We’re a regular family living life as it comes. Which is to say, nothing about our life seems regular. We are a blended family. Divorce and two kids (22 and 23) from me, widowed and three kids (14, 17, 19) from Mark. The boys’ mom died of ovarian cancer when they were too young. Mark was diagnosed with Stage 4 sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma in August 2019. It was a sudden plunge into disaster, with the key player – Mark – immediately without the faculties to make any decisions and help us navigate his care. I knew nothing about so many things that I immediately needed to know everything about. Medical systems of greater complexity that I ever imagined, cumbersome insurance and disability processes, how to advocate for someone who was completely unable to advocate for himself. There have been great moments of terror and chaos, hysterical laughter and overwhelming confusion. More than anything, it’s been a learning curve like no other I’ve ever experienced.

I’ve been writing to keep myself sane. To organize my thoughts during a very disorganized time. Many of these blog posts were first messages via email, text, Facebook, and Lotsa Helping Hands to keep friends and family in the loop, and to keep myself sane. To focus on disease, disease, disease all the time would be too much. I interspersed updates about Mark with reflections on dogs, and birds, and life in general.

I hope some part of my journey can help you with yours. Peace.