Every Day is a Gift: A Couple’s Cancer Journey


“In Every Day Is a Gift, Margaret McEwan tells the story of her husband’s life following the diagnosis of metastatic melanoma, and how together they navigated the ups and downs of treatment and clinical trials. Margaret captures the essence of living well with cancer and how compassionate care and upfront communication by the medical team impacts not only the care of the patient but also the bereavement experience for the family. A must read for families and clinicians.”
—Sue Morris, PsyD., Director of Bereavement Services, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston.

“I believe that anyone finding themselves on the cancer journey can identify with the roads that Margaret and John traveled together and find tidbits of solace, grace, and hope to journey down their own roads. With each written page I am reminded of the powerful biblical passage from 1 Corinthians 13:13, which epitomizes Margaret and John’s life together: ‘And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.’”
—Deb Girard, Executive Director of IMPACT Melanoma.
The mission of IMPACT Melanoma is to reduce the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, through innovative early detection and prevention programs as well as support services for melanoma patients and their caregivers.

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From Every Day is a Gift, John McEwan, diagnosed with cancer, writes “Many of us are facing problems that may seem overwhelming and even unfair. I learned a long time ago that life is not fair; life is what it is at any given moment. There is happiness, sadness, and every emotion between them. However, I also learned that we can wallow in our sadness or we can ‘choose our attitude,’ hold onto our dreams, and maintain our optimism no matter what!”

As illustrated above, John McEwan and his wife, Margaret, chose to face John’s cancer diagnosis with a positive outlook and realistic vision. Every Day Is a Gift chronicles their family’s experience through Margaret’s recollection of events, her e-mail updates to family and friends, and John’s letters written throughout his five-year cancer journey. In this poignant memoir, Margaret McEwan honors her late husband by providing readers with insights and opportunities for finding hope.

About the Authors

Although their early years were spent in the same town, John and Margaret did not know each other until high school. Married for over 40 years, the McEwans loved to spend time with their three married children and their now six grandchildren. The couple traveled as often as they could internationally and would go on annual family vacations, especially to Walt Disney World and the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont.

John began his advanced education in the seminary but then redirected his goal of serving people through a career in education. He began as an English teacher and moved into administrative positions: principal, superintendent of schools, and first lay president of his high school alma mater. John received several awards over the course of his career: the 2000 Massachusetts Principal of the Year, the 2009 Massachusetts School Counselor Association Administrator of the Year, and was named to the Jostens renaissance Hall of Fame.

Margaret holds a bachelor’s of science and master’s degree in food and nutrition. As a registered dietitian, she was a trailblazer in the field of supermarket retail dietetics, and was the first female vice president of Shaw’s Supermarkets. She retired as Shaw’s Vice President of Corporate Communications in 2004.

Margaret enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering for My Brother’s Keeper, a Christian ministry that provides hope and love to families in need. Much of her creative free time is spent quilting and embroidering household items and decorative art for her family and friends. This book is her first published work, but she has enjoyed the experience and may consider doing more creative writing in the future.

Additional information

Weight9.744 oz
Dimensions8.5 × 5.5 × .48460 in
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Every Day is a Gift: A Couple’s Cancer Journey