and afraid in the face of a cancer diagnosis.

People say…

“This is a real life, practical, heartfelt and truthful guide for anyone affected by cancer. It makes you laugh, cry, reflect and wince when you read what you will probably relate to should you have been in this environment. This book has the potential to assist so many especially carers, families and friends who are always looking for ways to help a loved one or colleague deal with cancer, its treatment and beyond. There are plenty of resources for information, this deals with the “how the heck am I going to deal with this” on a day to day level. Brilliant stuff Jo Hilder.” Annie Miller, Coordinator, Living Well After Cancer Program, Cancer Council NSW.

“This book has helped me to see cancer from the eyes of those who have to deal with this disease, helping me realize my “normal” way of thinking just doesn’t cut it. Things Not To Say shows me if I truly want to support and love a friend or family member through this season of their life, I need to change. Jo’s book is uplifting and encouraging, and I’m so grateful she took the time to put these ideas on paper – thank you.” Sallie-Ann Macklin, author and photographer, ”Inspirational Women – Ordinary Women doing the Extra-ordinary”.

“If it were an ideology, it would be terrorism. Cancer catches us unawares, unprepared, without mercy or prejudice, forever altering the lives it touches. Jo Hilder has tackled a very difficult subject in Things Not To Say To Someone Who Has Cancer – the very essence of our first contact with cancer. In acknowledging those first emotions and reactions and naming our fears, she sensitively constructs a platform for what is inevitably a long arduous journey for all involved. Having been through that experience personally, I feel Things Not To Say To Someone With Cancer is a great place for anyone to start.” Brad Fitzpatrick, husband of Christine (passed away from cancer, 1997)

“In Things Not to Say to Someone Who Has Cancer, Jo Hilder provides a friendly, well-written guide for things to say instead of the usual clichés. Things Not To Say is a great book for cancer patients, cancer survivors, carers, friends, colleagues, neighbors and health professionals.” Carol Rhodes, cancer survivor and program facilitator, Living Well After Cancer.

 “This book is for anyone who has heard themselves say to a person with cancer ‘Let me know if there is anything I can do for you’ or ‘Just be strong’, and that’s probably all of us. Beyond the expected list of do’s and don’ts for supporting someone with cancer, Jo offers a way to open up conversations, leading us to a deeper and more authentic way of relating around a cancer diagnosis. Jo suggests there is a better way to face cancer with our loved ones.” Carolyn Grenville, cancer carer and advocate.

“Jo tackles a tough issue with compassion, humor and sensitivity, challenging existing approaches to talking about cancer by shining a light on a new way to communicate around a cancer diagnosis. Things Not To Say also acknowledges the good intentions underpinning those things we know we shouldn’t say to someone with cancer, but seem to stumble into anyway.  This warm and thoughtful book is much more than a guide of what not to do, and contains much food for thought on new ways to address the issue of cancer and its impact on the ones we love.” Kelly Williams.

 “Positive and wise, this book goes well beyond what’s promised. Things Not To Say To Someone Who Has Cancer doesn’t just tell us what not to say, but leads us along a path to a far more positive and comprehensive way of approaching loved ones with cancer. Far from just being a list, Things Not To Say encourages us to leap forward into a better way, and to trust ourselves to relax into a more natural way of being with someone who has cancer.” Carrie Green, cancer carer.

Practicalities first – presentation, size of pages and print, spacing between lines, layout of paragraphs and the ”smiley face ” that popped up here and there  made the book easy and enjoyable to read. Many home truths about our relationships with family and others for me as a  cancer journeyman and my wife as a cancer carer came to light. Your life experiences are clearly helpful to those of us who have only just started our cancer journey and hopefully a reliable guide for those cancer friends and carers who sometimes act with every good intention but at times  show lack of full thought as they desire to help. I enjoyed it all so much, so thank you for writing and preparing this guide for our onward travel through life after cancer.” Ron Woodlands, cancer journeyman.