Tag: Cancer

Somehow the Same Old New Things

Somehow the Same Old New Things
Normally, I’m pretty unfiltered, but I filter a lot these days. I don’t know what parts of my newly widowed life people can handle and what parts they can’t. I’m so used to compartmentalizing that it comes easily, but the fact is, my life is complicated and I’m a little frayed around the edges. It... Read more »

The End

The End
Just after midnight on Sunday morning, my husband died. I’m struggling to say that word, “died.” It seems harsh. Too brutal. There are so many euphemisms, “passed,” “departed,” “transitioned.” They all try to hide the horror we all seem to have at the idea of death. But Mike wouldn’t have wanted that. He wasn’t afraid... Read more »

Waiting for the End

Waiting for the End
I have, over the last fourteen years, had many feelings about Mike’s inevitable death. Terror, anger, confusion, grief… What I never expected was to spend his last weeks overcome with gratitude. I have lost count of the things I am grateful for, and all of them come down to what I know about glioblastoma and... Read more »
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On Mike Ending Treatment

On Mike Ending Treatment
This letter took me weeks of drafting, rewriting, waiting on changes from Mike, waiting on any kind of confirmation from appointments and scans… This is the most difficult thing I have ever written, and the thing I may be proudest of having gotten right. I am sharing it here because I think there is something... Read more »

When All You Have Is Time

When All You Have Is Time
Imagine a wave… I am twenty, and a behemoth of a man has entered my apartment. He is tentative, awkward. Not at all smooth, not suave, not confident, but smiling bravely. I can see I terrify him, although he outweighs me by a hundred pounds, although he’s a foot taller. He tries not to offend... Read more »

This Election is a Loaded Gun

This Election is a Loaded Gun
I’m going to be 100% honest right now. What’s on the ballot right now includes the Affordable Care Act and Social Security. And yet there are people who say they love Mike but are voting for Trump. Trump SAYS he has a plan, but the only plans he’s ever demonstrated are, “get rid of Obamacare,”... Read more »
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Colposcopy and the Hippocampus, or, Your Stress is Killing You

Colposcopy and the Hippocampus, or, Your Stress is Killing You
“You need to reduce your stress,” my doctor said. She said this at the tail end of a paragraph about all the things I wasn’t supposed to do in the aftermath of my procedure. I was not supposed to exercise, not even yoga. I was not supposed to soak in a hot bath. I was... Read more »

The Inevitability of Hope and Change

The Inevitability of Hope and Change
I am standing beside my daughter’s bed, having a serious talk about school. She has no idea what her math homework is. She has no idea where her math homework is. She doesn’t pay attention in class, instead, she watches the students’ chats go by, which are silly and confusing. “One of the boys just... Read more »

Truth, Lies, and Selfies

Truth, Lies, and Selfies
Over the last three months, I’ve spent a lot of time on Snapchat. I know, right, what is it, 2012? But I have. And on my public Snapchat, Mike and kids rarely appear. On Snapchat, my life looks… kind of good. Lots of selfies (my hair has been AMAZING in quarantine, and between my eating restrictions from... Read more »
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100 Ways to Die, or, Kids and Glioblastoma in the Age of Coronavirus

100 Ways to Die, or, Kids and Glioblastoma in the Age of Coronavirus
When the twins were babies, there was a tornado outbreak across Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana. For weeks the local news cycled back to it, and I remember vividly a story about the children of demolished towns playing “tornado” with their toys, making sense of a world full of chaos and destruction by turning it into a... Read more »