Cathy McCarthy is a remarkable woman. Not only has she gone through her own journey and battle  with cancer, but having overcome, she has not sat back in her own personal victory, instead she has embraced the challenge of helping others on similar journeys.

Her first book, published in 2011 Not the Year You Had Planned is a self-help book giving practical, emotional, and spiritual advice and support for those who have just had their lives interrupted by a cancer diagnosis. Cathy McCarthy believes that what is initially perceived as an overwhelming journey can somehow unearth strength and courage within us that we never knew we had. This book opened a host of new doors for Cathy, where she met many other survivors and realized that they all shared a common concern – the journey after their illness.

Stronger Than Yesterday endeavours to help anyone who has come through a life threatening illness and is trying to put their lives back together again. A key element of Cathy's writing is the way we think, our attitude when facing adversity and the belief that we have the power to change the way we think.

Stronger Than Yesterday includes inspiring stories from many of Cathy’s friends. It is chock a block full of quotes and anecdotes, real life struggles and small victories won. A book of inspiration that will help others to live a full and meaningful life after illness.


In the Foreward to this book, Jane McKenna, founder of Laura Lynn Foundation, says this about Cathy;

Cathy enjoys dancing with life and gives courage to others to do the same. I know without doubt that all who read Stronger Than Yesterday will be better people for it. I already am.

Here is Cathy herself - to tell us the story of her two books:

In November 2007, my world changed when I got a breast cancer diagnosis. It was a great shock and it took time to come to terms with the diagnosis. I spent approximately a year undergoing treatment. One of my abiding memories was being handed a bunch of leaflets with information on wigs, scarves, and other related topics. I think most of them ended up in my green bin. I felt there were just all over the place and I did not have the energy to be bothered reading most of them.

In 2009, feeling strong and very glad to be well, I got an idea that I would write a book of tips for people on a cancer journey. This book was not my personal story, but information that I believed would be relevant for anyone on a cancer journey. So in 2011 'Not The Year You Had Planned' was launched. All my proceeds went to help two cancer support centres. I know that this book helped many people because they told me. It was very humbling to get this feedback and I will never take it for granted.

As a result of writing the book I was invited to speak in Cancer Support Centres and I was very glad to do this. On this journey I met many people who told me that when their treatment was completed they found it very difficult to move on with their lives. But it was not just people who had come through cancer, but other family and friends who had survived life threatening illnesses were also reflecting on “what do I now do with the rest of my life”? When I launched my first book, I can remember being very nervous before I spoke. It was fine on the night, but I remember saying, I will never be doing this again and was quite happy to cross it off the bucket list. But there was obviously something more that I had to do on this journey. I had believed for a long time that you only have one chance at life and why waste this time worrying about the future. Why not try and live this day to the best of your ability. These thoughts and reflections were the genesis for my second book 'Stronger Than Yesterday' which was launched in March 2016. I wrote it as a guide for anyone who has been through adversity and, let’s face it, who has not been through adversity?

A lovely card from a friend I believe sums up the book – “I feel the book “Stronger Than Yesterday” is not only for those who have survived a life changing event, but is for anyone who wishes to reassess their attitude and perspective to the ups and downs of everyday life.” There is nothing more I can add to that.
All the proceeds for my share of the book are going to the Waterford High Hopes Choir and to the Jack Kavanagh Foundation.