As in her debut book, survivor Marianne McDonough continues to describe the needs, complexities, and struggles of newly diagnosed patients. She likens the first moments of dealing with diagnosis to "stepping into the cockpit of a commercial airbus, sitting at the controls, and wondering what all those strange buttons do. At first you don't even know the destination much less the timing. You have no idea how to fly the plane, but there you are, a pilot learning how to something you never wanted to learn. Moreover, you feel as though you have already crashed."
Clearly McDonough understands her readers. With a prevailing tone of compassion and respect, she is frank, honest, and direct, but meticulously non-judgmental as she urges readers to deal with cancer's harsh issues proactively.
To facilitate this goal, the author presents myths that patients often encounter such as cancer is always fatal, too complicated to understand, or will define you for the rest of your life. Methodically, one truth at a time, McDonough helps readers reconstruct and articulate their own beliefs based on what makes the most sense to them after self-reflection and careful consideration of input from respected sources. The author often reiterates her main premise that what you believe truly determines your journey.
Describing Beating Cancer One Truth at a Time as a "simple path for a complicated journey," McDonough doesn't shy away from tough subjects such as residual effects from treatment and fear of relapse. But throughout the book she fosters hope, positive mindsets, and proactive actions that will help readers, as she says in her introduction, "attack cancer with a dedicated vengeance and more determination and courage" than they ever thought possible.