The Journey Continues

Finding Joy Amidst Life's Struggles

Non-Fiction - Inspirational
338 Pages
Reviewed on 06/10/2019
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Author Biography

In May of 2016, a man dressed in a white coat stood at the foot of my hospital bed and told me I had stage IV colon cancer. At that moment, everything seemed to slow down and speed up at the same time. Before we parted ways, I was told that I would be lucky to live two more years. “It was time to go home and get my affairs in order.”

The Journey Continues is my story of first learning to fight and then live with cancer. I share details of oncology appointments, chemotherapy treatments, and learning to live with “my new normal.” More importantly, I speak of how I found peace and joy amidst the chaos — questions of “Why” and “If only” crowded my mind. I wrestled with my mortality, and what it means to truly live life to the fullest. In even the darkest of moments, there were glimmers of grace and hope.

One of the brightest lights came from my caregiver, Nancy. Nancy and I have been married for 29 years and have two adult children, Joseph and Rayann. In “The Journey Continues,” Nancy shares some reflections on how she, as cargiver, experienced our journey.

“The Journey Continues” is Daniel’s testimony that it is possible to find joy amidst life’s struggles.

Daniel’s passion is to “help people encounter God in the midst of their everyday lives.” Daniel currently serves as the Pastor of First Baptist Church of Kennett Square, PA.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

The Journey Continues: Finding Joy Amidst Life's Struggles by Daniel Nicewonger is one man’s story of his journey with cancer. Diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer, Pastor Dan Nicewonger’s life was turned upside down. Given no more than two years to live, he had a choice – give up and let it happen or fight to stay alive. He chose to fight and, together with his wife, friends and oncology team, he started on the longest journey of his life. His life was disrupted, his family’s lives were disrupted but never once did they give up. He had goals to meet and, despite the disruptions, he found peace, comfort, and joy. Join Daniel and learn how he learned to live with his ‘new normal’.

The Journey Continues: Finding Joy Amidst Life’s Struggles by Daniel Nicewonger was an amazing book. Daniel has a wonderful way with words. He is completely frank, hides nothing and shares with us all of the ups and downs experienced by him, his family, friends, all the nurses and the doctors that were on his treatment team. The way this book is written, you feel as though you are walking with him; you feel his pain, sorrow, and you feel the joy he feels too. Emotions run high through this story and you really do feel every single one of them – I laughed and I cried. This is probably one of the most open, honest and heartfelt books of this type I have ever read and I feel honored to have been a part of it, albeit only through the words on the page. It teaches you that when you think the chips are down, when you think everything is against you, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and there is always hope – you just have to want it enough to fight for it.

Gisela Dixon

The Journey Continues: Finding Joy Amidst Life's Struggles by Daniel Nicewonger is a non-fiction memoir about Daniel’s diagnosis, treatment, and journey through cancer. In this book, Daniel writes about that first time when he fell sick and went to the emergency room for some tests. When he was diagnosed with colon cancer at that time, he did not know what it would entail. This book follows his journey from that time onwards throughout his multiple chemotherapy sessions, his intermittent, various types of tests, the prognosis of the disease, his wife’s support during this time, the break in treatments, his mindset and emotions throughout, all up to the present time and his hopes for the future.

In The Journey Continues, Daniel has detailed his cancer journey with earnestness and has noted down his own personal experience not only with the cancer diagnosis but also with the hospital staff and doctors he worked with. Being a pastor himself, the book is sprinkled with quotes and chapters expressing the Christian point of view. As a result, there is less detail about the exact treatment and what happens during a test for example, or the side effects of chemotherapy, and more emphasis on the religious aspect of life and death. Still, Daniel writes from a sincere perspective of his own, and this book may be a help to anyone struggling with or knowing someone struggling with cancer and its devastating effects. It is also nice to read about the genuine bond of caring with his wife who is his caregiver and supporter. Overall, this is a good book, especially for people dealing with cancer in their lives.

Astrid Iustulin

Those who decide to pick up their pen and write about their fight against cancer are brave people. Pastor Daniel J. Nicewonger is one of them. He was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016 and has recollected what he calls his “new normal” in the book The Journey Continues. Here, Nicewonger explains what living with such a disease means. He writes as if this is his diary, using the same confidential tone. He mentions little things which now have important value and recalls how the relationship with his family has changed. However, it is the profundity of Nicewonger’s faith that makes The Journey Continues remarkable. He is a pastor, so he adds quotes from the Holy Scriptures and his own comments to them: a way to find courage and to encourage.

I really like the way Nicewonger tells his story in The Journey Continues. This is not a depressing or somber book. He is an optimist, despite his difficult time. I would say the guiding thread is not the disease, but hope. The Journey Continues reveals Nicewonger’s will to resist and go on. His conversational style reveals emotional honesty and a simple, sincere faith. The parts where he talks about his faith are touching to read. Although they are very personal and reveal the author’s inner convictions, they are intended to give solace to other people too. I have to admit that Nicewonger is very good at it. He is one of those writers who speak to the reader’s heart. The Journey Continues is the right book for anyone who is looking for comfort and strength.