Cancer confronts us with our mortality. But cancer survivors find ourselves with a second chance for life. We grapple with profound questions: Why am I still here? How did I survive when others didn't? Where is God in all this? And how should I live differently now?

Those who experience and survive cancer live in bonus time, a season of grace that can be both disorienting and wonderful. In this honest and hopeful account, two-time survivor Alec Hill helps readers recalibrate expectations, grapple with survivor's guilt, and steward the opportunities for new purpose and growth. As counterintuitive as it may seem, cancer can transform us emotionally and spiritually into better people.

We are not the people we were before. Survivors and caregivers can discover how encountering death can bring us to a different kind of life.

"Most of us have wrestled with a loved one's death by cancer, and when surprised by life, celebrate it. But Alec Hill takes us deeper. Diving beneath the surface of the good news of survival, he exposes the emotions and challenges when side-stepping death. And from his own journey and those of others, Alec teaches the cancer survivor how to thrive in the unexpected gift of bonus years. This, however, is not just a book for those surviving a life-threatening disease; Alec teaches us all how to live."

Sharol Hayner, coauthor of Joy in the Journey

"Alec Hill has been on the hero's journey into the valley that no one wants to visit but no one can avoid. This book reflects his vast gifts: an exceedingly learned and literate mind, a tenaciously thoughtful faith, and a rigorous commitment to honesty. It also contains gifts of the spirit: humility, gratitude, wonder, and acceptance. Reading it will bring healing to many, and wisdom to even more."

John Ortberg, senior pastor of Menlo Church, author of Eternity Is Now in Session



Part I: Descending into the Pit
1. My Story
2. God's Presence on Dark Days
3. Why Me?
4. Survivor's Guilt

Part II: Navigating New Realities
5. Illusion of Control
6. Depending on Others
7. Identity: Who Am I Now?

Part III: Living in Bonus Time
8. Suvivor's Growth
9. Clarity of Purpose
10. Redeeming Time
11. Wonder

Recommended Books
Author Index
Subject Index
Scripture Index


Alec Hill is president emeritus of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA. He served for fourteen years as InterVarsity's president and previously was dean of the School of Business and Economics at Seattle Pacific University. He holds a law degree from the University of Washington and has written for the Huffington Post, Christianity Today, the Aspen Institute, and Patheos. He is the author of Just Business: Christian Ethics in the Marketplace. He lives in the Seattle area with his wife, Mary.

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