“I Have Cancer to Thank for Many Things”

So Susan’s journals were sporadically written, to say the least. From October, 2016, to December, 2019, it seems that she didn’t keep any journals at all. Any that I’ve found, anyway. And I don’t anticipate finding anything else. Then, in 2019, her journals changed quite a bit in scope and subject matter. She joined a … More

“Real Human Connection”

TUESDAYJune 2 2015 8 rounds of chemo with Folfox. 15 days per cycle. One relatively long hospital visit of 3-4 hours plus another brief visit after 48 hours to remove the SFU pump. That is what lies ahead of me. The possible effects of the oxaliplatin, with nerve damage to my fingers, extreme sensitivity to … More

“I’d Rather Feel Joy and Pain”

THURSDAY May 28 2015 Stayed up all night last night to write one page for work. I am feeling the effects of sleep deprivation pretty acutely. I am sleepy and jittery at the same time. My stomach has been feeling unsettled, but thankfully I had no leaks, volcanoes, or blowouts today. But I need to … More

“My Stoma Rears its Ugly Head”

FRIDAYMay 22 2015 I am starting to reach an understanding with my stoma, to be able to detect when it is about to erupt and the feeling that precipitates that. I should be more cognizant of what particular foods do to my digestive tract, but I am not sure I really want to know. I … More

“My Boys Need Me More”

MONDAYMay 18 2015 Took a hiatus from journaling while Julie [a long-term friend] was here and over the weekend. It was lovely having someone who I share such a long history with visit during this time. The ordeal she is going through with a divorce seems much more traumatic and painful than cancer. No matter … More

“My Spirit is light”

SATURDAYMay 9 2015 Birthday parties can be a real chore. Making small talk with people you know only as so and so’s mom or dad in broken Spanish or English, smiling politely, and stuffing my face with junk food to pass the time. The party today for Lekan, Victor, and Pau was actually great. Most … More

Sharing Susan’s Cancer Journals

There have been three notebooks sitting on my wife Susan’s bedside table since the night she passed away, and while I’ve been curious to look through them, until now I’ve refrained. It seemed to me an invasion of privacy. I woudn’t have read them when she was alive, so what gave me the right to … More

The Kids Are Alright

I awake in the middle of the night to find Susan in bed next to me. I stay silent, because I somehow know that if I say anything she will dissolve into the darkness, and so I simply snuggle up to her. I can spoon her because she can lie on her side again, no … More

Clothes Sniffing and Other Stages of Grief

It’s been about 6 weeks since my wife, Susan, passed away, and although I realize that everyone’s experience of grief is unique, there is probably enough overlap, enough universality, to warrant me telling you a bit about my own. And to simplify things, for the purposes of this post let’s just assume that all loved … More

Beautiful and Awful, Tender and Terrible

After a great deal of consideration, I’ve decided to write about the last days of Susan’s life. If you would rather not read about this, you might want to stop here.  But most of Susan’s anxiety was related to uncertainty about what the end of her life would look like. How much pain there would … More


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